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Transcript of Chocolate Slavery
No doubt, this form of slavery has the same human right violations as other forms of slavery
like Frederick Douglass' experience. More on Chocolate slavery
More than 47,300 tons of cocoa beans from the Ivory Coast are shipped to the United States a year.
West African farms supply cocoa to companies like
Nestle Children are 12-16 years old
Some as young as 7 years old
Time as a slave depends on the farm Or whether they
decided to be here,
Children often work there by choice because they want to help provide for their family.
They go by choice under the impression that the pay is good, but its not.
Others are sold by their relatives or kidnapped then sold into slavery.
If children are taken to chocolate farms they may not see their families for years, if ever. Day in the life… Begins at sunrise and ends until it is too dark to see. How do they do it? The children climb the cocoa trees and cut the bean pods using a machete (standard tools for children on the cocoa farms) Once the bean pods have been cut from the trees, the children pack the pods into large sacks and carry or drag them through the forest. Holding a single large pod in one hand, the children strike the pod with the machete and pry it open with the tip of the blade, exposing the cocoa beans. Virtually every child has scars on their hands, arms, legs or shoulders from accidents with the machete.
Children sleep on wooden planks in small windowless buildings (no access to clean water or sanitary bathrooms).
Children and adults working on the farm are locked in at night to prevent escape. Harsh factors Children are commonly exposed to agricultural chemicals on the West African cocoa farms.
Without protective equipment, children as young as 12 spray the pods with hazardous chemicals.
Safety of the children is obviously not an important factor for the farm owners.
It is obvious that physical violence is a common form of punishment for working slowly and especially for trying to escape. Most of the children are unable to attend school while they are working, (a violation of the International Labor Organization (ILO) child labor standards)
Depriving these children of an education has numerous short-term and long-term effects on them
The children of the cocoa farms have little hope of ever breaking the cycle of poverty. Meet Aly Diabate... He was almost 12 when he went to work to support his poor family in Mali.
He was promised 150 dollars a year as well as a bicycle. He got neither.
He worked for a year and half and said he was never paid.
Rather, his reward was not getting beaten. “The beatings were a part of my life. I had seen others who tried to escape. When they tried they were severely beaten.” He worked for a man names ‘Le Gros’ which translates to ‘The Big Man’.
As a way of taunting him his overseers (either farmers on Le Gros’ farm or older slaves) whipped him with a bicycle chain, and other whippings came from tree branches. "Some of the bags were taller than me. It took two people to put the bag on my head. And when you didn't hurry, you were beaten."– Aly Diabate "I don't know what chocolate is,"- Aly Diabate.
This is because the chocolate is processed in other countries like the Unites States. Ex: Hershey, PA. Meet Drissa... “When people eat chocolate they are eating my flesh.” His response when asked what he would tell the people who eat chocolate made from slave labor: many Organizations such as the
International Labor Organization of Switzerland,
The State Department's in their 2000 human rights report have discussed cocoa labor as slavery and a violation of human rights. Also journalists have exposed the widespread slavery, on West African cocoa farms.
Because of this, the industry has become extremely secretive·
This made it difficult for reporters to not only access farms where human rights violations still occur, but to then spread this information to the public. For example, in 2004 a journalist was kidnapped and remains missing today.
Recently, three journalists from a daily newspaper were detained by government authorities in the Ivory Coast after publishing an article about government corruption related to the cocoa industry. We live in a country that has amendments to our constitution regarding the abolition of slavery. Why then do we allow it to go on in other countries, and even worse support it economically by purchasing chocolate made by slaves? Counter Argument done to help parents (rarely get paid)
necessary in order to have chocolate (fair trade chocolate)
HOW YOU CAN HELP: although you can't prevent everyone from buying slave made chocolate, you can help inform your community, family, and friends about why they should purchase non-slave made chocolate FAIR TRADE You can prevent buying chocolate made by slaves by purchasing Fair trade chocolate.
Options you see everyday: Ben and Jerrys, Clif, any chocolate from Trader Joes, and you can look up more options on google very easily. look for these symbols: By boycotting chocolate brands such as Hershey, Mars, and Nestle, you can slowly take a stand against chocolate slavery and the ways in which the chocolate is made. By spreading word of chocolate slavery in the Ivory Coast, we may be able to intervene with the cruel ways in which children are treated in the chocolate making process. This slavery is just like the slavery seen in Douglass' narrative. Although, rather than race being the reason you were enslaved, it is your economic standing. Otherwise, the conditions of the slaves and actions performed by the masters are exactly alike. Now think about the chocolate you just ate or are saving for later...
Is your enjoyment really worth the atrocities going on on the other side of the world? Cocoa Slavery on the Ivory Coast is a human rights violation because children work under horrible conditions, are physically punished, and are rarely paid for their work. The world needs to be informed about this human rights violation so it can be brought to an end and the children of the Ivory Coast can live their lives without slavery. Some slave owners argue, as they did in the past, that theses children are not being treated cruelly. They argue that they give the children enough food and water, shelter, clothing, and medical attention. They also argue that the children are paid for their work. In reality the children are always injured from their work, they are given rags to wear, given extremely cheap food, they are taken from their families by either kidnappings, selling, or are tricked into joining up for money. This is the very thing that we condone because it is a violation of human rights.
Other possible counter arguments: The farm owners give the children with the most inexpensive food available (corn paste and bananas).