Monday, October 31, 2011

Child labour and chocolate

There is an interesting BBC documentary that examines the role of child labour in the making of chocolate. Chocolate: The Bitter Truth examines the chocolate industry's (lack of) progress at eradicating child labour and slavery in the production of cocoa after signing a 2001 accord to eliminate it.

According to the documentary, "Over 40% of the world's cocoa is sourced from the west African region of Cote d'Ivoire, and the UN estimates that there are around 15,000 children working on the region's cocoa farms. These include children as young as eight years old, many from neighbouring Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana, who are trafficked across borders and used as forced labour."

The full number of child workers in the entire African cocoa industry is more like 284,000. There is an interesting discussion regarding the behaviour of major chocolate manufacturers towards the use of child labour in their supply chain.

Happy Hallowe'en... .

-- Bob Barnetson

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