Child Slavery in the Chocolate Industry -

Child Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

  • Published on
    September 22, 2017
  • Written by:
    Jackie Schmidt
  • Category:
    Child Slavery, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Law & Policy, Supply Chain
Hero Banner

An article today in the Daily Vox begins: The truth about the chocolate industry might leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

Indeed. The chocolate industry is a billion-dollar business, yet it is not one that is always just. Modern day slavery, especially child labor, is becoming a growing and serious issue. The Daily Vox explains that the product is produced form cacao beans that grow in hot, wet regions. Nearly 70% of the all chocolate in the world comes from West Africa.  Côte d’Ivoire, the biggest producer in the world, accounts for more than 30%.

“In 2014 the total global retail value sales of chocolate was $100 billion. Many farmers and workers on cacao plantations, however, survive on just $1.25 – or R16,50 – a day.

Besides the usual tale of capitalism, there’s a darker side to chocolate production. Close to 1.8 million children in West Africa are used as labor – many of them trafficked to work on cacao farms as slaves.”

The article goes on to explain why child labor is so detrimental to children. The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines it as as “work that deprives children of their childhood, dignity and potential; and is physically and mentally harmful to their development. It also often interferes with their schooling.”

Cacao harvesting spans the entire year, making it difficult for children to attend school.

Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

Four years on, has Australia's Modern Slavery Act been effective?

An independent review of Australia's Modern Slavery Act has concluded that the legislation is failing to have a significant impact on curbing modern slavery and urges the Australian government to implement recommendations to strengthen the law. The Australian government must act According to the latest Global Slavery Index released by international human rights organization Walk Free, an estimated 50 million people were in situations of modern slavery

| Wednesday May 31, 2023

Read more