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Despite years of sensitization and implementation of international conventions and recommendations to address the issue of child labor in African cocoa-growing communities, few changes have actually been made in the daily lives of these communities. In Côte d’Ivoire, for instance, children continue to go to the cocoa farms with their parents and relatives as an everyday routine because child labor is intertwined with underlying basic social norms in African rural societies. It is, therefore, important to understand that these social norms are often inconsistent with international norms on childhood, labor, and social protection. While learning through labor is a central yardstick of child socialization in Ivoirian communities, international norms appear to undermine this tie. Although participation in plantation work and formal school attendance comprise an indivisible whole that allows children to help their families and ensure a future for themselves, international conventions aim to divide these into separate elements. As a result, international standards are not widely adopted because they are not shaped by on-the-ground community-level realities.


Copyright Alfred Babo 2014

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U.C. Davis Journal of International Law & Policy

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Babo, Alfred. “Child Labor In Cocoa-Growing Communities In Côte D’Ivoire: Ways To Implement International Standards In Local Communities”. U.C. Davis Journal of International Law & Policy vol. 21, 2014, pp 23 - 41.