Human Rights Due Diligence: Eliminating Child Labour Risks in the Cocoa/Chocolate Sector

About this webinar

Watch this webinar below to learn about the global standards on child labour, human rights due diligence legislation and frameworks pertaining to child labour, and where the corporate risks on child labour in the cocoa/chocolate sector lie for U.K. and multi-national companies in their global supply chains. About this webinar Attend this FREE webinar to learn from experts from the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), the OECD, the VOICE Network and Ardea International on the status of global due diligence legislation and what needs to change for it to be effective, capacity building around human rights due diligence, and examples of best practice in supporting children’s human rights and providing remediation.


  • Online only
  • All Levels
  • Modules:
  • Study: 0
  • Duration: 1 Hour
  • FREE



UNICEF attests that approximately 160 million children were subjected to child labour at the beginning of 2020, with 9 million additional children at risk due to the impact of COVID-19. This accounts for nearly 1 in 10 children worldwide. Almost half of them are in hazardous work that directly endangers their health and moral development. Alarmingly, despite increased legislation and focus, progress to end child labour has stalled for the first time in 20 years, reversing the previous downward trend that saw child labour fall by 94 million between 2000 and 2016. 

Child labour is endemic in the cocoa sector. A 2020 study by the social research group NORC, at the University of Chicago, found 1.56 million children were involved in the cocoa industry in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa. Global chocolate manufacturers are under increasing scrutiny. The 2022 Chocolate Scorecard noted its “Good Egg Award” goes to Beyond Good, for a business model which ensures people and the planet are respected and cared for. Special mentions (‘good eggs’) were given to Alter Eco, Tony’s Chocolonely and Whittaker’s which continued to be best in class year on year. More than 50% of the brands surveyed “needs to catch up with the industry”.

Legislation that incorporates child labour laws is being ramped up, and has been introduced in the form of human rights due diligence (HRDD) in Germany, and Norway. The Modern Slavery Acts in the U.K. and Australia, and France’s Duty de Vigilance incorporate child labour aspects, and several draft human right due diligence legislations are at various stages of consultation in the Netherlands, Japan, New Zealand, Canada and EU-wide. Market drivers for corporate engagement include share price impact, limitations on tendering for contracts, risk of loss of business for non-compliance, fines, sanctions and reputational damage. 

This practical webinar will include expert commentary from the eminent speaker panel on legislation globally and the voluntary standards, such as the UNGPs and SDG’s, and frameworks, for example the ILO. Perspectives will be provided on where child labour in the cocoa/chocolate sector is most prevalent geographically, and how benchmarks rate the risk. Guidance will be conveyed on best practice and what due diligence frameworks and tools exist to support companies to measure, monitor and report the actions they are taking to eliminate child labour and human rights violations in their businesses and supply chains. 

Speakers’ biography


Colleen Theron, CEO Ardea International

Colleen is a tri qualified lawyer with over 25 years of legal and commercial experience of working with business, organisations and NGOs across sectors on both a strategic and operational level. She provides advisory services, training and online resources to both directors and employees on business and human rights, modern slavery and sustainability issues. 

Shivani Kannabhiran, Sector Lead, Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains, OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct 

Shivani is a specialist in risk-based due diligence and leads the work on responsible agricultural supply chains. She collaborates closely with policy makers, business, investors, civil society and worker representatives to promote OECD standards on responsible business conduct globally. 

Antonie Fountain, Managing Director, the VOICE Network

Antonie acts as one of the key spokespersons for civil society in cocoa, and has been actively advocating a sustainable cocoa sector for over a decade and a half. Antonie will provide a specific focus on what needs to change in order for due diligence regulations to become effective. 

Sarah Dekkiche, Director of Policy and Partnerships, International Cocoa Initiative (ICI)

Sarah Dekkiche is Director of Policy and Partnerships at the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), a leading multi-stakeholder foundation which mission is to advance the elimination of child labour and forced labour in the cocoa sector. Specialised in business and human rights, Sarah has over ten years’ experience working with businesses, EU and international institutions as well as civil society organisations.

The webinar will last 60 minutes and includes a question and answer session. At the point of registration you will have the opportunity to submit questions you would like to our speakers to respond to on the live webinar.

Unable to join us on the day? We will record this webinar. If you are unable to attend live, please register and we will send you a link to the recording after the webinar and a link to download the speakers’ presentations and other outputs.

Recording now available



Why study with Ardea?

Doing the course will make you both more confident when talking about modern slavery and human rights and give you a deeper understanding.

You’ll learn the theory, see real-life case studies and get to grips with the legal parameters and how to apply them within your organisational setting.

Come away with strategies to ensure what you’ve studied has a lasting impact.

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