Verité is currently implementing a U.S. Department of Labor-funded project focused on growing government, private sector, and civil society capacity to combat forced labor of adults and children through advancing the ILO forced labor indicators approach in Ghana. Led by Research and Policy Department Director Allison Arbib and Project Director Josephine Dadzie, the Forced Labor Indicators Project (FLIP) focuses on the gold, cocoa, and palm oil sectors and has three main objectives:
  • Develop a shared understanding of the precise nature of forced labor and trafficking in Ghana and how the forced labor indicator approach can be utilized in support of this understanding;
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to support integrating the forced labor indicators approach into existing labor monitoring efforts; and
  • Further capacitate the labor inspectorate and other key government actors in recognizing, documenting, and addressing forced labor and labor trafficking and the risk factors and indicators it encompasses.
In June and August 2019, Verité conducted rapid appraisal research in cocoa, gold, and palm oil communities in the Ashanti, Eastern, Western, and Western North regions in order to document which indicators of forced labor might be relevant in each. Field research included semi-structured qualitative interviews with employers, workers, and local informants conducted one-on-one and in focus groups. Field research findings were triangulated with a review of previously published research. Verité then reviewed the research findings against the forced labor indicators as articulated by the International Conference of Labor Statisticians (ICLS) 2018 Guidelines concerning the measurement of forced labour, published by the International Labor Organization.[i] This process revealed where information gathered through the research overlaps with potential forced labor indicators and produced follow up key questions that can be incorporated by emerging and existing labor monitoring and inspection systems, law enforcement efforts, or independent research to seek further details on each indicator identified.
On October 3, 2019, the Verité Accra team led by Ms. Dadzie with support from Ms. Helga Osei Aku hosted the second meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG) to review and validate preliminary findings from this research. Members present at the TWG meeting included representatives from the Ghana Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, General Agricultural Workers Union, Solidaridad West Africa, the International Labour Organization, the Minerals Commission, Ghana Free the Slaves, International Cocoa Initiative, and the Ghana Police Service. The input from these participants will be incorporated into a draft of these findings that will be shared publicly. The TWG will continue to meet regularly as a venue for members to share the progress of their own institutions to address forced labor as well as to continue to provide technical input on FLIP outputs and to share learnings in a community of experts.
For more information on this project, contact Josephine Dadzie at or Allison Arbib at
Funding is provided by the United States Department of Labor under cooperative agreement number IL‐31474. 100 percent of the total costs of the project or program is financed with federal funds, for a total of 2,000,000 dollars. This material does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the United States Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the United States Government.
[i] International Conference of Labor Statisticians. International Labor Organization Guidelines concerning the measurement of forced labour.

Photo credit: Stellanova

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