Towards a Sweeter Future: Analysis and Recommendations concerning Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sonia Schmidt
Kaila Uyeda
Publication Year:
  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


ArcGIS Map of Child Labor, Education, Poverty, and COVID-19 in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana

ArcGIS Story Map explaining relationship between child labor, education, poverty, and COVID-19 in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana




The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities and injustices around the world. In Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, child laborers-- an already vulnerable population-- are put further at risk by the problems created by the pandemic. This may have already contributed to the over 20% increase in child labor in Cote d'Ivoire between March 2020 and May 2020. The accumulation of broken supply chains, incapacitation of parents, closed schools, and diminishing profits all contribute to the rise in child labor. This research report uses the understanding of the history of child labor, countries' and companies' responses to the pandemic, and current programs that address child labor to answer the question of how has COVID-19 affected the child laborers in the cocoa industry of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, and how can we prevent child labor from becoming more prevalent in the wake of the pandemic? Child labor in the cocoa industry is already a difficult issue to address because of the many factors that contribute to conditions that increase the likelihood of child labor. The two main conditions this report focuses on are poverty and lack of education. While there is already legislation and programs in place to address these issues individually, the pandemic has made it clear that community-specific strategies must be implemented. Additionally, these solutions must be used in tandem because the child labor issue is so multifaceted. Specifically, cash transfers, in-kind transfers, education infrastructure reform, and public works opportunities are recommended. Support is needed from a variety of key stakeholders including NGOs, international governments, and local governments. 


Towards a Sweeter Future: Analysis and Recommendations concerning Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana during the COVID-19 PandemicHistory of Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire (stats and poverty)Steps taken towards ending child labor in Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, and within the international community. Image of cocoa beans on right.Child Labor during the COVID-19 Pandemic (recent stats, economic & social & health developments)Recommendations. Money icon for cash transfers. Holding hands for in-kind transfers. Paper and pen for education systems. Hard hat for public works opportunities.



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