The Harkin—Engel Protocol , [A] sometimes referred to as the Cocoa Protocol , is an international agreement aimed at ending the worst forms of child labor according to the International Labour Organization 's Convention and forced labor according to ILO Convention 29 in the production of cocoa , the main ingredient in chocolate. The protocol was negotiated by U. Senator Tom Harkin and U. Representative Eliot Engel in response to a documentary and multiple articles in and reporting widespread child slavery and child trafficking in the production of cocoa. The protocol was signed in September Joint Statements in , and and a Joint Declaration in extended the commitment to address the problem.
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The Harkin—Engel Protocol , [A] sometimes referred to as the Cocoa Protocol , is an international agreement aimed at ending the worst forms of child labor according to the International Labour Organization 's Convention and forced labor according to ILO Convention 29 in the production of cocoa , the main ingredient in chocolate.
The protocol was negotiated by U. Senator Tom Harkin and U. Representative Eliot Engel in response to a documentary and multiple articles in and reporting widespread child slavery and child trafficking in the production of cocoa. The protocol was signed in September Joint Statements in , and and a Joint Declaration in extended the commitment to address the problem. In late a BBC documentary reported the use of enslaved children in the production of cocoa —the main ingredient in chocolate  — in West Africa.
This amendment was to give the U. The parties agreed to a six-article plan:. A Joint Statement extended the protocol to also identify and eliminate forced labor defined according to ILO Convention 29 in the production of cocoa.
The protocol laid out a non-binding agreement for the cocoa industry to regulate itself without any legal implications,  but Engel threatened to reintroduce legislation if the deadlines were not met. By July —the deadline date—the cocoa industry made progress on their goal to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.
Most of the requirements were achieved by the deadline. The funding was discontinued in , but another company was contracted to perform verification in But all the protocol requirements were not met by the deadline. By July the extent of child involvement in cocoa production was unclear. It was also unclear if the cocoa industry's efforts were helping the problem. The Joint Statement also stated industry would support programs for the local cocoa-growing communities including teacher training programs.
The US Congress was not satisfied with the cocoa industry's response. It gave responsibility to the US Department of Labor to find a university contractor to oversee the efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The case was appealed to the US Court of Appeals. By the revised deadline—1 June —all the objectives were still not met.
The focus of the Joint Statement was that of certification. But independent verification, partially funded by industry, on those areas was not fully completed. The deadline was extended until the end of At that time, industry was required to have a full certification and independent verification. All parties reaffirmed their commitment to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Joint Declaration summarized the pledge of the Harkin—Engel Protocol and reaffirmed the commitment to achieve the objectives of the protocol.
Specifically, they were to remove children from and prevent children's involvement in the worst forms of child labor, promote sustainable livelihoods for cocoa growers, establish and implement community-based child labor monitoring systems, and continue national child labor surveys. The Joint Declaration established the Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group to coordinate the activities of the framework and provide governance.
The responsibility of the cocoa and chocolate industries is to continue to support the child labor surveys, support remediation efforts, provide sustainable livelihoods for the households of cocoa growers, try to ensure cocoa supply chains are using safe practices.
Children are commonly involved in hazardous work and some are still involved in the worst forms of child labor. Between and , several thousand children were involved in remediation activities including in each country. These activities include withdrawal, rehabilitation, reinsertion, education and vocational training and these efforts were attributed to funding related to the Harkin—Engel Protocol.
In , the Payson Center reported the cocoa industry has not fully completed any of the six articles. The cocoa industry still has to prove it can self-regulate. The Payson Center recommended the industry create a certification system that can assure consumers the worst forms of child labor are not used in production, create an independent verification of that certification system, implement child labor monitoring systems, and increase remediation activities to address the worst forms of child labor.
A study of the use of child labor in the cocoa fields, published in Fortune magazine in the U. Sona Ebai, the former secretary general of the Alliance of Cocoa Producing Countries said that eradicating child labor was an immense task and that the chocolate companies' newfound commitment to expanding the investments in cocoa communities are not quite sufficient. I think child labor cannot be just the responsibility of industry to solve.
I think it's the proverbial all-hands-on-deck: government, civil society, the private sector. And there, you really need leadership. A report later that year by New Food Economy stated that the Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems implemented by the International Cocoa Initiative and its partners has been useful, but "they are currently reaching less than 20 percent of the over two million children impacted".
Class action lawsuits in the US against companies in the cocoa industry have not achieved much success. All were dismissed in , although the plaintiffs filed an appeal. The company has built or renovated 42 schools in cocoa-growing communities and has helped support families so they can afford to keep their kids in school rather than sending them off to work and the company has implemented a monitoring system, it says, to identify at-risk children and report the findings back to the company and its suppliers.
When alerted to instances of child trafficking or slavery, "we report it to appropriate authorities immediately". It suggested extending the protocol to the whole world, because exploitative practices were also reported in the cocoa industries in Brazil and Indonesia.
The Child Labor Coalition also recommended that the chocolate industry set the price of chocolate so that the producers make enough money to fairly compensate their workers. In , ten years after implementation, it was unclear if the protocol had any effect in reducing child labor. One Payson Center researcher claimed few of the protocol commitments have been implemented, but the ICI claimed five of the six articles have been completed and they are actively working on the sixth.
He thinks that the same issues will be present in five years and that changes will not come through the protocol, but instead from consumers who demand change. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Children in cocoa production. Retrieved 7 January For a decade and a half, the big chocolate makers have promised to end child labor in their industry—and have spent tens of millions of dollars in the effort. But as of the latest estimate, 2. What will it take to fix the problem?
ABC Ballarat. Retrieved 28 April International Labour Organization. Retrieved 26 April BBC News. Retrieved 2 January Retrieved 4 August Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Archived from the original on 17 September Retrieved 25 April Policy" PDF. Archived from the original PDF on 11 March Salon Media Group, Inc. Archived from the original on 1 February Retrieved 19 April International Cocoa Initiative. Archived from the original on 8 December Eliot Engel House website. Archived from the original on 10 January Retrieved 27 April International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.
July Archived from the original PDF on 24 October International Labor Rights Fund. May Archived from the original PDF on 26 December World Cocoa Foundation. Archived from the original on 15 June Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 30 April International Labor Rights Forum.
EarthRights International. Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law. Foley and Hoag LLP. US Federal Register.
US Department of Labor. Archived from the original on 16 April US State Department. June Retrieved 23 April Retrieved 8 January
Harkin Engel Protocol
For chocolate lovers, the thought of this creamy rich confection invokes an emotion or passion if you will that makes it an essential part of the daily diet. Some, consuming it multiple times a day. We give chocolate as gifts for special occasions and profess our affection through ornate heart shaped boxes full of the decadent treat. But what is the true price of chocolate commerce? And some would argue that over the years, the value of labor and slaves has even diminished. What has history taught us? For centuries, children have been used as slaves in the cacao trade.
Read the full post here. The Harkin-Engel Protocol, a cocoa industry-wide agreement signed in , was written to put an end to forced child labor in chocolate by That deadline had to be extended to , and again to It's now been more than 10 years…CNN asked the companies who signed the protocol for their response. Although chocolate is a global multi-billion dollar industry, cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast, a West African country that supplies almost half of the world's cocoa beans, are struggling to make ends meet. They earn just a few dollars a day. There are fears that if the Ivorian government does not fulfill its promises to reform the industry and farmers do not start making an increased profit soon, they will abandon their crops, pushing up chocolate prices around the world.