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Action on Children’s Harmful Work in African Agriculture


Action on Children’s Harmful Work in African Agriculture (ACHA) is a 7-year, DFID-funded research programme that started in January 2020.

The aim of the programme is to build evidence on:

  • the forms, drivers, and experiences of children’s harmful work in African agriculture;
  • interventions that are effective in preventing harm that arises in the course of children’s work.

It is currently assumed that the majority of children’s work in Africa is within the agricultural sector. However, the evidence base is very poor in regard to the prevalence of children’s harmful work in African agriculture; the distribution of children’s harmful work across different agricultural value chains, farming systems and agro-ecologies; the effects of different types of value chains and models of value chain coordination on the prevalence of harmful children’s work; and the efficacy of different interventions to address harmful children’s work. These are the areas that ACHA will address.

ACHA will initially work in Ghana with a focus on cocoa, inland fisheries and vegetables. Work will then expand to include other countries and commodities.

ACHA is a collaborative programme led by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Brighton, UK. Partners include:

  • University of Ghana, Legon
  • University of Development Studies, Tamale
  • African Rights Initiative International (ARII)
  • University of Sussex
  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • Fairtrade Foundation
  • ISEAL Alliance
  • Rainforest Alliance
  • The Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab, University at Buffalo
  • The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI)
  • The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH)

ACHA is directed by Professor Rachel Sabates-Wheeler ( and Dr James Sumberg (