The Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA) has indicated its committed to transparency and continuous improvement of human rights cases in cocoa growing communities, with a special focus on building capacity and systems to improve human rights outcomes rather than on punitive approaches which can lead to human rights violations.
According to CAA, results of the newly introduced Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System and the new Rainforest Alliance Standard, requires the establishment an Assess and Address Committee to help identify the risks that are exposed to children of cocoa farmers in the production of the commodity.
The Association explained that, the committee will help implement risk mitigation measures to prevent the identified risks from happening; monitor the actions taken to improve the way risks are addressed and remediate any case identified.
The committee includes: The 8 CAA Council Members, Chief Finance and Operations Manager, Sustainability Manager, Certification Manager and The Chairman of the Committee who is Human Resource & Administrative Manager, CAA.
“We have established a system to assess and address risks of child labor, forced labor, workplace violence and harassment, and discrimination; managed by competent, trusted individuals and supported by management,” Chairman of the committee, Mr. Anthony Agala, disclosed at a two-day workshop held at the True Vine Hotel, Kumasi.
The training workshop ensured that all members received adequate knowledge and skills on effective handling of causes related to remediation of Child Labor, Forced Labor, Gender and Inequality and also help maintain transparent grievance procedures.
Mr. Agala said that to ensure the protection of human rights in all their operational areas, the Association commits to the following actions signed by Council Members.
Certification Manager of CAA and a Rainforest Alliance Associate Trainer, Mr. Mamud Abdul Rahman, schooled members on a variety of subjects which including: Understanding the concepts and regulations of Child Labor, forced labor, discrimination, workplace violence and harassment.
Sustainability Manager, Bart Draaijer, explained that, as at the 1st of August, 2021 about 1,290 households out of an expected 3,635 households had been visited in relations to child labour and school dropout cases.
“Our Child Development Officers have identified 9 cases so far and have reported to the committee. We have agreed on an amount of Six Thousand (USD 6,000) United States Dollars to remediate and support these children,” he said.
The Chief Finance and Operations Manager, Mr. Patrick Van Brakel, used the opportunity to encourage committee members to continue with their hard work and help end human rights outcomes rather than on punitive approaches which can lead to human rights violations.