In the News

ILRF: Poverty, Child Labor Persist On Cocoa Farms

Politico
12/18/2014

Despite substantial efforts by their governments, child labor and poverty persist in the cocoa farms of Ghana and the Ivory Coast, says the International Labor Rights Forum in a 64-page paper released yesterday. Over the course of two years of research, ILRF says it found many farm families living “on real incomes of about 40 cents per dependent per day.” They borrow money to “purchase inputs for their crop or to pre-sell their cocoa in order to finance the harvest and transport their cocoa, thus forcing many into cyclical patterns of indebtedness,” says IRLF.

Child labor still prevalent on W. African cocoa farms -ILRF

Reuters
12/17/2014

As many as 1.5 million children are working on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's top two producers, despite more than 10 years of efforts to reduce child labor, the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) said in a report.

The report, released on Wednesday, highlights how far the cocoa and chocolate industry still has to go to meet global standards as consumers increasingly demand that the production of cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, not include child labor.

17 killed in Uzbekistan's forced cotton harvest, report says

Toronto Star
11/15/2014

Seventeen people, including two children, died during this year’s cotton harvest in Uzbekistan, the bloodiest year to date, according to a shocking new report.

The two children, ages 3 and 5, died of smoke inhalation when a fire broke out in their home in Karakalpakstan, a remote area in the country’s northwest. Their mother was forced to leave them home alone when she was ordered to pick cotton, said Umida Niyazova, the Berlin-based director of the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights, which produced the report.

Children, teachers forced to toil in Uzbek cotton harvest - report

Reuters
11/13/2014

Uzbekistan forced millions of children and adults to work in its cotton harvest this year, resulting in deaths, harrassment and extortion, a report by a human rights group said on Friday.

The Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights said the government used fewer children than in 2013 to pick this year's cotton but had used more adults instead, including teachers and doctors.

"Cotton in Uzbekistan is produced by massive human rights violations, including forced labour," said Umida Niyazova, director of the Uzbek-German Forum.

Most Nations Reducing Worst Forms of Child Labour

Inter Press Service News Agency
10/08/2014

WASHINGTON, Oct 8 2014 (IPS) - Most of the world’s governments are taking measures to reduce the worst and most hazardous forms of child labour, according to a major report released here Tuesday by the U.S. Labour Department.

In its annual assessment of progress toward eliminating that kind of exploitation, the 958-page report found that roughly half of the 140-some countries and foreign territories covered by the report had made what it called “moderate” advances in the field.

These 5 Crops Are Still Hand-Harvested, And It's Hard Work

National Public Radio
09/01/2014

Mechanization has made the farming of many crops — lettuce and tomatoes among them — a lot less labor intensive. But some crops are still tended and harvested by hand, and it can be painstaking work.

How do you measure the labor intensity of crops? We thought there would be an easy answer to that, but there isn't. Some agricultural economists talk about labor input in terms of hours per acre, but that may not take into account the difficulty of the labor.

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