Child labor and your chocolate

cho03_bJust read this.

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4 responses to “Child labor and your chocolate

  1. If tuna can include labeling identying whether the product is “Dolphin Safe”, then I would think other products should be able to identify whether they are child labor free. I’m not sure how to get them to do that without legislation. Consumers (incl me) are generally blind to what goes on to put a product on the shelf for purchase. No more KitKats for treat-or-treaters from my door!

  2. “The thing is, if you add up all of the work these projects are doing and the work by governments and development agencies, it actually doesn’t even scratch the surface of the size of the problem.”

    A big…BIG…part of the problem is countries like the United States refuse to enforce existing laws…like our Tariff Act of 1930 §307 (19 USC §1307)…that prohibits the importation of goods produced, in whole or in part, by forced child labor. Our government, in direct contradiction to existing law, allows corporate persons to profit from forced child labor and, essentially, slavery. And, because of such malfeasance, makes American consumers complicit in that exploitation. And it isn’t limited to cocoa. Coffee. Computers. Clothes. Carpets. Bricks.

    Capitalism…what a concept.

    • It sounds like the law specifies forced/indentured child labor rather than all child labor, unless elsewhere all child labor is identied as forced. I am wondering if they might get around the law by claiming their child labor is by free choice. (Ridiculous claim when kids involved.)

      • From the Fortune article:

        [T]rafficking and forced labor in cocoa absolutely still go on.

        “I think it’s very clear that it’s not as bad as I first experienced it down there in the sense that it has probably gone more underground,” says Mick Moran, Interpol’s assistant director in charge of human trafficking and child exploitation. But if you know where to look, says Moran, finding examples of children being held as forced labor in cocoa in each country is still like “shooting fish in a barrel.”

        Everybody knows it’s going on. People don’t have to worry getting around a law that’s not enforced.

        Token reforms are doing nothing but providing an excuse for governments like the United States to look the other way. Africans who labor in the industry have no choice…except to starve themselves and their families…while corporate persons in America get fat off our demand. If our government diligently enforced its own laws, enforcing fines and imposing severe tariffs on companies who exploit child labor, A few American consumers wouldn’t have to go to civil court to try and get more token reforms and empty rhetoric from companies that exploit child labor for profit.

        The fruits of African labor in the cocoa industry should improve the lives of those children, not imprison them in a poverty that dooms their children to the same standard of living currently imposed by American corporations.

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