In my white paper, I will be examining the issue of child labor, specifically in West African cocoa production. For too long, children have been forced to work on cocoa farms on the Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. The conditions on these farms are often not regulated by African governments and are commonplace. However, large foreign chocolate producers who purchase cocoa from these farms do not tolerate the idea of child labor in their supply chains. These companies, like Hershey and Nestle, wrestle with how to appease consumers and eliminate child labor in African countries where regulation is difficult and cultures are different.
My source comes from the World Bank, the UN’s international finance institution. The influx of child laborers in West Africa is due to the demand for cheap labor. The World Bank’s Rural and Private Sector Development provided funding for farmers in West Africa to start cocoa cooperatives. These cooperatives aim to help small farmers compete with larger farms through pooling their cocoa yields together to become more competitive. The World Bank also provides farmers with knowledge and equipment, helps improve rural infrastructure, and supports cocoa storage facilities. This project has helped farmers in Sierra-Leone increase their yields, become more competitive, and gain more control over their own farms and their pricing options.
This article can help support my paper by providing a potential solution for the issue of child labor in West Africa. The intervention of a multinational power could have a large impact on West African farms. Through helping small farmers gain back some competitive advantage and helping them earn additional profits, the demand for cheap (child) labor could diminish. However, the effectiveness of this program has not been evaluated and I will need to find additional sources to draw conclusions.
I would argue that the information in this source is reliable, as it comes from the World Bank, an instrument of the UN. The details of the program statistics concerning cocoa production are likely accurate.