Regarding the Aug. 8 news article “Ivory Coast moving to avert U.S. cocoa ban”:
Although we don’t disagree with the first lady of the Ivory Coast, Dominique Ouattara, that a total ban on Ivorian cocoa would severely impact impoverished farmers, we do want to contest her claim that child labor problems depicted are rare. “This is an isolated case because in the other farms there are no children,” Ms. Ouattara said. A U.S. government-funded 2015 study by Tulane University found rampant child labor on the Ivory Coast’s cocoa farms, with 1.2 million children performing child labor in 2013 and 2014.
Sadly, researchers also found that the problem was growing rapidly: a 46 percent increase in Ivorian child laborers in six years.
Reid Maki, Alexandria
The writer is director of child labor advocacy for the National Consumers League.