Studying child workers in Wales and the Ivory Coast

Pupils worked with staff from the World Education Centre in Bangor and investigated the right to education and how children in the past and today have been, and are being, denied this right because they are made to work. They explored the concept of children’s rights and how child labour was used in the past in the slate mines of Blaenau Ffestiniog and is used today on cocoa plantations on the Ivory Coast. They visited the Llechwedd Slate Quarry and took an underground tour. They questioned the guides about conditions and talked to a local historian whose grandfather and great grandfather had both started work at the quarries when they were ten years old.

They learned how cocoa beans were grown and how chocolate was made. They then compared the lives of children working on cocoa plantations on the Ivory Coast with those living in Ghana. The Day Chocolate Company in Ghana buys cocoa from co-operatives that provide a fair wage for their workers. This means that the children are freed from the need to earn money and their parents can afford to send them to school. The pupils worked with an artist in residence to create a wall hanging and also made up mime games that communicated the project’s messages. They presented the project to pupils in Year 5 and then all those involved in the project shared in a chocolate party together. The pupils learnt about human needs and rights as part of their work in History, Geography and PSE.

This case study is taken from Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship , ACCAC et al, 2002.

Find out more

Teaching resources:

World Education Centre: Visit the World Education Centre website

Local support: If you are inspired by this case study and would like to do something similar in your school, or are looking for ideas for developing the global dimension, why not contact your nearest Development Education Centre?

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