COCOA ABRABOPA ASSOCIATION BUILDS CAPACITY; SYSTEMS TO IMPROVE HUMAN RIGHTS OUTCOMES IN COCOA-GROWING COMMUNITIES
The Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA) has expressed its commitment to transparency and continuous improvement of Human Rights cases in cocoa-growing communities.
The Association said it also has 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, as a result of the newly introduced Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System and the Rainforest Alliance Standard, it is proper for the Association to establish an Assess and Address Committee to help identify risks to which cocoa farmer’s children are exposed to.
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, the Chief Finance and Operations Manager, Sustainability Manager, Certification Manager, and the Chairman of the Committee who is Human Resource & Administrative Manager, CAA.
This was disclosed during a 2-day workshop at the True Vine Hotel, Kumasi. The training workshop ensured that all members received adequate knowledge and skills on effective handling of cases related to remediation of Child Labor, Forced Labor, Gender and Inequality and also help maintain transparent grievance procedures.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Anthony Agala said that to ensure the protection of human rights in all their operational areas; the Association commits to the following actions endorsed by Council Members.
“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” he pointed out a few.
Mr. Mamud Abdul Rahman the Certification Manager of CAA and also Rainforest Alliance Associate Trainer, schooled members on a variety of subjects which includes: Understanding the concepts and regulations of Child Labor, forced labor, discrimination, workplace violence and harassment.
Mr. Bart Draaijer the Sustainability Manager explained that, as at the 1st of August, 2021, about One Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety (1,290) households out of the expected Three Thousand Six Hundred and Thirty-Five (3,635) households have been visited in relation 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.