29_PC315934.JPG

 CHOCOLATE PROJECT:GHANA 

© Natsuki Yasuda/Dialogue for People

SMILE GHANA

COMMUNITY PROJECT

CHILD LABOUR-FREE ZONE

CORPORATE COLLABORATIONS

CONSUMER EDUCATION

& ADVOCACY 

 
IMG_5660.JPG

AT THE SOURCE

MISSION

ACE has been operating the SMILE Ghana community project in the Ashanti and Ahafo region of Ghana to withdraw and protect children from hazardous labour and support their quality education. We work in partnership with the local NGO CRADA (Child Research for Action and Development Agency).

 

At the same time, we support the farmers and communities to transition to sustainable cacao farming.

SMILE GHANA

PROJECT

batch_middlePC296140.JPG

BACKGROUND

The cacao bean, the raw material for chocolate, is mainly produced in western Africa. 70% of Japan's import of cacao come from Ghana, 80% of US imports are from Ghana and the Ivory Coast (2019), and 75% of EU imports are from Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria (2016).


In Ghana, right now around 710,000 children are  working under dangerous conditions in the production of cacao; this work includes using sharp hatchets and carrying heavy loads (University of Chicago 2020).

© Natsuki Yasuda/Dialogue for People

 
batch_middlePC296140.JPG

Cacao farms typically operate at a small-scale and farmers are increasingly paid less for their yield due to the decreasing market price of cacao. This means that farmers cannot make a living solely by producing cacao beans and therefore cannot afford to send their children to school. Other child labourers migrate with their families from poorer areas of northern Ghana and surrounding countries like Burkino Faso, Togo, Mali. Some are trafficked from these areas.

 

In addition, basic infrastructure and educational services in rural areas of Ghanas are still weak due to underfunding and neglect.

MAIN ACTIVITIES

 

 Raising Awareness

 & Community   Engagement 

is crucial to the immediate and long-term eradication of child labour and the protection of children's rights. We work closely with village leaders to disseminate information, and organize meetings  with community members to change attitudes regarding the importance of education. 

 Empowering

 Children & Youth

including through the creation of child committees (Child Dignity Clubs) where children can discuss their problems  themselves and voice their opinions to adults - including their family, teachers and community members.

Child Labour

Monitoring

where child labour is happening, checking school attendance and conducting home visits to engage with parents to understand what is preventing them from sending their children to school. Establish CCPCs  (Community Child Protection Committees) to which are trained to continue monitoring for child labour and carry out community engagement activities.

 

 Training Cacao   Farmers

in more effective agricultural techniques to enhance productivity, improve earnings and use new sustainable farming methods (at our Farmer Business School).  We target vulnerable and migrant farmers.

 Improving Learning

 Conditions

where child labour is happening, checking school attendance and conducting home visits to engage with parents to understand what is preventing them from sending their children to school. Establish CCPCs  (Community Child Protection Committees) to which are trained to continue monitoring for child labour and carry out community engagement activities.

 Improving

 People's Health &   Livelihoods

through conducting health checks up and holding workshops for communities to learn about hygiene, nutrition and health. We also offer training to improve  financial management (including introducing alternative sources of income) which further ensures investment in children's education.

batch_middlePC296013.JPG

© Natsuki Yasuda

© Natsuki Yasuda

555 children withdrawn from child labour and 6000 children provided with improved school facilities and supplies

(2009-2019)

A functioning monitoring system mobilized in 10 communities and 70 CPCC members trained to independently oversee operations

 Our impact so far 

Over 280 villagers trained in Farmer Business School in more effective and sustainable agricultural techniques

1500 households saw a at least a 25% increase in income following financial management training and extra

 sources of income

 

         Going to school every day is fun and my favourite subject is maths. I want to be a banker in the future, and my parents have come to be very proud of that."

John (pseudonym), 14-year-old, moved to the Bron-Ahafo area from northern Ghana with his family in 2018, however rather than going to school he immediately began working in the cacao fields. He dropped out in his third year of elementary school, and has never been back to school since. His parents had never been to school before, and told us that they "didn't know what school was."  Members of the village's Child Protection Committee persuaded his parents to send him to school, and John returned to the fifth grade class.

- John (pseudonym), 14 years old 

© Natsuki Yasuda

 
 
35_DSC01443.JPG

DOWN THE SUPPLY CHAIN

MISSION

International cross-sector collaboration is vital in eliminating child labour further upstream in the supply chain.  As of March 2019, we have collaborated with 21 corporations and incorporated 80 products into our various campaigns.

Read more about our Social Business Acceleration Program 

CORPORATE

COLLABORATIONS

batch_middlePC296101.JPG

CHILD LABOUR FREE

 ZONE SYSTEM (CLFZ)

Having learnt many lessons from our experiences through the SMILE Ghana community projects and the successful creation of several child labour-free areas, we sought to scale up the operation to a national level by collaborating with the Ghanaian government.  
 

By collaborating with the Ghanaian Ministry of Employment and Labour (MELR) and the Ghana Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU), we organized a series of consultations with relevant stakeholders to create the Protocols and Guidelines for Establishing Child Labour Free Zones (CLFZs) in Ghana, which was launched in March 2020. 
 

The establishment of the Protocols and Guidelines forms part of the government's National Plan of Action Phase 2 (NPA2) to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in the country.  
 

Our collaborative efforts were made possible by Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting LLC. (Japan)  who  provided us with financial and technical support. 

READ MORE: 

https://www.jica.go.jp/english/news/field/2019/20200312_01.html

16_PC284082.JPG

TACHIBANA

One of Japan's largest trading companies has helped set up Fair trade systems to support cacao farmers and work with local business in Sierra Leone, Ghana and other cacao-producing countries.

We work with them to import child labour-free cacao that is certified as Fair trade from SMILE communities in Ghana and sell them to various chocolate brands.  

PALET D'OR

In 2014, chocolatier Shunsuke Saegusa opened a bean to bar chocolate workshop, Artisan Palet D'Or, in Tokyo and used cacao beans produced in Ghana's SMILE communities to produce bonbon chocolat and bean-to-bar chocolate (Ghana SMILE Cacao premium series) which generated donations of 200 yen (1.87USD) per package to fund our community projects.

CREATING ETHICAL BUSINESS MODELS

Since 2013, we have been collaborating with chocolate and confectionary corporations to establish child labour free business models.

The model is simple: Japanese corporations purchase ethically-sourced cacao, consumers buy ethical chocolate and support cacao-growing communities, in return the company can reinvest more in the cacao-growing communities to resolve child labour.

© Natsuki Yasuda/ Dialogue for People

16_PC284082.JPG

INVESTING BACK INTO LOCAL COMMUNITIES

Some of the companies we collaborate with only use child labour-free ethical cacao in some of their products, in the mean time they invest in the local communities through donations from their chocolate sales.

© Natsuki Yasuda/ Dialogue for People

MORINAGA & CO., LTD.

Morinaga is a major player in the chocolate and snack industry in Japan.  Their “1-Choco-for-1-Smile” cause-related marketing campaign donates 1 Japanese yen (nearly 1 cent USD) for every box purchased of selected chocolate products during campaign months. 

ACE has partnered with them since 2011 and these donations help fund our SMILE Ghana projects. Since 2013, the company also sells several chocolate products from the cacao produced in our child labour -free zones.

BLACK THUNDER 

Black Thunder became an ACE corporate member and donated to SMILE Ghana. In March 2020, their parent company, Yuraku, started an initiative to switch to the procurement of child labour-free cacao for which they have enlisted our consulting services.

 
IMG_8561.JPG

ADVOCACY

CLCCG 2019, Cote D'Ivoire 

(Coordinating Group for the Elimination of Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry)

IMG_8561.JPG

ACE Managing Director Tomoko Shiroki and Ghana Project Manager Akira Kondo attended the annual meeting of the CLCCG. The platform is made up of the governments of the world's first and second largest cocoa producers, the Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, the U.S. Department of Labour, and the chocolate and cocoa industry. 

 

We presented our initiatives to solve child labour issues in the supply chain through close collaboration between Ghana and Japan, cacao producers, confectionary companies and consumers. 

We also regularly attend and present at conferences held by the World Cocoa Foundation.

READ MORE about our international advocacy.

20180803_080706682_iOS.jpg

DOWN THE SUPPLY CHAIN

MULTIMEDIA,WORKSHOPS & EVENTS 

We have created and published several books and films to raise consumer awareness of exploitation and child labour in the supply chain, as well as raising funds for our community projects. 

We hold seminars across schools, universities, organizations and corporations across Japan. 

Our staff and our volunteers organize, facilitate and support events and sell various products to fundraise for our projects.

CONSUMER EDUCATION

changeno.jpg
book3.jpg
book2.jpg
book4.jpg
24_DSC05027.JPG

SUPPORT US

 PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN AND YOUTHS ACROSS THE GLOBE

Contact Us

Sign Up & Stay Connected

ACTION AGAINST CHILD EXPLOITATION

Every child has the right to play, learn, grow. 


ACE aims to transform the world into a place where all children and youths are free to shape their own lives and capable of building a society that they want to live in.

 

Ending child labour is one of our core strategic goals.

We believe that achieving this goal in the long-term requires addressing every level of the global supply chain. As such, we operate through international cooperation, supporting rural communities in Asia and Africa, collaborating with private corporations, and engaging in consumer education.

We are a Japanese NGO active in international advocacy to protect children from exploitation 

across the globe.

CONTACT US

〒110-0005
6-1-6 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Okachimachi Green Heights 1005

FOLLOW US

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

© 2020 ACE Japan