Rainforest Alliance, an International non-governmental organization, has developed a new Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) toolkit to help fight abuse in human rights-related issues such as child labour and forced labour in cocoa and goldmining.
The toolkit was developed based on recommendations from a research conducted on the strengths and weaknesses of existing HRDD tools used in the cocoa sector in the country’s cocoa and gold mining sectors.
The HRDD toolkit when implemented would help create a system that allows cooperatives in cocoa, goldmining and other organizations, irrespective of the size, to self-assess themselves by either setting up or improving on their systems to prevent, identify and address child and forced labour.
It was developed under the project “Tackling forced and child labour in Ghana's cocoa and mining"
The project is funded by the Norwegian Government through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) with International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) and Solidaridad as implementing partners.
The draft HRDD tool which is going to be piloted was presented to key stakeholders such as COCOBOD, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Minerals Commission, GAWU and others in Accra.
Six cooperatives in cocoa and goldmining were selected to pilot the tool for a period of six months. Actual implementation would begin with a three-day ‘Training of Trainers’ with five representatives each from the six cooperatives, comprising IMS staff, lead farmers, field officers and local executives of the cooperatives/associations.
The next level after the ToT will be the level two of the session, tagged as the “Cascading Effect” would see the five representatives from each of the six cooperatives train their members on the tools and actual implementation of assessing risks towards eradication of child and forced labour.
The pilot will cover about 6000 cocoa farmers/miners in 80 cocoa farming and mining communities in the Ashanti, Western, Eastern and Western North Regions of Ghana.
A day’s workshop of lesson’s learned from the pilot with the coops and relevant stakeholders will be held to elicit feedback and gather information for finalizing the tool which is expected to be scaled up for use beyond the implementing cooperatives.