The Poverty Of The Ivory Coast Of Africa

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Instead of playing games with their friends, children in the Ivory Coast of Africa are kidnapped and forced into slavery, spending their childhood harvesting cocoa beans, the main ingredient found in chocolate. That 's right; your chocolate candy bar may have been made with child slave labor. Children in this region are kidnapped and forced to travel miles away from their villages. Most are under the false pretense that they will earn money; poverty is a big problem in this area. Once at the plantation, they are forced to endure an unimaginable amount of pain and suffering, working long hours and locked into shacks at night to prevent their escape. If they are courageous enough to attempt to return home, they are lucky to not be captured and murdered. A boy who escaped this tragedy in Africa was interviewed and had this to say about the consumers in America: “They enjoy something I suffered to make. I worked hard or them, but saw no benefit. They are eating my flesh." Outraged by this information, several California residents have decided to file a lawsuit against three of the top producers of chocolate in the United States: Hershey, Nestle, and Mars. This is not the first time that the chocolate industry has been accused of using child slave labor as a source of economic gain. In 2000, Hershey was investigated for using child slave labor to harvest their cocoa beans; they denied having knowledge of this and vowed to reduce the number of children used in slave labor world wide. In the past 15 years, they have dramatically decreased the number of children that are subjected to this act of violence. According to a report done by the Payson Center for International Development of Tulane University and sponsored by the U.... ... middle of paper ... ...t slavery is abolished worldwide, we must hold the companies that exploit child labor accountable for their actions. If we don 't speak up, we are supporting the decision of these companies to continue to exploit the labor of these children for economic gain. Just like during the colonial era, the cocoa plantation owners are benefiting from not paying their workers. These individuals are treated horribly and degraded; their only use to the plantation owners is to harvest the cocoa beans. In order for the world to become rid of this injustice, we must raise awareness that this practice is still happening. Movements such as the one lead by the individuals in California are changing the way the chocolate industry is addressing slavery and I believe that if we continue to pressure them to not use slave labor, that eventually this practice will be outlawed world wide.

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