The Effects Of Child Labor On The Chocolate Industry

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The Effects of Child Labor in the Chocolate Industry: December 6, 2015, was an important day for many Americans, as it marked the 150th year since the abolishment of slavery when the U.S. authorized the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to end what can be described as the darkest chapter of American history. Many in Western Society seem to be unaware of the contemporary slavery still plaguing many developing countries, particularly involving children. The 2010 documentary film called The Dark Side of Chocolate explored the modern day slavery that is occurring within many West African countries, where children are being exploited and trafficked in order to harvest chocolate. In fact, the United States Department of State estimates that approximately 109,000 children in the Ivory Coast’s cocoa industry work under “the worst forms of child labor” (Mustapha, 2010, p.3). By exploring the use of child labor in the chocolate industry in West Africa, this paper will present the argument where I will argue that the unethical use of child labor has led to impoverished families, negative health impacts among children, and has affected economies in West Africa. In order to overcome this situation, there is a need for enforced policies, government action, and corporations taking accountability in order to put an end to child labor. The first part of the paper will discuss how the cocoa industry affects families, the health of child laborers, and the economy, followed by various
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