Think about that moment when you bite into that Godiva dark chocolate raspberry truffle – the smooth, rich flavors forming a delicious symphony across your taste buds. The symphony comes to a standstill and guilt floods your body as you realize that the chocolate you consume so religiously all started with child slaves off the coast of Africa.
According to “The Human Cost of Chocolate,” a CNN article, “In Ivory Coast and other cocoa-producing countries, there are an estimated 100,000 children working the fields, many against their will, to create the chocolate delicacies enjoyed by Western countries.”
Following its civil war from 2002 to 2004, the efforts that began to end child labor on the Western Africa Coast cocoa farms started to wither because of the obvious strain on the government. However, a decade later, there are still an estimated 100,000 child slaves on the cocoa farms, which is rather bothersome because society is just now starting to help free the children again.
Why is it taking so long to intervene? Child slaves are put through horrendous conditions and are possibly threatened and beat if they do not comply with their “bosses.” These children cannot escape because of the horrible things that may happen, both physical and psychological.
Sure the children could try, but the beatings and overall dehumanization on these cocoa farms would only get worse.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports that “they (the children) are forced into painful work, long days in inhumane conditions without pay and with little food.
“Work includes using machetes to cut the cacao pods from high branches, and applying pesticides without protective equipment. Dangerous days and fearful nights is the typical day in the life of child slaves.”
The article also describes how the children are tricked, or “deceived,” into staying on the farm of the cocoa company. Beating, whipping and torturing also takes place for these poor children.
If America helped to put the ban on this behavior, you would think that we would be the ones truly stepping in to enforce it, since obviously the African governments are failing miserably at it.
Take a bite out of the facts, before you bite into your next chocolate bar.