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Falling cocoa prices threaten child labor spike in Ghana, Ivory Coast | Reuters

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DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A drop in global cocoa prices threatens to undermine efforts to stamp out child labor in Ghana and Ivory Coast, the world’s two biggest growers, as falling incomes could force farmers to send their children to work, charities said on Monday.

More than two million children are estimated to work in the cocoa industry across the two West African nations, where they carry heavy loads, spray pesticides and fell trees using sharp tools, according to the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI).

The countries’ governments, civil society groups and some of the world’s top chocolate producers have in recent years ramped up efforts to tackle child labor in supply chains, invest in cocoa growing communities, and get more children into school.

Yet the economies of Ghana and Ivory Coast, which together account for more than 60 percent of the world’s cocoa supply, have been hit hard by a sharp drop in world prices that have seen cocoa futures plummet by around a third since last summer.

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Falling cocoa prices threaten child labor spike in Ghana, Ivory Coast | Reuters.

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