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Child labor and access to education

Children in school


Tackling child labor risks is a critical part of a just transition to a fairer and more equitable food system. 

We are driven by the fundamental principle that all children deserve the chance to learn and grow in a safe and healthy environment, without having to undertake work that is dangerous in any way or that interferes with education.

Our innovative income accelerator program was established to tackle child labor risk in cocoa farming households by helping to improve the livelihoods of cocoa-farming families, while also advancing regenerative agricultural practices and gender equality.

Protecting children and increasing access to education

70.6 %


Setting standards across our supply chains

Nestlé was the first company to set up a Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) in the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire. This system identifies at-risk children within cocoa and farming communities, provides remediation and monitors their situation to avoid them becoming involved in child labor. Community liaisons – who come from the local communities themselves – identify practical ways we can help. For instance, we build and renovate schools and have partnered with the Jacobs Foundation to provide special classes that help children catch up on missed schooling. We also help parents secure birth certificates to register their children at school.

This system operates in our cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. We extended to our Ivorian coffee supply chain in 2023. 

Children in classroom

Our key actions to address child labor risk and advance education

  • Strengthen Nestlé’s commitments on child labor and access to education in line with existing and emerging best practices
  • Train relevant employees and staff on child labor risks
  • Strengthen direct suppliers' capacity to uphold Nestlé's requirements on child labor and access to education as part of our Supplier Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence Assurance Framework
  • Engage and support prioritized direct suppliers in taking action to address child labor risks and impacts in their own operations and supply chain
  • Identify and prioritize specific interventions addressing child labor risks at national and subnational levels
  • Engage in collaborative approaches to develop community-based or government-based grievance mechanisms

Addressing the root causes of child labor

Nestlé uses its resources and influence to tackle the root causes of rural poverty and improve the livelihoods of cocoa-farming families as a further means of tackling child labor. We do this by supporting living incomes, empowering women and encouraging farmers to diversify and create additional income streams, for example by cultivating other crops. These moves help to improve livelihoods and seek to ensure farmers and their families don’t feel the need to send their children to work to shore up household income. Our income accelerator program has reached a ‘test at scale’ phase in Côte d’Ivoire, reaching 10 000 cocoa-farming families. The program rewards families with cash incentives for keeping their children in school and adopting good agricultural practices, planting forest and fruit trees and diversifying incomes. The program aims to reach 160 0000 cocoa-growing families globally by 2030.

Nestlé’s monitoring and remediation system is helping to address child labor risks

We rely on hundreds of community liaisons who regularly meet tens of thousands of families within cocoa-growing communities. These liaisons – who all come from cocoa-growing communities themselves – understand the issues farmers and their families face. They counsel families on the dangers of child labor and monitor children through repeat visits, observing activity in communities and visiting farms. They also advise Nestlé on what measures are best suited to their community or to alleviate rural poverty and increase access to education.

Investing in strategic partnerships

Given the scale and complexity of human rights challenges around the world, including child labor risks, we believe in collaboration and partnerships to create positive impact at scale. Nestlé has invested in relationships with various organizations to share learnings and cultivate common approaches. Organizations we work with on child labor include the Fair Labor Association, the International Cocoa Initiative and the International Labour Organization’s Child Labour Platform.

Catching up on missed classes

We know that there is a direct correlation between better education and lower levels of child labor risk, so Nestlé prioritizes access to school as the core way to address this risk. We have partnered with the Jacobs Foundation to create over a hundred ‘bridging’ classes that help children who have missed school due to work. These special classes deliver two years’ worth of the national curriculum in small classes in just nine months.

Empowering young coffee growers

In Honduras, Nescafé has introduced a training program to build human rights knowledge and capacity in young farmers. Working with the non-profits Swisscontact and CoHonducafé Foundation, local teams on the ground have reached 5 000 ‘Jóvenes Caficultores’ (young coffee growers) with essential guidance on promoting female empowerment and preventing child labor risk.

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