Children’s Work in West African Cocoa Production: Drivers, contestations and critical reflections

D Thorsen, Roy Maconachie

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


This chapter starts with the fact that Ghana, the world’s second largest cocoa producer, has signed up to the US-led Harkin–Engel Protocol, signalling its commitment to ending the worst forms of child labour in cocoa production. It then highlights the tension between those who view all children’s work as ‘harmful’ and unacceptable (the ‘abolitionists’), and those who locate children’s work on a wider canvas, where cocoa production is embedded within local social institutions and family relations. The chapter provides a synthesis of recent academic and policy debates in relation to children’s work in cocoa production. In doing so, it provides a more dynamic assessment of children’s work in the West African cocoa sector, a prerequisite for more tangible, empirically grounded, pro-poor child protection policies and interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren’s Work in African Agriculture
Subtitle of host publicationThe Harmful and the Harmless
EditorsJ. Sumberg, R. Sabates-Wheeler
PublisherBristol University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781529226065, 9781529226072
ISBN (Print)9781529226058
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2023


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