Chocolate Slavery

Topics: Slavery, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana Pages: 3 (1159 words) Published: April 7, 2011
Valentine’s Day is rolling around and many know what food source is associated to this holiday… chocolate. But when you get that heart shaped box of goodies do you stop and think about where it came from? Who made it? Who’s forced out of their homes into slavery onto cocoa farms working in inhumane conditions? How about the young boys who are beaten down at the ages of 12 to 16, or even younger. Neither did I. When you think of chocolate you think of words such as sweet, delicious, rich. When these children think of chocolate they think of words such as pain, hideous, fear. According to “Knight Ridder Newspapers across the country ran a series of investigative articles that revealed a very dark side to our chocolate consumption…the series profiled young boys who were tricked into slavery, or sold as slaves, to Ivory Coast cocoa farmers. Ivory Coast, located on the southern coast of West Africa, is by far the world’s largest supplier of cocoa beans, providing 43% of the world’s supply. There are 600,000 cocoa farms in Ivory Coast which together account for one-third of the nation’s entire economy”. (Robbins) These children are being bought or stolen from their families located in countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso, and Togo. These slave traders persuade these families and the children with gifts like bicycles and toys and even a chance at a better way of life. Little do these families know that they might never see their children again. Though slavery is illegal everywhere it doesn’t mean that it’s not happening. From one of the articles that I read he says “The ownership of one human being by another is illegal in Ivory Coast, as it is in every other country in the world today. But that doesn’t mean slavery has ceased to exist. Rather, it has simply changed its form” (Robbins), which I believe to be completely true. Though these children aren’t exactly owned they are held there by fear of violence, knowing that if they try to leave they will be killed. Just...
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