Molyko, Southwest Region - Buea, Cameroon


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Among the multitude of interventions to address the problem of involvement of children in cocoa production, one of the responses to the presence of child labor, has been the institution of Child Labor Monitoring System (CLMS). While systems to systematically monitor children with respect to their exposure and risk involvement. This dissertation seeks to assess the effects of CLMS on children involvement on the production of cocoa of Telcar cocoa ltd. Three specific research objectives were formulated to guide and direct the study by looking at how the different types of CLMS will affect children involvement in cocoa production of Telcar cocoa ltd. They   assess how school – based system, industry-based and community-based approach will influence children’s involvement in cocoa production of Telcar cocoa ltd. The main aim of this study is to assess the effect of CLMS on children involvement on the cocoa production of Telcar Cocoa Ltd. The survey research design was adopted for the study while a purposive sampling technique was used to select participants of the study. The study made use of mainly primary data which was collected from 80 respondents that make up the sample size. Data was collected through the administration of questionnaires to the cocoa producing communities under the CLMS sector working at the different operation centre and analysed using the SPSS tool. From the results obtained in the study it showed that industry based system and community-based approach positively significantly affects children involvement in the production of cocoa at Telcar. . From the research findings, certain recommendations were made such as improving the sensitization campaign and CLMS procedures implemented in creating industrial awareness of child Labour involvement in cocoa production Telcar cocoa should reduce the efforts made on the school-based system of organizing seminars and sensitizing the students on involvements of children in cocoa production since it has proven to have a negative effect



1.1 Background To The Study

Of the estimated 168 million labourers worldwide, roughly half-85 million works in hazardous conditions (ILO, 2013). while in absolute terms, child labor as well as hazardous child labor has fallen between 2008 and 2020 due to socio economic conditions of inequality, population pressure and insufficient access to education, these practices persist especially in sub-sahara Africa (UN, 2006) worldwide. 10.6% of the children are engage in labor and 5.4% are subjected to hazardous work. In sub-sahara Africa, there are an estimated 59 million child laborers which is 21.4% of the 5-17 years population. The problem of child labour as a source of cheap labour has existed over centuries both in the developed countries and developing countries until the beginning of 20th century (Cunning & Viazzo, 1996). Child labour is an issue of both developing and developed in the latter, it existed in the 18th and 19th century. In Great Britain incidences of cheap child labourers were first spotted in factories working under exploitative conditions (UNICEF, 2020). Whereas in the US during the pre-industrial period, children were engaged in productive labour such as domestic work, agricultural work under the supervision of the parents and the income was meant for family use consequently child labour was not considered a social problem (Pallas, 1993). Though child labour within the developed countries is said to have been eliminated by mid-20th century, some scholars argue that the problem is still inexistence (Lavallette, 1994).

The problem is more prevalent in countries experiencing conflict and disaster. Some children in child labour work 43 hours weekly. Estimates for boys involved in child labour are higher than those for girls but those estimates do not include household chores. 70% of children in child labour work in agriculture mainly in subsistence and commercial farming and herding livestock. One-third of children in child labour are completely outside the educational systems and those that do attend perform poorly (NHDR, 2005).

The agricultural sector in most African countries is characterised by high level of children’s involvement in various aspects of the agricultural value chain. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), about 71% of child labour activities are found in the agricultural sector comprising both subsistence and commercial farming (CWIN, 2001). The remainder are in the services (17%) and the industrial sectors (12%). According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), child labour in the agricultural sector has been shown to have deleterious effects on children as well as the future of the agricultural systems; it perpetuates rural poverty (FAO, 2018).

Estimates from the UN suggest that although most African government have taken strong actions to combat child labour, between 2012 and 2016, the prevalence of child labour increased within the continent. Similarly, disaggregated data indicate that child labour in agriculture increased from 59% in 2012 to about 71% in 2016 compared to an increase from 7% to 12% recorded in the agricultural sector despite the numerous programmes and strategies that children in cocoa-growing areas face the realities of rural poverty. The regular practice of children working on cocoa farms is often a natural way of life for cocoa farmers who for a variety of reasons, want to train their children and at the same time use them in order to reduce labour cost on the family’s farm (World bank, 2006). According to ILO 2004, the global statistics of child labourer at 160 million children globally and 112 million child labourers in agriculture domain, 1.56 million child labourers in the cocoa production in Ivory Coast and Ghana Africa represents 61 million child labourers in the agricultural domain.


Any work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children: work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, work that intercepts children’s education by limiting their school attendance, forcing them to leave school prematurely or obliging them to combine schooling with excessive and arduous work tasks is categorised under child labour (Ray & Lancaster, 2003). On the other hand, the ICI upholds the international convention that promote children’s rights and that outlaw this labour supporting national laws. Not all work done by children is classified as child labour. Typically, carrying out of light, non-hazardous tasks on the family farming under the supervision of elderly peers and without compromising their schooling is considered as acceptable child work. This type of work is often necessary for the welfare of many families in West African rural societies. It also contributes to children’s development providing them with skills and experience that help them prepare for their adult farming life (Kamoth,2007).

By contrast, activities such as carrying heavy loads or using chemicals are considered as “unacceptable forms of child labour” because they are physically dangerous for children. Another form of extreme and criminal forms of child exploitation is child trafficking and other works undertaken by children in bonded labour (Khan, 2007). In September 2001, by ratifying the Hakin-Engel protocol the cocoa industry committed to reduce the most hazardous forms of child labour by 70% by 2020, yet Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer is still struggling with child labour on its cocoa farms. Indeed, the number of children under the age of 18 working on cocoa farms (certified or not) it actually increased between 2013 and 2019 to reach an estimated number of 790,000. It is believed that 97% of them are engaged in some hazardous work, including clearing land, harvesting cocoa with machete or applying agro-chemicals on cocoa farms (Kamoth, 2007).

Cameroon being one of the world’s largest cocoa producing countries, this crop is a vital source of income for thousands of farmers, their families and communities. As in other cocoa producing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, poverty and lack of social infrastructure in cocoa growing communities are common places raising the risk of child labour. Recognising the need for action to protect children and create sustainable supply chains, ICI and Cargill began working in Cameroon in September 2019 (Telcar report, 2019). Together, these two bodies set up the system of CLMS. CLMS were developed 20years ago by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and later adapted for use in the cocoa sector. Such systems are estimated to cover approximately 25% of the cocoa supply chain in Cameroon and the expansion is set to continue.

CLMS are a means of targeting, prevention, mitigation and remediation support to children involved in or at risk of child labour, as well as to their families and communities. The analysis uses data from household monitoring visits to explore the ability to identify child labourers after they have received support to assess the effectiveness at reducing exposure to hazardous tasks and improving school participation. ICI supported Cargill to set up the CLMS across 17cocoa cooperatives covering 146 communities within the Telcar joint ventures with supply chain in Cameroon. Once fully operational, the system identifies and track children in child labour, in addition to providing remediation activities suited to the local context and tailored to the specific needs of the children identified.

These activities can include targeted awareness raising the development of educational of educational infrastructure, families and more. This follows on from Cargill on-going world in West Africa that has seen over 58,000 farmers in its supply chain reached by the CLMS (Telcar Report, 2017).

The initial step in the project saw 71field coaches trained on children protection and the CLMS methods in Cameroon in the Centre Region coaches receive training on a wide range of topics to help them carry out their work including the definition of light work and child labour and details of child protection. Child safeguarding and awareness rising in addition to information on data collection processes and personal data collection. So far, these agents have visited around 5,000 farming households interviewing families and their children conducting awareness raising sessions on hazardous child labour and monitoring for any cases. These visits allow Telcar together with Cargill and ICI’s support to identify and develop remediation targeted at the community, household or individual level. Ongoing monitoring then enables the impact on child labour to be tracked and further remediation provided as necessary.

Expanding the work in Cameroon is an exciting and new experience, allowing the utilisation of new experience and expertise to benefit more children in cocoa- growing communities awareness raising materials to the local context and legal environment and the adaptation of CLMS data collection tools which continue to improve them based on our experience so far and through the next steps that will be implemented over the coming months. Explained Lange ICI’s Director of policy and programs “All of this essential before upscaling the system in Cargill’s supply chain in Cameroon if we’re to have an issue as complex as child labour simply do not work” By embedding the CLMS structure in Telcar Cocoa supply chain in Cameroon, we are supporting the communities we work with to tackle child labour while putting in place measures that benefit farmers, their families and children” said Taco Terhejden, Cargill’s Director of cocoa and chocolate sustainability through the CLMS, and with ICI’s support, we will be able to pinpoint those households and children that are in need and identify what sort of intention is needed(GOV,2020).

Telcar Cocoa’s pilot child labour monitoring and remediation system has already reached 4,000 farmers in Cameroon. This was revealed by the agricultural product producers in a press release issued on May 12. This network of farmers should be extended by the end of 2025. According to the firm which is represented in Cameroon by Telcar cocoa. The aim is to extend the scope of its child labour monitoring and remediation mechanism in Cameroon. By working directly with coaches and farmer’s cooperatives, the pilot programme was designed using a risk-based approach such as the presence of a local school or the number of children in the household explained Mathias Lange, Director of policy and programmes of the international cocoa initiative (ICI). This approach will enable us to identify the communities most at risk


One of the major problems associated with children involvement in cocoa productivity is that it leads to lead to mental and physical health challenges of the children, most children involve in cocoa production usually suffer from illnesses such as Lung infection, skin diseases resulting from the handling of agro-chemicals and other dangerous product. Telcar Cocoa Ltd is dedicated in allocating resources to the phase of the CLMS project to cocoa producers which will enable cocoa farmers to avoid using children in cocoa production. These developmental funds to these households are made available at the phase of the CLMS project and it also helps to stop or limit the number of children being hired below the minimum age (Telcar, 2022).

CLMS project carried out by Telcar Cocoa is to remove children from hazardous works in the cocoa production chain and increase the number of children in cocoa growing communities. This sensitisation is done at different levels such as School-based, Industry-based, and the community base approach of the CLMS project. The major objective is to build and extend social protection system through the training and awareness raising phase of the CLMS project which involves carrying out work place or household assessment. Despite the high level of sensitisation done at the schools, workplace, industry and the community at large, most farmers still introduce their children into child labour activities as a means of training their children (Cargill/Telcar,2022).

The reality on the field is that the existence of hazardous works carried out by children in the cocoa production chain has devastating consequences on the children involved in the production sector and the quantity and quality of cocoa purchase by Telcar Cocoa because the cocoa is not produced by specialised trained farmers as such the society as a whole. Employment of trained specialist in the production of cocoa will lead to high cost of production which in turn affects the productivity of Telcar Cocoa Ltd. Could this be reason why cocoa producers use child labour in the production process which goes a long way to restrict children from their fundamental rights and threatening their future (Cargill,2022).


The main research question is what is the effect of Child Labour Monitoring System on children involvement in the cocoa production of Telcar Cocoa Ltd?


  1. To what extent does school-base system of child labour monitoring have on children involvement in the cocoa production of Telcar cocoa Ltd?

  2. How does the industry-based approach of child labor monitoring system affect children involvement in the cocoa production of Telcar Ltd.?

  • To what extend does the community-based system of child labour monitoring system have on children involvement in cocoa production of Telcar cocoa ltd


The main objective of this study is to assess the effect of CLMS on children involvement in cocoa production at Telcar Cocoa Ltd.

 Specific objectives are to:

  1. To investigate the effect of school-based system on children involvement in the cocoa production of Telcar cocoa Ltd

  2. To determine what effect industry-based approach system have on children involvement in the cocoa production of Telcar Ltd.

  • To evaluate the effect of community-based system on children involvement in Telcar cocoa Ltd.


  1. H0: School-based system does not significantly affect children involvement in the cocoa production at Telcar cocoa Ltd.
  2. H0: Industry-based approach does not significantly affect children involvement in the coco production at Telcar cocoa Ltd
  3. H0: Community-based system does not significantly affect children involvement in the coco production at Telcar cocoa Ltd


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