Etienne Babila is back in school and out of Cameroon’s cocoa plantations thanks to the child labor project overseen by the International Labour Organization. Most of the world’s chocolate is made from West African cocoa. The ILO estimates that nearly 300,000 school-aged children work in dangerous conditions.
Rachel Babila runs a restaurant she established with ILO assistance. The child labor project has succeeded in sending 50 children back to school in her village and over a thousand across Cameroon.
Children employed in the cocoa industry face a variety of hazards including injury and poisoning from exposure to pesticides. Etienne demonstrates how child laborers spray dangerous chemicals without protective gear.
The Babila family restaurant is a success, and Etienne’s father performs side work making palm wine. The ILO project has helped 650 Cameroonian families start their own businesses and raised awareness of problems associated with child labor.
Credits: Child Labor
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Many children in Africa have to work or their families will starve. Often they work long hours alongside their parents. Etienne Babila survived two years of working in the cocoa plantations of Cameroon, but he is one of the lucky few. He and his family received help from the International Labour Organization to get Etienne out of work and back to school. There are estimates of up to a quarter of a million children being used in dangerous, exploitative labor across West Africa. Child Labor meets Etienne as he tells NGO worker, Julius Fomboh about the ordeals he went through, and what life holds for him and his family now that he is away from the fields and his parents have started their own business.
Length: 22 minutes
Copyright date: ©2007
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