Protection of children's rights

Child labor in cocoa farming is a systemic issue rooted in poverty, lack of awareness, a shortage of adult labor and an absence of educational facilities in cocoa-producing villages. In agricultural value chains, especially in the cocoa sector in West African countries, it is a persistent and complex challenge that requires intense, continuous, and collaborative efforts from all stakeholders active in the sector. We are aware that we do not have all the answers on how to prevent abuses of children’s rights in our supply chains. We are however fully engaged in working to continuously enhance the effectiveness of our systems in order to address this risk in our cocoa supply chain and beyond.

Lindt & Sprüngli’s cocoa suppliers who are implementing the Farming Program are expected to effectively protect children's rights along the supply chain by implementing a Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS). The CLMRS measures include training and awareness-raising, identifying prohibited child labor, and various measures for prevention and remediation of child labor, such as investments in community infrastructure like building of schools or water boreholes, setting up Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLAs), or promoting income diversification activities..

In 2021, we developed our own CLMRS Guidance Document, which describes our prevention, monitoring and remediation approach to child labor in more detail. With the implementation of a CLMRS that meets our requirements as an integral part of the Farming Program, we set out clear targets related to the protection of children’s rights in contracts for suppliers, including resources dedicated to CLMRS implementation. For suppliers not involved in our Program, we rely on CLMRS guidance, implementation and verification through Rainforest Alliance certification.

By 2025, we aim for 100% of our cocoa volume from child labor risk countries to be covered by a Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) that is being rolled out or is implemented.. In 2023, a total of 66.1% of cocoa from child labor risk countries was sourced from locations where this was the case.

To strengthen our collective action on child labor prevention, we belong to the Child Learning and Education Facility (CLEF). CLEF is a coalition dedicated to enhancing access to and the quality of education in cocoa-growing regions of Côte d'Ivoire by constructing school infrastructure, training teachers in effective educational practices, and engaging parents in their children’s learning. The coalition is led by the Ivorian Government in collaboration with the cocoa and chocolate industry and philanthropic foundations. Joining CLEF includes a financial commitment to invest 1.25 million CHF in the initiative.

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