Children put to work
Slaving to give us chocolate
Save the poor children
I was reading through the list of suggested topics for our second paper and the supply chain of chocolate and slavery caught my interest. I quickly did a Google search and got immediate hits involving the Ivory Coast. I recall reading a few articles in the past about this topic, but I never looked into it again. Therefore, I figured that the widespread use of child labor, and in some cases slavery, on West African cocoa farms would be an interesting case to research for my second paper.
I found an article from the Food Empowerment Project website, that is actually an organization who “seeks to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one’s food choices” (Foodispower.org). The article is titles, “Slaver in the Chocolate Industry,” which discusses extremely harsh conditions that child are forced to grow up in. The article explains that some children end up on the farms because they need work and others are “sold” by their own relatives to traffickers or to the farm owners. The worst part is that it has been documented that traffickers often times have abducted young boys from small neighboring African countries to have them work on their farms. The article continues to describe the horrendous conditions and labor that occurs on these cocoa farms.
There are many companies that have been known to use chocolate produced by slave labor such as, Hershey’s, Nestle, Kraft, Toblerone, and more. It appears that even these companies are aware that this is occurring in African countries where it is receiving its cocoa. It does not look as though any of these companies are taking extreme measures to fix this problem. In my opinion, this is extremely unethical as these companies should be responsible for all stakeholders that may be effected and in this case the children in Africa should be a main focus.