• Ivory Coast: Exploitation and child labor in coffee and cocoa fields

Ivory Coast: Exploitation and child labor in coffee and cocoa fields

May 8th, 2012

Child soldiers in African conflict zones, young Indian or Peruvian girls giving themselves to sexual activities in order to respond to their families’ financial needs, or even children selling bags of water called “Pure Water” in the streets of Ghana. They are everywhere. You may not see them if you don’t look close enough but they are everywhere. Exploitation of children seems widespread elsewhere but what about the exploitation of children in my country, Cote d’Ivoire?  How does it translate here?

Only a few words sum it up: coffee and cocoa fields. From ages 9 to 15, they have to work all day long, in drastic and sometimes even dangerous conditions for close to no money. I feel ashamed not to have known about this problem. Living in the city, I can easily ignore or remain blissfully ignorant about the conditions in which children elsewhere in my nation live. Poverty being still very stark in Cote d’Ivoire, parents of these children are left with no choice but to allow their children to go to the fields to complement the household revenue. The former government is said to have blatantly ignored this crucial issue now that a new government is sitting in Yamoussoukro . Can I have the hope to see change for these children of Cote d’Ivoire?

Kadiza Kone, Now AfriCAN Reporter Hero

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