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Chocolate is a delicious sweet treat for many individuals globally. Chocolate is everywhere, it is the main delicacy given out for big holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas. Chocolate comes from cocoa beans. Cocoa beans are primarily found in Western Africa and Latin America and they are harvested in Ghana and the Ivory Coast (Rivero 1). Chocolate is one of the largest traded commodities throughout the world. Because chocolate is one of the biggest traded commodities globally, there is an increase demand for it which leads to an increase demand for cheaper labor. Chocolate is in such high demand and many major companies look for cheaper cocoa in which they can attain from West Africa. This indicates that the cheaper cocoa plantation owners sell the cocoa for, the less they pay their workers. For many chocolate lovers, they do not know where their chocolate is coming from and who the plantation workers actually are. Unfortunately, major chocolate companies rely on child labor in these regions, specifically the Ivory Coast and Ghana for the production of chocolate. As of 2016, approximately 2.1 million West African children still work in harvesting cocoa beans (O’Keefe 1). Slavery continues to exist in modern day even after centuries of it being abolished. But why? Slavery still exist in the production of chocolate because of three main factors: poverty, limited access to education and lack of enforcement. Unfortunately is not just any form of slavery, but child slavery, children from West Africa are being affected by this because the world wants its chocolate fix. Poverty is one of the main reasons why slavery still exist in the production of chocolate. Poverty is very common in West Africa, many families struggle to make ends meet. According to Fair Trade USA in their article, Is There Child Labor in Your Chocolate?, “Cocoa beans prices are low, yields are low, and farmers are unable to pay for adult laborers, thus leaving them no choice but to use their children as labor” (Fair Trade USA 1). Poverty in both Ghana and the Ivory Coast is a reoccurring issue and this issue continues to be passed from generation to generation. Most of the chocolate plantation owners do not make enough money to support their business. It is unfortunate that chocolate is a big product throughout the world and the two countries that harvest cocoa beans are some of the poorest nations.There is limited access to education for children in both the Ivory Coast and Ghana.Child slavery has been a concern in the chocolate industry for the past sixteen years. In the article, Trade, Development and Child Labor: Regulation and Law in the Case of Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry, William Bertrand and Elke de Buhr declare that, “Child labor … is a major concern in international labor standards performance, attracting media attention and inflicting negative reputational consequences on companies and all levels of the supply chain” (Bertrand and Buhr 504). Back in 2001, this issue was given media coverage because many journalists and organizations knew something was off with the chocolate industry and although it was given attention many consumers did not realize how bad this issue really was. According to Anais Rivero in his article, Your Hershey’s Chocolate Bar Was Made By Child Slaves, “Major companies such as Hershey’s, Mars, Nestle, and Ferrero Roche sic have been found guilty of using child labor and child slavery” (Rivero 1). These major companies have yet to make any significant strides to help end child slavery, instead they deny accusations of slave labor.Children working under these conditions in West Africa are often mistreated and physically abused while working in these cocoa farms/plantations. According to Elliot J. Schrage and Anthony P. Ewing in their article, The Cocoa Industry and Child Labour, “children as young as six years old are forced to work 80-100 hour weeks without pay, suffer malnutrition and are subject to beatings and other abuse” (Schtage and Ewing 100). Some of these children are beaten if they work too slow. They are locked in rooms at night so they do not try run away and escape. Not only are these children mistreated and physically abused, they often work in unstable and hazardous conditions. In the article, Making Chocolate Sweeter: How to Encourage Hershey Company to Clean Up Its Supply Chain and Eliminate Child Labor, by Kathryn Manza, she states that “children working in the chocolate industry in West Africa begin at a very young age and wield machetes and apply pesticides without protective equipment” (Manza 405). These children use chainsaws and climb tall trees to cut down cocoa bean pods. This leads to the majority of children hurting themselves and many do not have the proper healthcare to get checked and get the proper care for their injuries, which often leads to deep wounds, scars, and sometimes even death. Slave labor still continues to exist today because the lack of enforcement. According to Bertrand and Buhr, “child labor is a complex problem, which combines issues of regulation, law enforcement and accurate definition” (Bertrand and Buhr 504).

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