April 6th, 2011
05:05 PM ET

The dark side of chocolate

CNN's Richard Quest talks to filmmaker U. Roberto Romano, whose documentary "The Dark Side of Chocolate" investigates child labor and cocoa fields in the Ivory Coast.

Read a statement from the Global Chocolate and Cocoa Industry |
From the International Cocoa Initiative

But before you bite into a chocolate bar or take a sip of hot cocoa, consider, where did it come from?

It may be that the treat is the product of someone else's hard labor. The person who may have sold it or who may have made it may not even be an adult.

The International Labour Organization estimates between 56 and 72 million African children work in agriculture, many in their own family farms. The seven largest cocoa-producing countries are Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, Ecuador, the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Those last two together account for nearly 60 percent of global cocoa production.

And right now, you can still find children working in the cocoa fields as Romano and his crew did to film "The Dark Side of Chocolate."

So, what should you as a consumer do?

"I'd like you to buy either a fair trade chocolate or a direct trade chocolate," Romano says. "I'd like you to buy something where you, as a consumer, can vote responsibly for better treatment of these farmers. And also with fair trade, you know that they're going to be at least on the road to being paid a decent wage. And with the inspections that go on, you know that their children aren't working and are getting an education."

Topics: Business

soundoff (548 Responses)
  1. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    GOP health care plan: Turn the Old, Poor, and Sick into slaves. Whip them until they are young, rich, and healthy. Or until they die. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed to the next batch of slaves. A self sustaining health care plan. If Palin reads this she'll steal my idea as her own.

    April 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Reply
    • Roger Rabbit

      And this has what to do with what?

      April 7, 2011 at 1:30 am | Reply
      • Wow

        Wow – I love going to these boards. About 1/4 to 3/4 of all posts are about taking the material covered in the article and (typically bizarrely) linking it to the poster's personal agenda. This one wins the award today. WELL DONE!

        April 7, 2011 at 10:46 am |
      • JCreliever

        Wow: that would be half then. And, you are right.

        April 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
      • Ms Cookie 2 You

        "Most work on the family farm." Does that mean when my kids cut the lawn, pull weeds, etc., (and not paid by the way)they are considered slaves? It's chocolate. It's made by angels and brought to us by good fairies. For petes sake, to keep my chocolate supply, I would rent out my elderly mother as a slave! Pass me the chocolate bunny, eggs and kisses please!

        April 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
      • Mendoza, Robert

        Obviously, if you have to ask why... you are so totally disconnected with humanity.

        April 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
      • Kathy

        We've skirted our Child Labor Laws buy having made outside the USA. Why do people turn child slave labor into American politics? The sugar industry had the same allegations and Americans boycotted, complained, etc to try to stop it. Back to article, how do you find and buy chocolate that is produced fairly? If the majority of you spent time emailing Hersheys and other manufacturers it would do some good. Obama, Palin and the rest have NOTHING to do with this. We do as consumers.

        April 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        Good heavens! The US has child slave labor, where CHILDREN help work on their family farms! It's gone on ALL through our history!
        We should stop eating! BAN FARMS!
        Think of the children!
        DO NOT BUY THEIR PRODUCTS! That way they can starve with dignity.
        Dolts and dunderheads!

        April 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
      • big daddy and twinkie

        Roger Rabbitt: How RUDE. someones all for slavery you should be proud of your self...NOT. SUCKER FISH!!!! Ohhhh Yahhhhh!!!!!!!

        September 21, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • Phil

      Your a jerk...

      April 7, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
      • AM

        Your a jerk what? You didn't finish your sentence!

        April 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
      • Chip

        Phil – you need to go back to skool.

        April 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
      • ChicagoLoop

        Your is a possessive pronoun. You're is a contraction of you are. In other words, you're the jerk around here.

        April 7, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
      • chika

        your so stupid that you dont know how to complete your sentence or wat pls wat is the correct of maroon

        April 10, 2011 at 10:05 am |
      • Really?

        Are you serious Chika?

        April 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
      • Dawn

        why are we jerks?

        April 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
      • Che-3

        Sarah Palin type of intelligence and writing skills.
        What a Shame to ALL illiterate uneducated GOP's and Racist Tea Baggers!

        April 11, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Stephanie

      Wow, what a maroon! You are so totally off the mark of this article.
      I love chocolate, I would prefer that people get paid what they are worth and that children not be forced to work long,hard hours to help their families survive. Reality bites.
      I will be more concious of fair trade chocolate!

      April 7, 2011 at 11:17 am | Reply
      • NYC Conservative

        If we were to stop eating and buying products that are produced in foreign countries using slave/child labor we would be left in the dark ages. So many countries use this labor and it should be our problem. How about people stop procreating in these countries and then there will be no child labor. So, no more chocolate in the world, no more coffee and tea, no more clothing.

        Fair trade companies? I think if you ask the child doing the labor and feeding housing themselves with the pay, as small as it is, would disagree and beg us to keep buying. We, as Americans do not even take care of our own citizens but yet we are to reach out and help others? All the money donated to Japan could have helped when the debris washed up on US soil or when the nuclear fallout destroys all the fish and food for the US. But, no the bleeding hearts only think with emotions and not commonsense for the long haul. Child labor? I say give me my friggin chocolate

        April 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
      • Marylyn

        The correct spelling of moron is this and not maroon which is a color.

        April 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
      • Tyrone Hogglegg

        Marylyn

        The correct spelling of moron is this and not maroon which is a color.
        April 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

        Actually, now you are the maroon...as she was just being funny....as a matter of fact you are an anal Bihatch too.

        April 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
      • Rainman

        Apparently Marylin (below) is not a Bugs Bunny fan. lol Daaa wat's dat ya got dere doc? A gweat big box of fair twade chocwat, huh huh huh huh.....

        April 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
      • pmmarion

        Rainman, you beat me to it...lol Marilyn, what a maroon...

        April 7, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
      • Andrew

        Here's a better idea (joking). Why doesn't Obama and his Dumblecrats get out their Dollar Printing Machine, print another load of dollars to run yet another 40% Federal Deficit, to instead give WELFARE PAYMENTS so those kids in AFRICA WORKING won't have to work, instead can be shiftless drug consuming or selling like many of our Inner City Youth. Is that better? And so they can turn into phat adults in their 20s and 30s not used to work, like so many of our Welfare-Mommas in Newark and NYC and Chicago. I've got news for you, no matter how little those kids make, if they and their parents want them working, and they are doing hard work and getting some pay, its none of the West's business.

        April 8, 2011 at 1:08 am |
      • to New York Conservative

        Wow.....that pretty much sums up the Christian Right's view of the world. Pretty caring isn't it? Unbelievable.

        April 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
      • Adam Rich

        I'm sure the kids would love to not have to work. If they only had someone with a heart like yours to support their families.

        April 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
      • Bad Patient

        A lot of people are allergic to chocolate.

        April 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
      • Dan

        Color me red, but I love all of these maroonic comments.

        April 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • Cadbury Bob

        Well you just go girl

        April 10, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
      • Dawn

        while i like your attitude there is no way. Everything we buy is made by oppressed people or child labor
        lets start making thing in the USA again and put our people back to work

        April 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
      • hola I am a fish

        @Marylyn

        Wow now you are a moron. Maroon is an insult, it is not just a color. Like in Looney Tunes Bug bunny would call Daffy Duck a maroon. It is an older term.

        April 10, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
      • Andacar

        Marylyn, I think Stephanie is referring to an old Bugs Bunny cartoon in which he says, "What a maroon! What a ta-ra-ra-goondieay!" So clam up, maroon.

        April 11, 2011 at 2:07 am |
    • Christine O'Donnell

      I am not a witch...I am nothing you have ever send before...I am you.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • Sarah Palin

      Would you like to be my Heath And Human Services Secretary when I am elected next year? You have such a brilliant mind! (Yes I am Sarah Palin, and yes I am this big of a jackass) :D

      April 7, 2011 at 11:46 am | Reply
      • Toasted

        This is why they shouldn't allow internet access at mental institutions.

        April 7, 2011 at 11:49 am |
      • NavyDiver

        Or is this Tina Fey. If it is I would like to have you run for the President of the United States. At least you keep it real and you dont shoot wolves from a flying helicopter.

        April 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
      • chika

        it not real Sarah Palin because she wont insult herself publicly

        April 10, 2011 at 10:10 am |
      • Omar

        No shit it's not the real Sarah Palin.

        April 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
      • Che-3

        We Hear Ya!

        I feel sorry for white women each time Sarah Palin opens her grizzly dirty month. She sounds exactly like some dumb white women I know that works at Dupont, WV. They even chew raw Tobacco on the job and spit into trash cans in the office and at meetings into coffee caps. Yack!

        April 11, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • zxasxz46

      Better yet take the Kim Jong il approach and make everyone poor with only the elite like SoundOff on the upper echelon to receive the goods and services from the labor of society. Love that wouldn't you Soundoff?

      April 7, 2011 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • momomiester

      Oh and Obama with his free trade...3wars...Gitmo...Bank Bailouts...allowing Mexican truck drivers to operate at cut rates...government mandate for you to buy private insurance is for the people!!!!!!! bahahah Sucker! Sorry you are corrupt in your thinking. Socialism doesn't work. Everyone can't be part of a parasitic government subsidized system. Like all parasitic relationships, eventually the host dies and so does the parasite.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:56 am | Reply
      • kydolfin

        Bush= 1 war based on lies and bank bailouts as well.. you can't blame one without blaming the other...

        April 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
      • CAW

        Obama 3 wars? Two of those were started by BUSH. Oh wait he DECLARED one of those over didn't he? Obama is actually trying to get them finished so we can stop feeding the defense contractors who fund the GOP's coffers.

        April 8, 2011 at 7:11 am |
      • skarrlette

        Do you know what countries have the highest standard/quality of life in the world? Let me tell you because Americans are blinded by there own rhetoric and the media. Norway, Sweden, Canada, Belgium, Autstranlia, Switzerland, Netherlands, France etc. United States is so far down the list its ridiculous and Americans are brainwashed by there own arrogance. There are way better countries out there than here.

        ALL OF THEM HAVE A FORM OF UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE!!!

        In Sweden women are allowed to take 1 YEAR maturnity leave and her husband can take 1 year so that their child gets adequate time to grow with a parent, Both of there jobs by law will be waiting for them, and they GET PAID for this time period.

        In France there is a government run nanny/maid serive to help single mothers that is FREE, so that women can still work and raise her children WITH HELP UNLIKE IN THIS COUNTRY because some countries actually care about the well being of their citizens.

        And that is just the tip of the iceberg I could go on and on about the quality of life and the government run resources in these other countries that puts this one to shame. No one gives a S about anything in this country except MONEY MONEY Is god here period.

        And yet even with all these great social programs somehow all these countries sitll have rich people I guess Capitalisma and social programs can co-exist!!! Who would have known.

        They sent all of our jobs over seas you think they give a crap about you!!!! They don't even care if you get sick and die in the street they don't want to help you. Lets check and see if any of those F republicans that sent all your jobs over seas give a crap about you if you lose your job. OR if you are sick!

        Its digusting!!!

        People need to wake up this country is not as F great as all the brainwashed Americans think it is. There are other countries that treat there citizens better with a better quality life.

        April 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
      • skarrlette

        Do you know what countries have the highest standard/quality of life in the world? Let me tell you because Americans are blinded by there own rhetoric and the media. Norway, Sweden, Canada, Belgium, Autstranlia, Switzerland, Netherlands, France etc. United States is so far down the list its ridiculous and Americans are brainwashed by there own arrogance. There are way better countries out there than here.

        ALL OF THEM HAVE A FORM OF UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE!!!

        In Sweden women are allowed to take 1 YEAR maturnity leave and her husband can take 1 year so that their child gets adequate time to grow with a parent, Both of there jobs by law will be waiting for them, and they GET PAID for this time period.

        In France there is a government run nanny/maid serive to help single mothers that is FREE, so that women can still work and raise her children WITH HELP UNLIKE IN THIS COUNTRY because some countries actually care about the well being of their citizens.

        And that is just the tip of the iceberg I could go on and on about the quality of life and the government run resources in these other countries that puts this one to shame. No one gives a S about anything in this country except MONEY MONEY Is god here period.

        And yet even with all these great social programs somehow all these countries sitll have rich people I guess Capitalisma and social programs can co-exist!!! Who would have known.

        They sent all of our jobs over seas you think they give a crap about you!!!! They don't even care if you get sick and die in the street they don't want to help you. Lets check and see if any of those F republicans that sent all your jobs over seas give a crap about you if you lose your job. OR if you are sick!

        People need to wake up this country is not as F great as all the brainwashed Americans think it is. There are other countries that treat there citizens better with a better quality life.

        April 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
      • Jake

        @ CAW Have you ever noticed what short memories republicans have?

        April 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
      • Otto

        How is Obama and his three war having anything to do with this story? Bush had the world at his behind after 911 and he made a blunder in Afghanistan. Instead of finding and killing Osama and his buddies, he BUSH said Osama was not important. After wasting the lives of many of our children, Bush pulled the troops out and sent them on a wild goose chase on another blunder in Iraq. Lies...lies and more lies. Now, after spending trillions on two blunders and continue to spend billions every month; we are no where closer to the end game.
        I totally disagree with president Obama for not pulling ever GI out of Afghanistan, every American should have beed out of both Iraq and Afghanistan already and that my friend will save trillions.

        April 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
      • trainwrexxx

        outside of the healthcare reform in your post the other issues started with bush or earlier, with the economic fallout being engineered as far back as ronald reagan (who also destroyed job security and health care causing us to need the reforms).
        FAIL.

        April 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
      • Kinglet

        Instead of comparing political systems to parasitic/host relationships, perhaps we could construct political systems that form symbiotic relationships with populaces. Remember, we as people are completely dead without the masses of beneficial microbes inside and outside our bodies. They keep away disease, digest our food, and do numerous things I have no concept of. It is when we, as people, get out of balance in our behavior that the healthy balance can shift to disease. LIkewise, when our governors work together with us as people, we can strike a healthy balance, whether that is in a socialistic or capitalistic system. However, whenever selfishness runs rampant, thinking about the self instead of working towards the balance that supports all (which is inherently a risk in capitalistic societies), there will not be balance, there will be disease (injustice, poor health, environmental destruction, poverty, etc.). I think first and foremost, we must change our culture. We must teach our children (and they are way ahead of us on this one) that to sustain a healthy country, we must work together (not as individuals) and live simply in ways that sustain our resources and other life forms. There is no question that people in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France, etc. are better at this than we are. It's not a mystery why. We are a new country. They have been evolving for many more hundreds of years. We are just babies. Deep within our American consciousness is this belief that rugged individualism will win the day. It won't.

        April 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • MattysMom

      And as is proven in the above post, the psychotic liberal left socialists are completely disconnected from reality and haven't even looked at the FACTS. Have you heard of this word? "Fact" it means something that is proven to be true. I know that this is very difficult for you to understand, but FACTS are used to support STATEMENTS made by paranoid psychopaths who work to destroy the american way of life through unending entitlement programs and ludicrous spending initiatives. "GOPISGREEDOVERPEOPLE" you need to get in to see a psychiatrist who can treat you for your complete disconnect from reality. "Common Sense" is not found in the Left. Neither is "Fact" or "Truth".

      April 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Reply
      • AM

        There's quite a bit of non-facutual information in your post! How ironic, right?

        April 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
      • kindamental

        It's amazing how faux news can take a perfectly sound mind and mold it into a hate spewing ball of goo.

        April 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
      • kindamental

        Poor Matty. You have to feel almost as sorry for her as these kids in Africa.

        April 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
      • skarrlette

        I've done the reseach !!! Go look it up my friend and see for yourself. The truth is in the statistics and its provable!!

        April 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
      • Chris

        by trying to make the argument that liberal ideals and philosophies are not based on fact, are you also implying that conservative ideals are based on fact? If so, please provide just one conservative value that is based on fact. I've been searching for a while now and every single thread of the conservative platform fails to hold up to either a logical or factual standard. Please sir provide just one.

        April 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Jim

      What about an 8-year old child who stars a Hollywood box office and feeds his family?

      April 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
      • Dan

        He won't be messed up 'til he's of age...it's a legal loophole

        April 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
      • Jake

        Bet that kid makes more in a month than i do in a life time

        April 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • RaKa

      Funny how politicians basically force us to have to buy from these countries, while making it difficult for our own companies to compete against them. Doesn't this make us partially responsible? Career politicians are destroy the world.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
      • NavyDiver

        Actually its lawyers, but to think of it I dont see the difference. Lawyers = Career Politicians. How do we stop the cycle.

        April 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
      • Adam Rich

        Did you miss the part in the article where it said, "The seven largest cocoa-producing countries are Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameron, Brazil, Ecuador, the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Those last two together account for nearly 60 percent of global cocoa production." There are only so many places that this stuff can be grown. So either you buy it from them or you don't buy it at all. There are no politicians or lawyers "forcing" anything.

        April 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • jucaja

      The only thing your missing fromt the end of that post is, Problem? Trollguy, much?

      April 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • Richard

      You are a dumb bastard.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • NBSTL68

      Soylent Green...Mmmm Hey, what was the soylent yellow and Soylent Red in the movie made out of then???

      April 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • coolhandluke

      I thought chocolate was made by the oompa loompas, not by kids.

      April 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Greg

      I'll be satisfied if the GOP just whips morons like you into not posting off-topic.

      This was an interesting article – I didn't realized the extent of unethical labor practices in the cocoa growing industry. It would be useful if there were a general stamp/indicator that could be applied to every-day foods we get at the store that would show all the ingredients were obtained through fair/direct trade. As it is, there are too many products to keep track of each supply chain. I'd be happy to pay, say, 50% more to be sure for a better, more ethical, more sustainable economic system.

      April 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
      • WorldGoneMad

        Whoever is the fool who said he wants to pay 50% more for his food, get real. What about the free food we send over to Africa each year? How about they pay us for that? Why dont they trade us COCOA for the food we send. How about that for fair and ethical? If these people want to continue to bring babies into this world, knowing full well they will be "slaves" then so be it.

        April 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • DEMO LIARS

      Wishful thinking. You Liberals are just looking to point fingers at everyone else but refuse to see that you're destroying the future for our grandchildren with all this overspending and entitlements. WAKE UP.

      April 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Reply
      • NavyDiver

        Independent and I think both GOP and Dems should grow up and lead for their communities that voted for them not their stinkin parties. Go away already "tea baggers" you are a newly formed cancer to the GOP party. We are all Americans and we dont need to be divided by our own Government. Damn I get enough of this from churches.

        April 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • WorldGoneMad

      I dont care about this. These people brought these children into the world and should take care of them. I will never and have never donated a penny to help these hordes of hungry children in these countries. It only encourages them to have more children they can't take care of. Look at India...one of the most high tech societies in the world with many engineers and computer programmers...and 650 million people without access to sewerage. Get real. These people were there thousands of years before the U.S. came about and will be there when the U.S. collapses.

      April 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Reply
    • dadguy

      you are leftist idiot.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Reply
    • stupid detector

      Stupid

      April 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
    • Gender neutral

      Your computer was probably made by child labor in china.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:45 am | Reply
    • Commojoe

      Hey, man, but at least you'd get to eat folks like Edward G. Robinson, right? That should make demlib environmentalist whackos really happy!

      April 8, 2011 at 5:14 am | Reply
    • why not

      That is just so irresponsible to post. Grow up already.

      April 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • edsr

      You are a VERY sick person who needs to be sent to a cocoa plantation to work without pay............then we would turn your body into soylent green and dump it in a landfill................

      April 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Reply
    • Mimi Doberman

      Wow. For years American Children worked in agriculture on their family farms. What is exactly wrong with someone learning a trade in the family business. And what are their options.

      The producer of the documentary did it to make money not make a point and most likely exaggerated. Here we are again trying to force our values onto other cultures. What should we be proud of? The fact that most of our youth sit around playing Nintendo, our teen obesity or that our schools can't turn our anyone with an education or a trade skill? Maybe we should focus at home first.

      BTW – The GOP is Greed Over People post was obviously written by someone in an institution who has internet access or a plant.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      I agrre that children need to be in school and not in the fields all day working but it does not hurt them to help out on the family farm as well. I grew up on a farm and helped my parents work it well before I was 18. I do not consider it child labor as long as it is not abusive and the child is allowed to go to school and have time to play. They should at least be around 10 or 11 before they are allowed to help. That is about how old I was when I started helping on the farm. Back when most farms in America were family owned and smaller it was common for the children to help out when they were not in school. It was a good way to teach responsibility and how to work hard. That is something many of our young people lack today. It can be abused though and I'm sure it is in many parts of the world.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • Brad

      Talk about a misleading article. How many "may" or "could be"'s are in this article?!! The problem with articles like this is that they are intended to scare you into not buying a product by telling you that the product is made in dispicable ways. However, since the author/s can't honestly do that, s/he/they cast these wide nets figuring there has to be something nefarious going on somewhere in the chocolate industry, so YOU shouldn't eat the chocolate you want...just in case. Even though they offer no facts that YOUR favorite choc is being made by bad people...just don't buy it and go ahead and buy fair trade chocolate...because you can be sure it is ok. Wow...nice scare tactics and bait and switch!

      April 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      Is it just me, or does CNN's snapshot for this article with the words "Exploring the Dark Side of Chocolate" come off as quite racist until you start reading the article?

      April 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
    • Soylent_Brown_Is_People

      If I had any idea that chocolate was made from little black children, I would never have eaten any of it. I feel terrible.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Reply
      • MR

        My thoughts exACTly... that, and "Did that image REALLY slip past someone? CNN actually thought that using that image was a good idea?"

        April 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • douglas

      Dude, huh? Go join a discussion where your comments are applicable to the story.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Reply
    • jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

      haha regardless of political opinion, i bet you're such a pain in the ass as a person

      April 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • demonfeed

      Bad way to start the replies, but yes, that appears to be what they want.

      Now to get on topic... Yes, most of our businesses are able to sell cheap, affordable products because they DON'T pay a fair wage. They go to foreign countries, buy off a handful of government officials (which is far cheaper than paying hundreds of works fair wages), and child slavery becomes a cheap method of getting the product produced. Remember Nike? They did the same thing. Even in America, we had kids working in coal mines for next to nothing. They could crawl in the small spaces.

      People need to realize the true price we pay for our lifestyles. The world can't support our habits in a fair and honest way. But yet, we have to have those designer shoes, those pretty cars, and that tasty chocolate. What should really make you sick is how many people eat so much of that chocolate they get incredibly fat and the local hospital has to purchase over-sized ambulances for their weekly pickups.

      And we do need to sound the alarm about this. We made blacks free in America, but in order to get our profits back we enslaved people in other countries. I am neither a Rep. or Dem., but I see the Republicans as the most dangerous threat to our lives right now. They want us all working in factories with no pay and no education so we can't compete with what they inherited from their parents.

      Anyway, a little taste of reality for you. Disagree? Prove me wrong.

      April 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Reply
    • Xyphactinus

      Yawn.

      April 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • taxed

      Demo health plan – keep you wing-nuts pumping out more kids for the rest of us to support.

      April 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Reply
    • Andy

      What does this have to do with the story? That's right, nothing at all.

      April 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • phan

      you shouldnt be allowed to vote... youre clearly insane.

      April 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
    • Amavet2

      You Idiot!!! What does your brainless rant have to do with this story!!!! You fool!!!

      April 10, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • ricky

      wow I think that that is an amazing idea.. While you are at it, take away their benifits and make it an old people holocaust... lmfao. it will take a chunk of the money we are in debt now.. Who exactly are we in debt to i wonder? we are the strongest nation in the world, and we have a debt to pay... hmmmmm

      April 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Reply
    • wgage

      Living in the US I picked apples to earn food. I did this for survival. I was not a slave. I don't like this silly crap you people put up to appear that you are doing this for noble goals. I was five years old.

      April 10, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Reply
    • Kevin

      Indeed slavery does exist in America. There are many ways to hold slaves. We make sure that the low income are "punished" if they will not do their work. Sent to places ... where they and their children will be beaten!

      April 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Reply
    • Eric Nicolas

      Look! Someone taught a monkey how to type! Now if they could just teach it to read!

      April 10, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • Reeses

      LOL
      I just read the conversation that is going back and forward between Dawn, Chika, Phil and Marylyn. And you guys are HELLA FUNNY.
      Seriously, this made me laugh my ass off.
      AND ON THE EIGHTH DAY GOD CREATED CHOCOLATE ;) HAHAHHAHAHAHHA
      By the way, I'm 12 (of course my sense of humor is idiotic ;))

      April 10, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Reply
    • Manny

      Again, when talking about child labor, please scrutinize [FORCED] child labor. [Force] is the evil. The unfortunate truth is the fact that children must work in these 3rd world countries. There is a sharp distinction between the two.
      The proponents of child labor laws don't understand economics...that is, the study of human action.

      Parents love their children -there is and always will be the 1% or lower that are just crazy- but the fact remains most individuals just don't get it. There were no child... labor laws when Joseph was teaching Jesus how to build...why? because they were dumb? The just don't have enough synapses firing off to connect the dots between: No capital goods = High (Necessity) Child labor – VS – Abundant Capital goods = Eradication of child labor...to the point where children just wanting to work in order to attain things they want.

      I had this argument with a socialist who just didn't get it...He had the nerve to say, had it not been for child labor laws children would be picking corn and other crops by the masses today!! As if farmer brown wouldn't rather tractors and other CHEEP capital goods, that will produce far more, in one, one-millionth of the time. They don't understand that humans think and act...-can't blame them because they themselves aren't so how can they expect the other 99% of ration human beings to. We all have value scales. This is yet another government failure, of the school system. A lack of critical thinking. Children are extremely costly, do not carry the same output potential per-capita, and thus it takes more to accomplish less, and much more to accomplish the equivalent of older, more experienced laborers. Children are more prone to sickness as well.. So the notion, that a rational economic actor, would still press forth with "torture" – or what ever they like to call it – in the face of less expensive, more durable, exponentially productive capital goods is outright....stupid. Heck, infantile...actually no, children have more sense than this. Fallacy [FAIL]!

      Oppose a noble cause, forced labor for children an adults alike.

      April 11, 2011 at 3:35 am | Reply
  2. Sesilia Naeata

    I became aware of child labor and trafficing after watching this documentary a few months ago. Because I love chocolate so much I dont look at it the same and always make sure the people with me who are buying chocolate know where the cocoa beans come from brands such as Nestle. I cant do much but spread the word like this and use fb to raise awareness, but will keep it up! Thank you Roberto Roman for making this doco and Thank you CNN for the Freedom project!

    April 6, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Reply
    • MannyHM

      I love chocolate also to the point of addiction i.e. I'm never satisfied. This revelation creates an awareness and a feeling that makes chocolate less appetizing. Chocolate for the Ivorian is like oil to the Middle East, it has created profits to a few but also abuses to many.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • I have

      No plans of lowering my chocolate consumption.

      April 7, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
      • JKT

        Pretty sure nobody is saying you should cut back on chocolate. Just change your buying habits. It should not take too much Googling to locate fair trade chocolate.

        April 7, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Amos

      Sorry to tell you – but Nestle & Hershey's do not pay fair wages for the beans. These companies destroy rainforest, literally burn it and plow it down to plant fields of Cocoa to get their beans. After harvest, they move on to the next section of rainforest.

      Nestle & Hershey's add sugar and oils to their chocolate which is why they are so inferior to organic chocolates out there. Try Equal Exchange, Alter Eco, Kallari, Seeds of Change – they make some amazing organic and fair trade chocolates and don't add all the extra sugars and oils and things to them like Hershey's and Nestle Does. And they don't destroy rainforest to harvest crops. Unlike Hershey & Nestle they grow their beans "shade grown" which means they plant around the trees as the best cocoa grows low to the ground, and in the shade of big canapé rainforest trees. This is why organic chocolates are so much better in taste, because of how the beans are grown and the fact the rainforest isn't destroyed and you don't lose the biodiversity in harvesting them.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
      • NYC Conservative

        They pay fair wages for that country NOT u.s. wages or benefits. Nothing wrong with that at all. In all honesty, why is the plight of millions of people in other countries your problem. Who really care? The guilty people that's who. I say keep picking my beans because without that job they will die but then again I am sure another kid is waiting for a job as well

        April 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
      • Thank You

        I know that there is a lot of inferior chocolate sold in the US. I look forward to trying better quality chocolate, especially while benefiting the local farmer.

        April 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
      • Darla Landreth

        Seeds of change is owned by M&M mars...I wonder if they are as bad as Hershey & Nestle?

        April 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
      • NBSTL68

        It's all about the almighty consumer buck. Hershey bar – $1 or less. A nice feel good Kallari bar, yeah $6-$8 forget it.
        No one's going to be able to stop the rainforest destruction at those prices.

        April 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
      • Amos

        NYC Conservative – No, they don't pay fair wages. Pennies are not considered fair wages. The mean wage in the Ivory Coast (the world's largest producer of Cacao) is very very small. You cannot buy the basic necessities of life with that wage, not even in those countries, which makes it not fair.

        Seeds of Change is owned by Mars. Dagoba is owned now by Hershey's. They want in the organic market. Not surprising, because hershey's is gross. It's all sugar and oil. That's why they can charge $1 for a bar, because it has so little real chocolate in it.

        A Kallari bar is about $4.59 (not $6-$8). I break it up, and have a square each day. One bar a week. Where you say "No thank you" I say yes! please! Have you tried Kallari – it's simply amazing and one of the best tasting chocolates you can get. Even brands like Lake Champlain are much cheaper in prices (as is Dagoba) and their organic sources of chocolate are amazing. They don't add oils and excess sugars like the big name american brands do.

        Did you know that cacao plants are the second most heavily pesticide crops, second only to cotton? it's true. Organic Chocolate coming from organic cacao plants can't be sprayed with pesticides (they instead use a combination of water, garlic, and vinegar which works well).

        NYC Conservative – what happens in Inda, Africa, South America, and elsewhere effects us greatly. Your ignorance is your stupidity which loses your credibility when talking about this. If you don't think what happens in another country can affect us – look at Libya. More fighting happens in the Ivory Coast over chocolate, than anything else. Americans consume 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate every year. That's almost half the world's production. So if you honestly think that how we pay these people so little below the means to live... that that doesn't affect us (there are plenty of disputes and skirmishes in Africa like in the Ivory coast over the chocolate industry there) then you are clueless. Nestle & hershey's may pay the average wage that those workers in the Ivory Coast and Ghana and Indonesia and elsewhere get for those beans.... but they do not pay a fair wage because in many places unfortunately an average wage is not enough to live. In most of these places, the average wage these farmers get is not a fair wage.

        April 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
      • Andy

        A "fair" wage is nothing other than what they buyer and seller of labor have agreed to, voluntarily, before work is performed. Nothing else. If the governments of those countries are stepping in and conscripting people, that's one thing, but I don't believe it is the case, usually. Like the other poster noted, the choice for that worker is typically doing that job, which they voluntarily do, or poverty and starvation. It is to the net benefit of those countries that these industries exist.

        Could they pay more? Perhaps, but that means the consumer pays more, and more importantly, they are competing on commodity price in a global market. If they pay more than other producers, they must charge more, and the result would NOT be that the end product is priced higher. The result would be that their product loses share, and then people don't even have what they have now.

        Short of some type of world government with wage and price controls, this is probably going to continue.

        And for that matter, why do we feel so entitled to look down our superior noses at people whose children work on family farms? Why do you people think we have a tradition of summers off from school? We did, and still do, the exact same things. We are simply not an agrarian society, as many of these countries are.

        April 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Talgrath

      Working on the family farm is hardly child abuse or child labor; it is how farms worked for hundreds of years, children in America still work on the family farm, there is nothing wrong with that. I agree that children shouldn't be forced to work in a trade at gunpoint, but working on a family farm is hardly a terrible thing.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Reply
    • Michelle Bloom

      I'm pretty sure Nestle, along with Hershey's, is one of the biggest companies using slave labor to make their chocolate these days, so just keep an eye out for that!

      April 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Reply
    • Zephyrous

      ... and always make sure the people with me who are buying chocolate know where the cocoa beans come from...

      Bet you are a lot of fun to hang around with.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  3. San

    I guess one solution could be to put the onus on the Chocolate making companies like Nestle to make sure that the cocoa they use is sourced from people that don't use child labor. Companies like Nestle should certify their chocolates as Non-Child-Labor chocolates

    April 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Reply
    • Roger Rabbit

      Why not put the onus on where it belongs...the people in these countries that abuse their own people ...the ones that make them slaves. Leave the West out of it.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:33 am | Reply
      • JKT

        That's like saying the onus should be on bank robbers to not rob banks or oil companies to not spill oil. Self-regulation never works.

        April 7, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Karin da Silva

      to solve the problem you would have to solve poverty. Cutting a source of income so the family doesn't starve to death isn't the way to go.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:45 am | Reply
      • Mark

        Amen

        April 7, 2011 at 11:59 am |
      • Frank

        If I buy my chocolate from the places the director suggests will he do a follow up on the kids to see what happened to them?

        April 7, 2011 at 11:59 am |
      • Kiki

        Frank I'm acquainted w/Mr. Romano, he was planning a follow-up on this documentary but it's on hold now due to the violence in Ivory Coast. Hopefully soon things there will be better, and journalists can get back into the country.

        April 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
      • yea

        Liking i am pretty sure frank means if we take the kids income away what happens to him? best case scenario no 1 buys chocolate from this kids employer anymore what do you think happens? Think He gets paid?

        April 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
      • Andy

        Exactly. That never seems to register with busybodies, though. All they see is the thing they don't like, or think is "unfair." They never consider the consequences of imposing their will on that situation, and destroying the work arrangements that those other people arrived at before their noble interference – arrangements that those people were, in fact, living on, despite the 3rd party do-gooder's proclamation by fiat that the wages were not enough for that.

        April 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • jim

      the excuses Chocolate mfgrs use is that not all the cocoa they make their chocolate from comes from child labor plantations , so they can't determine which cocoa is ACTUALLY BEING USED, how's that for lame

      April 7, 2011 at 3:14 am | Reply
    • bill

      The onus us on us as consumers, not companies or governments. If you don't care about the conditions where your cocoa beans were grown buy dollar store or even name brand. If you care then vote with your wallet and buy chocolate certified by these new fair trade groups.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Reply
      • michelle

        How do we verify if the chocolate we purchase is fair trade or direct trade?

        April 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
      • Sasha

        Michelle; such items are marked "fair trade"; I don't know if you will find them in your run of the mill grocery store, but store's such as Trader Joe's have them.
        Also, just in case you want to know, cleaning/bath products are always tested on animals, unless it says "cruelty free" or "not tested on animals/do not contain animal by-products". Those are usually found in run of the mill grocery stores but only if they have a "health food" corner/section. (if they do, that's were you would find the aforementioned chocolate, too)
        It really is not overly time consuming to be mindful of what you are buying. It is also not much more expensive, especially if you look for bargains and/or sales, combined with coupons. All it takes is will power.

        April 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  4. T Newman

    Thank you for this excellent interview and for calling attention to this issue. You can actually order a copy of "The Dark Side of Chocolate" DVD online and download a screening guide here: https://afl.salsalabs.com/o/4058/donate_page/darkside

    April 7, 2011 at 12:18 am | Reply
  5. belky

    I will have to turn a blind eye for chocolate, I'm sorry. Its just far to yummy and I am a slave to its sweet rich taste myself.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:39 am | Reply
    • Jeannine

      You are entitled to your opinion. But please reconsider it.

      April 7, 2011 at 4:43 am | Reply
      • Sanity

        While it's nice that people are concerned about other people, not all of us can afford the exorbitant prices of "fair trade" items. We can barely get by paying for the cheap regular items.

        April 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Nichole

      So sad that people like you are so willing to let others sacrifice so you can live your gluttonous life. Having everything you want in life, and cheaply, is worth letting other people live in slavery and poverty. What a fantastic human being you must be.

      April 7, 2011 at 10:34 am | Reply
      • Stephanie

        Nicole, you are very harsh and critical. Life is not fair granted, terrible things go on in the world and children starving and being forced to work for the indulgences we enjoy-not just in America, but everywhere-is not something that will go away completely. As consumers make more educated choices, things change, but bashing people for making the choice you think they should make is not going to win you any converts. Jenine was at least polite and I would listen to her view point and opinions on the subject before your grumpy attitude. I have been trying to be more concious of fair trade in my buying and don't mind paying a bit extra. Consumers rule the market, but change comes slowly.

        April 7, 2011 at 11:24 am |
      • Sildenafil

        Do you buy Nike shoes? How about any products made in China? For that matter, anything with even PARTS made in China or many other Southeast Asian countries? Do you have ANY clue how hard that is today? These may not all be made by children, but "slave labor" nonetheless.

        These children (and adult "slave labor") are making money to help support their families when they probably would not survive without this support. In the industrial revolution, that time when America stepped on it's path to becoming the greatest, most prosperous nation on earth, children laborers were commonplace. Was it right? Up to you to decide, but I think our lives would be vastly different, and for the worse.

        Do you have any diamond jewelry? Trust me blood diamonds are still out there or else the demand for them would be so low that it wouldn't be profitable to continue mining them. Not only are the people that mine them slaves in almost every sense of the word, people are killed over them.

        So yes, stop eating your non-fair trade chocolate. I hope it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Like you with the above products, I buy the best chocolate available at the fairest price for my chocolate cooking hobby. I enjoy it, just as much as you enjoy your computer obviously, with many of the parts ... made in China.

        April 7, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • @ J and N

      Please spare us your guilt. You're methods of resolution wouldn't even work. Greed exists regardless of who gets the short end of the stick.

      April 7, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
      • JKT

        Who are you to unilaterally declare that buying fair trade chocolate would not work??

        April 7, 2011 at 11:28 am |
      • @JKT

        I'm a nobody who doesn't agree with that methodology.

        April 7, 2011 at 11:40 am |
      • Sildenafil

        I am. Economics says so. The demand for "fair trade" chocolate isn't very great, so the price is still reasonably low. If that were to change, many non-"fair trade" chocolate "farms" would go under, causing a severe shortage in the marketplace of chocolate causing prices to skyrocket.

        Will it happen? Probably not, as Europe as a whole consumes far more chocolate than the US (an assumption, but likely the case). As I said before – if it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, do it. Don't castigate those of us that don't choose to follow your lead.

        April 7, 2011 at 11:46 am |
      • Alverant

        @Sildenafil well then wouldn't the magic invisible hand create more fair trade farms to keep up with demand and employ all those people?

        April 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
      • Amos

        @slidenfall – you are wrong. the USA is the number one consumer of chocolate. Per Capita, it's Switzerland... but by dollar amount it's the US over Europe.

        Here in the USA people devour entire chocolate bars at a time. In Europe, most eat a tiny square broken off the bar at a time.

        April 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
      • Andy

        @Amos – Your first claim, that the Swiss consume the most chocolate per capita, and your second, that Americans "eat whole bars at once" while Europeans eat a "tiny square" is contradictory, and flies right in the face of the statistics. Here is a list I found of per-capita consumption:

        1. Ireland 11.2 kilograms
        2. Germany 11.1 kilograms
        3. Belgium 11.0 kilograms
        4. Switzerland 10.7 kilograms
        5. United Kingdom 10.2 kilograms
        6. Austria 9.4 kilograms
        7. Norway 8.5 kilograms
        8. Denmark 7.7 kilograms
        9. France 6.8 kilograms
        10. Finland 6.8 kilograms
        11. Sweden 6.8 kilograms
        12. USA 5.6 kilograms
        13. Australia 5.3 kilograms
        14. Italy 4.3 kilograms
        15. Canada 3.9 kilograms

        This just doesn't hold with your characterization of Americans as gluttonous slobs who wolf down a bar at a time, while their reserved European counterparts eat a "tiny square." What rot.

        April 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  6. Brad

    What's the problem? I thought children like chocolate.

    Seriously, I doubt that the world's fat people will balk at a candy bar because others suffer. I fully expect our plus-sized planeteers to lounge about in their recliners and proclaim, "We won't stand for this!"

    April 7, 2011 at 12:41 am | Reply
    • Sildenafil

      Chocolate isn't making the country fat. Overindulgence is. Eat too much McDonalds, with their toys for your kids made in China and other SE Asian countries employing de facto slave labor, and you will become obese. Keep ordering that grande mocha cappuchino late with "low fat" whipped cream – you'll become obese. I have no clue what that is or even if it exists because I don't drink coffee but you get my point.

      Blaming obesity on chocolate isn't rational.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:50 am | Reply
      • hahahahahaha

        Really. I'm overweight, and I can't stand chocolate in any way, shape, or form. If every dessert option was suddenly chocolate, I would pass. The same goes for anything peanut butter, or banana. I don't actually eat any kind of candy, it's not my thing. And I love vegetables and salad. Still, here I am. Fat.

        April 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  7. Thomas

    This is just another example (albeit one of the more horrendous) of greedy companies putting profit above the well-being of their employees. While this happens all over the world, I'm ashamed to say the USA is one of the leaders of this practice. Yes the docu talks about Ivorian labor/slavery abuses, but ultimately it is the companies paying these foreign outfits who are responsible. While I understand people wanting to do something (buy free trade type chocolate) in reality, if the the companies sell less slave labor chocolate, they'll simply raise the prices and/or pay even more unscrupulous people to obtain more slave labor produced raw ingredients. Anything for the almighty buck and blessed profit margin. It used to be American workers could earn a decent wage and afford to buy a house. Greed has killed that dream and recently greedy companies have used that want of a home.. the current crashed realestate market and global crisis are the result. But they made their profits ahead of that, and guess who bailed them out when the bubble finally burst?

    April 7, 2011 at 2:32 am | Reply
    • donna

      The downside is that the Chocolate which washes up on Oregon beaches will be collected up by the "hippy community" on the coast and used as housing material or "art".

      More eye sores for the local residents to put up with.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  8. ggcalden

    Having visited and lived in countries other than the US I can tell you that our view of child labor differs from much of the world. Our pampered children would not survive in most of the world. A large majority of our adults could not survive a single day of the labor required to support a family in most of the world. I am sure this astute documentary was meant to make the world aware of child labor but the industry is paying these kids...we need to focu on the children that are not paid and thier parents who are forced to sell themselves or thier children into slavery to survive. I will buy 10 chocolate bars every day as long as those kids can earn a wage for their labor. I donate far more than that to assist in the efforts to stop modern slavery.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:50 am | Reply
    • geichi

      One logical comment! Thank you.

      April 7, 2011 at 4:50 am | Reply
      • dominus

        i 2nd u on dat. nice point of view indeed

        April 7, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Sublime

      Very astute observation. Kudos.

      April 7, 2011 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Word

      I just hope the plantation owners share their wealth w/ non familial workers

      April 7, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Nicky

      But as this docu points out, the kids aren't paid. They're not earning $ for their families , they're slaves.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • Sublime

      @Nicky,

      I might keep missing it when I read, but I don't see where it mentions the children/families not receiving pay?

      April 7, 2011 at 11:18 am | Reply
      • Nicky

        Sublime, yeah I don't see it mentioned above... too bad. I have seen the whole documentary tho, and it makes that clear. They even interviewed a trafficker who sells the kids. Many of the children sign on to this THINKING they will be getting paid... but they're not. And really, when you're 8 or 10 years old, your family's in another country, you don't speak the language and your boss carries a machete, who are you to argue? The few who escape, they talked to some of them too, and they said if they don't work hard enough, or get sick or complain, they're beaten... the kids said many try to escape but are caught, they're badly beaten and I can't remember if those kids actually said some are killed, or if they said some disappeared and they figured they were dead, but there ya go. They're not sending money home, it's just free labor for the cocoa farmers. And the docu also makes clear that the big corps know about this. Nestle, Hershey, Mars, all know this goes on.

        April 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Anita

      Glad I am not alone in thinking this way!

      April 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Reply
    • luckyponytoo

      Indeed, the article states that the majority of the children are working on family farms. True, they may not be "paid" by their parents as an official wage, but that's hardly the same thing as slavery. Keep in mind that the reason schools in the US break for the summer is because it wasn't that long ago that most families needed their kids home to work on the farm. Just because that isn't the norm for us at the current time doesn't give us the right to point fingers and vilify people whose survival depends on the whole family pitching in.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Reply
    • CalgarySandy

      Some of the chocolate companies pay the kids. Many do not. We watched a documentary on this a few months ago. They are very rarely family farms. The children are often kidnapped or sold by their parents. Many are simply slaves.

      Most of the comments here are despicable and stupid. There is nothing even remotely funny about making fun of these kids even if you have not seen the documentary. The ignorance of too many Americans and their complete lack of moral fiber is growing exponentially. Oh, yes, there are lots of decent people but they stand back and keep quiet. Enablers!

      April 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  9. garix boy

    Child labor will never be erased in this planet, unless everybody learns the meaning of poverty. Why, procreate when you know your next generation will just be more impoverished.

    April 7, 2011 at 3:16 am | Reply
    • CalgarySandy

      Are you truly this stupid? Or is it just willful ignorance? When you do not have old age pensions you have children to take care of you when you are old. No one else will. Alas, many children die before they reach adulthood so you need to have enough of them to assure you are not left sick, alone, and starving. In lieu of a tractor, they have children to help in the fields, if they have fields. Many men in these parts of the world will not use condoms because having many babies is a sign of virility. They would likely kill or maim their wives if they secretly tried to do something about it. No woman anywhere would ever willingly have more children than they can take care of. It is rarely up to the woman in undeveloped countries.

      Some of you lot may be intelligence but it is impossible to say. You are so ignorant as to appear stupid. In my mind, willful ignorance is one of the stupidest choices available. You do show the world what kind of greedy and inhumane country you live in.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  10. GailD

    Thks for this as I watched the documentary, A Small Act, and saw children as well working to support their family and pay for school fees. I have started eating chocolate recently and though more expensive, I do buy fair trade and pray that it is fair trade.

    April 7, 2011 at 3:51 am | Reply
    • CalgarySandy

      Me to. Good for you for showing your humanity.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  11. alexweir1949

    Third World Countries get 4% royalty on minerals, coffee, tea and even on so-called FairTrade products. If that is not also slavery then I am a dutchman....

    Alex Weir, London and Harare

    April 7, 2011 at 4:50 am | Reply
  12. Kim Tran

    You know, we don't just simply stop by not buying chocolate or make chocolate companies admit that they are Non-Child-Labor. If we stop in that way, children have nothing to do and they get no money to pay for their living.
    We need to figured out another way to help those children

    April 7, 2011 at 6:31 am | Reply
    • JKT

      Pressure CAN be brought to bear! If the big chocolate companies know that they can increase sales by selling no-slave chocolate, they will go to their suppliers and use their buying power to ensure slaves are not used. They can send inspectors, etc. Don't just give up and claim we can do nothing. That's weak and lazy.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:32 am | Reply
  13. pmaura

    this stuff always ticks me off, england, the united states and everyone else when there countries where in these states of development need child labour, otherwise you dont eat. Only once a country has truly developed can social programs exist.

    But unless the entire world wants to make africa inot more of a welfare state then it is let them work as it is far better then do this then be sold for prostitution so that there parents dont starve to death.

    life is not easy and its not far and you dont make it that those ways by throwing money at it you have to crawl before you can walk.

    April 7, 2011 at 8:19 am | Reply
  14. Muwiess

    I was commenting to a friend when we were talking about the bail out figures from the US, billions... How much of that money could have been bail out the poverty in the world? Maybe half or one third could have been earase the poverty label, from how many countries? and could have made posible the freedom and democracy to move forward at the same time? There is a spark that needs to be spread, but money its required, what about to bail out the poverty? what about bail out the poor children of this world? there are so many countries where it could be done...We can not make it happens unless we start thinking the terribles odds of the poor children and women to break up the poverty conditions, and start realizing that could be the best world investment for our future and make this place a safer one. Otherwise rage, anger and hate will be the only winner, meanwhile as a atonish spectators we will continue to look the non stoppable terrible conditions to be spread out. I was so surprised that US it could bail out the economy, so I think money is there, banks are owe now to improve the conditions of others since they have been rescued. US, what a about a bail out for third world countries with tons of children, young people,women and men willing to be better and become part of a land of freedom too?

    April 7, 2011 at 8:23 am | Reply
  15. anis

    CNN must do stories of slave-like conditions in Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar too.
    CNN must visit labour camps, non-energy companies, real estate firms, publishing and advertisement companies as well as trading companies in these countries to find out about violations of human rights.
    Just because they are immensely wealthy from their oil and gas industry and also have a huge budget for positive global media campaigns does not mean they should be excluded from this Freedom Project.
    Four Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states, UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain have made positive changes to the modern-day slavery system called the Sponsorship System. It is only the above mentioned countries which still continues this rigid practice of keeping foreign workers and employees at the mercy of their sponsors who are nationals of these countries.
    The Sponsorship System needs to be recognised as a Modern Day Slavery System. Under this system, workers and foreign employees cannot disagree with their employers on anything and can be terminated immediately and deported back to their countries without any explanation. Workers and employees cannot change jobs without a No-Objection Certificate certificate from their previous sponsor. Hence what we get to see in these countries are workers living in pitiable conditions. Example: 25 workers living in a 6ftX6ft room. In addition, workers long hours without extra overtime compensation and are sometimes served low quality food just once a day.
    Qualified employees in companies face harassment due to non-recruitment of sufficient staff and hence end up doing at least three individuals' work, as companies are always cutting costs to maximise profits.
    There is no sick leave, it only exists on paper. Workers can only fall sick only on their weekly off day!!! Any absence is hit with salary cuts!!!
    Lots of Human Rights offices are in existence but cases are only piling up due to procedural delays.
    Basics like drinking water are also not available in some firms with the explanation given that salaries are meant to buy water!!!
    If a No-Objecion Certificate is asked to take up employment in another company or if a salary raise is asked, it is usually not given and the worker is deported without explanation.
    CNN must continue this campaign with greater vigour to end Modern-Day Slavery worldwide.

    April 7, 2011 at 8:28 am | Reply
  16. hekdlhjvb d

    :O

    April 7, 2011 at 8:43 am | Reply
  17. magento themes

    the government why they didn't action for child labors?they are doing the work for their living purpose. if we are stop to buying chocolates,what about the labors?
    In all over the world child labors not at all erasing,if everyone take beware of that our child's,no child labors will create,is it right?

    April 7, 2011 at 8:58 am | Reply
  18. pat

    This is outrageous. You mean, some of the cocoa beans used in my chocolate were the same ones that kid's bhut was sitting in? Ewww! Yes, I think legal action should be taken immediately, something needs to be done.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:50 am | Reply
  19. Frakory

    I am a chocolatier by trade, we keep away from companies that use child labor since we open our doors. We tell all our clients that we charge more because we are carefull what are our ingredients... It is very sad that exist traffiking and child labor in the 20th century and people keep their mouth shut and are accomplices to the fact. It should be public which companies are benefiting of this horrible abhorration of traffiking and should be certified on the Label of each choclate and any product that is not chocolate as well.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • Kin NYC

      Frakory: What company? Would like to get your chocolates.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:12 am | Reply
      • Nicky

        Ditto!

        April 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • StationaryDave

      Frakory: If your company can avoid forced-labor cocoa, why can't others do it? How can you be sure your cocoa is not tainted by forced-labor? The documentary shows that even forced-labor cocoa can be sold as fair-trade cocoa. There are so many suppliers it's impossible to tell.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • hayleydrew

      Free2Work is a great app/website that grades various companies (not just chocolate) on their policies concerning fair trade.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  20. Doug

    So, what is the solution here? Consumers stop buying chocolate? I do not think that will help at all. Lowering demand will lower the wages paid – equaling more poverty.

    Think about the path a cocoa "bean" takes from farm to vending machine. It is harvested, shipped, processed, combined with other ingredients, packaged, shipped again, loaded into a machine, and sold. All of those steps and the cost is still less than 1 USD.

    Do we raise wages by raising prices? Great, a 3 USD chocolate bar. Then cut the demand in a third because of the increased price and we are back where we started.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • DA

      You don't know much about economics. The point is to increase demand for fair trade chocolate and lower demand for the rest of the industry based on slave labor. Eventually the later will get the hint that enslaving people or paying low wages will result in less profits. When their practices change they will have no choice to shift most of the profits from the owners to the workers (thus, higher pay for workers), so in essence, the price will not increase much – if at all. Fair trade chocolate really is not incredibly more inxpensive.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  21. waterman

    Which brands are fair trade and direct trade chocolates? I would support them if available around here.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • Nicky

      My fave fair-trade chocolate is Theo... Great stuff. Divine's also good. I think the best thing tho, is PLEASE email whatever your fave brand is- hershey or lindt or whoever. Let them know you're actively looking for FT chocolate. If they know there's a market for it, they'll want to cater to it. Ask them to send you their written policy on child slavery. And if the policy isn't strong enough for you, tell them that. They really do listen, it worked in australia bc tons of Aussies wrote Nestle so now KitKat bars sold in Australia are FT.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • StationaryDave

      Newman's Organics isn't technically fair trade, but their cocoa is mostly sourced from Latin American farms and they have made efforts to make their farmers certify that they don't practice forced-labor.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  22. MMMM

    MMMMmmmmm children's tears! nom nom nom

    April 7, 2011 at 10:25 am | Reply
  23. tankrothchild

    MMM...I love dark Chocolate.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • Stephanie

      OMG I need a candy bar!!!

      April 7, 2011 at 11:28 am | Reply
  24. JC

    There is a difference between being forced to work and needing to work, I think. Children all over America work on family ranches or farms, and it does sometimes interfere with school. Yet we do not attach a negative connotation to to such labor, even though the children may not have a choice. Family farms require sacrifice to continue in existence. In Montana, many districts allow a certain number of days away from school for hunting or harvesting, with the realization that education must take a back seat to survival. Most of the children in Africa work on family farms. Here's a little tip: education doesn't mean a damned thing to a starving populous, and if the only thing keeping you from starving is your entire family working on your coco plantation, then that's what you do. It would make a difference if there was a notable hazard to the children in terms of health or safety. I have some trouble believing that picking or sorting coco beans is as fraught with peril as working in fabric mills, in mines, or deployed as chimney sweeps; all of which led to western child labor laws. I take serious issue with those aid organizations and meddling individuals who try to attach a western value system to an entirely different place and people. So you may well believe that I will eat my chocolate with peace of mind; I will think of the hard working boy or girl that is struggling to keep their family plantation afloat. Though I will never meet them, I give them the same mental nod of respect that I give everyone who makes their living from the land, living in adversity so that the future is just a little brighter than the past.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • KL

      JC, I was thinking along the same lines: there are kids all over the US who are working to help support their families, whether on family farms or with their paper route, babysitting job, lawn mowing business, or other small jobs that, if you paid an adult professional, would cost a whole lot more (think of day care or landscaping). Yet, we don't call this "child labor" or "child slavery." Right now, I'm sure there are a lot of children who have taken up whatever little job they can find to help support their families and we think of them as responsible kids who will grow into responsible adults. If the children working to pick and sort coco beans are getting paid a wage to do their job and support their families, then why are we seeking ways to take away that wage and support? We'd be irate if someone were seeking to do the same to us. We should respect those children as we would respect any child in America who takes up a job to help support their family.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  25. TF

    Oh well…slavery chocolate it is.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
  26. Julia

    Hey Brad, big surprise, but skinny people eat chocolate too. The POINT to this documentary was not to pursuade people to stop eating chocolate but to buy chocolate which is Free Trade, in the same way that careful and caring consumers buy coffees and teas which are Free Trade, since the same set of labor abuse problems exist with those items.
    For all you who claim you could care less and you are still going to buy your chocolate candy, all that's being asked of you is that you take a tiny bit of time to SEE whether you can access Free Trade chocolate in your stores. If not you could always ask the manager of your store to look into it. Would it kill ya?

    April 7, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
  27. Jessy

    I have to say one thing about child labor here in USA child's are also working in there farm and those kids grow-up to be hard working and successful kids need to learn a work ethic when they growing up . We have spoil our kids they grow up to be on well fare or on drugs always looking for a reason not work .

    April 7, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
  28. Cindy

    Is there a list of fair trade and direct trade companies of chocolate. It would be nice to know so I can eat my chocolate guilt free. Those poor children.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
  29. RRMON

    Is it the purpose of chocolate or are there other forms of distributing goods (chemical substance) from the furtile land being use to economize a region's few? And, is this story a cover to satisfy curiosity from the filmaker's actual investigation?

    April 7, 2011 at 11:23 am | Reply
  30. Bayode Anifowoshe

    I am a Nigerian from the South West which is the cocoa producing area. I do not see children working in cocoa farms as child labour! Farming is our parents occupation and we had no other recreation than to join them in the farms after schools or during holidays. This is akin to staying with your parents in their grocery stores in the UK/America.It is on record that we (EKITI STATE) have the highest no of Professors in Nigeria despite this very humble background. However, please note that we were not working in our parents farms to make money; just to help though very compulsory.
    If children are now working for a pay today it is a failure of governance. No affordable schools and social trust funds to cater for these children, God will deliver Africa.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:30 am | Reply
  31. The_Mick

    There are two sides to child labor in poor countries. In 1999, my tour guide took me to a rug factory in Cairo, Egypt. Kneeling on the floor, working the threads with hands turned into rainbows of color from the dyes leaching off, were three small 12 year old girls. I was absolutely amazed that the owner showed off these girls and let me interview them on videotape through an interpreter. They worked 12hrs/day, 6 days/week and had been working since age 10. The owner told me they got 3 months/year off during which he paid to send them to school. I bet, in their community, the parents other girls are jealous of the situation these girls are in. They might not get much education, but their reading and math, perhaps accounting, skills they learn will give them a distinct advantage over the masses of poor in Cairo. And I bet their families need the small incomes they earn. If you were a parent in such a situation, what would be better for your kid?

    April 7, 2011 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • Zephyrous

      Very well said.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  32. momomiester

    My god are we going to internalize everything. Hmm lets contemplate the hardship of the tomato you are eating. The struggle that Enrique the migrate worker is having and the battle with alcohol abuse and the drugs. Or the history of the turnip, and how it was used hatefully along with a cart and gravity to describe people that are mentally challenged. Or every time I fill up my tank I am helping some Saudi sheik live like a king while secretly subsidizing terrorism. I mean really you can break down every freaking thing you do or consume or whatever into some Greek tragedy. Just eat the freaking thing and be done with it. Oh lets not even get into the calories and the health aspects of over consuming it.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:31 am | Reply
  33. Steeler

    The only way a person under the age of 14 is allowed to work in the US is....on a family farm. This is law in this country so why is the cocoa producing countries being held to a different standard. As this article points out to think of where the cocoa comes from do the same for everything else you eat.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:33 am | Reply
  34. MyKina

    Please don't jump to conclusion. These children work hard, very hard but it does provide food for their family who other wise would go without. Also if they did not work in a chocolate farms their sister, mother, or some other female in their family would be use as sex slavery. And if you don't buy chocolate they do not eat.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:33 am | Reply
  35. momomiester

    As I eat my Hersey extra dark chocolate, am am leaning back in my chair laughing in a diabolical tone as I enjoy the fruits of my labor at the expense of others. This "conflict chocolate" taste even sweeter! Bahahhhahhahahha

    April 7, 2011 at 11:36 am | Reply
  36. chocoholic

    I love chocolate!

    April 7, 2011 at 11:38 am | Reply
  37. momomiester

    I can see DiCaprio doing a "Blood Diamond" sequel called..."Blood Chocolate" Where he rescues some chocolate worker...say an Umpa Loompa from the vicious working conditions at the Wonka factory. I can see it now, fire fights and utter non stop action as he smuggles the everlasting gob stopper out of the Ivy Coast, staying one step ahead of the blood thirsty Willie Wonka.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
  38. Deecee63

    Does it bother anyone else that the report opted not to mention which companies to not buy or to buy from? How do we know Ghiardelli or Russell Stover an dother local U.S. companies aren't "puchasing from these places". Sure, I can research it myself but that's just bad reporting not to mention something about whether this chocolate applies to anyone buying in this country!

    April 7, 2011 at 11:48 am | Reply
  39. Toasted

    The "dark" side of chocolate.

    Racist Title. ;)

    April 7, 2011 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • Donahue H.

      AGREED!

      April 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  40. Correlia

    People in the US crack me up. If the children overseas don't work, they do not eat or drink, then they die.
    If you want to help them, buy chocolate and start working with programs to help them out of the situation. Unlike the US many kids in Africa REALLY have little chance of a future and this is the best they can get.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • What the What?

      Gawd, I'd kill to work at a chocolate factory...just like Willy Wonka! All the chocolate you could eat...lollipop flowers!

      So I guess the oompa loompas were chocolate slaves as well?

      April 7, 2011 at 11:56 am | Reply
  41. What the What?

    At least this keeps them off the streets.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:54 am | Reply
  42. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Look on the bright side. We do not have troops in the Ivory Coast because mall tanks cannot run on cocoa.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:54 am | Reply
  43. Cindy

    So, can anyone out there give me a list of fair trade and direct trade companies?

    If people would just read other's questions instead of being in a rush to blirt out smart a......s remarks, the world would get along better. How about you Sarah Palin, could you answer this question for me? Thanks in advance.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
  44. Tom J.

    Now, wait a minute - "child labor" isn't necessarily "child slavery". At least it wasn't when I was growing up on a farm. I worked on the farm every day. I didn't always enjoy it, but I understood that my labor was helping to pay for the roof over my head, the food on my table, the clothes on my back, the car insurance when I got my driver's license, etc. I think it's a shame that so many parents in the U.S. seem to be afraid to ask their kids to even mow the grass. Either way, I'm not sure that parents putting their own kids to work on the farm is exactly scandalous.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Nicky

      Tom, first off this is considered under international law one of the "worst forms of child labor" because it's so brutal and dangerous. But anyway, most of tIhose kids aren't there voluntary and can't walk away, and aren't paid. In the live version of this story yesterday the film maker said he and his partner were offered children for sale and the typical price is $150-$200. FOR A CHILD SLAVE. It's not an after-school job, it's a live of slavery that starts in childhood. Huge difference.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
      • Zephyrous

        Really? Where does it say that anywhere in the article? Don't berate a commenter for making a completely reasonable comment based on the information given. Your real gripe should be with the author of the article who left out any information about work hours, wages, working conditions, or anything that might be useful to garner some outrage. Poor writing leads to a poor understanding of a topic. It's not the readers' fault.

        April 10, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  45. Chris

    almost everything we have is from child labor

    April 7, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
  46. Cindy

    So, can anyone out there give me a list of fair trade and direct trade companies?

    If people would just read other's questions instead of being in a rush to blirt out smart a......s remarks, the world would get along better. How about you Sarah Palin, could you answer this question for me? Thanks in advance.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
  47. Oddness

    So the oompa loompas were slave labor for Willy Wonka?

    April 7, 2011 at 11:58 am | Reply
  48. Bob Dutta

    SLAVERY and WAR never left us. They have always been with us but in different forms – in changed clothes. If you think of it you find that it will probably NEVER ever go away as along as the power, money and so-called 'economy' are in the hands of mostly privileged groups of selfish people who believe that their luxurious lifestyle and own security are their birth-rights and these have to be maintained at the cost of no-matter-what happens to the rest of the world and sustained plights and poverty of millions of people.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  49. ROCKWOOD

    How do you know if the chocolate is coming from fair trade or not????

    April 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • StationaryDave

      It will have a Fair Trade logo on the wrapper. If the chocolate comes from a specified source, that's good, too. Cocoa from Latin America is less likely to have been produced with forced labor.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  50. momomiester

    I am a chocolate racist. I only eat white chocolate that actually has no coco beans in the mix. Save the childrens!..Eat White Chocolate!

    April 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • StationaryDave

      And you are not funny.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Reply
    • hahahahahaha

      hahahahahaha!!!!!!!

      April 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  51. Richard

    Figures chichen CNN doesn't have the B-- to say WHICH companies contract for this chocolate.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  52. lpak

    is child labour synonymous with slavery? if they are paid, however low, its still money.. they could have nothing at all if they don't get to work. if we all go buy " fair trade", then what will happen to the children? will they suddenly live a better live and go to school?

    April 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
    • grofys

      the children are sold to the companies by their parents. they are beaten on a daily basis and work 18 hours a day. they aren't paid or considered "workers"; they are slaves.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Reply
      • Zephyrous

        Really? Where does it say that anywhere in the article? Don't berate a commenter for making a completely reasonable comment based on the information given. Your real gripe should be with the author of the article who left out any information about work hours, wages, working conditions, or anything that might be useful to garner some outrage. Poor writing leads to a poor understanding of a topic. It's not the readers' fault.

        April 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  53. Johnnie

    Exploitation and greed is the underlying truth unspoken that enables the unfair trading treatment of these developing cocoa producing countries.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  54. grofys

    anyone could find the names of companies that are tainted with child slavery. hersheys, nestles, ghirardelli and many more are guilty. m&m mars has a contract to end child slavery, but not until 2020. Callebaut is supposedly now slave free. Dagoba is organic and fair trade, but has been bought by hersheys. do a search or look in facebook where there are campaigns to boycott chcolate companies that use slave labor. a lot of chocolate is sweetened with gmo, monsanto corn syrup which imparts a horrible taste and it is produced on the backs of beaten child slaves. mmm, please do a search for those that use sugar and employees that are paid a liveable wage.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  55. shanalady

    amen to NYC conservative

    April 7, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  56. CJ

    I grew up on a farm and worked quite a bit. I liked working for the neighbors, in fact it was probably some of the last work I did where my employer respected me. It was hard work. I made money. I spent the money. The question in this story that is not answered is whether the children are forced to work, and someone else takes the wages, or if they are free to choose how much they work. Americans always think children working is bad because most americans hate working. There needs to be a more in depth analysis of whether the children are really being abused. Just saying that they are working is not the same as saying something is wrong here. Maybe if more of you had worked as children, you wouldn't be so weak now.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • grofys

      the evidence of abuse is available if you search for it. these are not happy kids working on a farm.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Reply
      • Zephyrous

        perhaps instead of expecting people to "search for" the evidence the author of the article should have actually included some details. The way this article is written it sounds just like they are whining that kids are working on their family farms, just like many of us here in the USA grew up doing. IF there is more to the problem than that why is it not mentioned at all in the article? you can't expect anyone to read this article and say "OMG I have to go research the child labor practices of every obscure country out there to see just what real problems there are". If there are actual problem, put them in the article or don't write the article in the first place.

        April 10, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  57. Samantha

    Other people are making this seem like if we stop buying chocolate children will be out of jobs. They work in SLAVERY. Some of them are sold by their parents to the companies (for a very, very small amount of money), but most are stolen or otherwise forced into working. And they work 80 hours a week or more, for NO pay. They aren't going to be losing good paying jobs if we boycott Hershey or Nestle. What I hope will happen is that fair trade companies will expand because of consumer demand and more of these children will be freed from slavery and allowed to have jobs, period.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  58. Jerry

    As a farmer in the U.S. and the father of 3 boys; I made sure my children worked on the farm when they were growing up. They are all now grown and are happy, productive, contributing members of this wonderful country. Glad that movie producer wasn't driving around my farm when the young boys were working in the fields.......

    April 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • grofys

      these are not farm workers; they are slaves. there is evidence available. this interview doesn't really have the time to get into the reality of this situation.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • Joshua Wertheim

      I'm sure you are a wonderful father and that you taught your children all the things they needed to be the contributing members of society that they are, and that the value of hard work together with their education was an important part of these values. The situation that is being reported on is a bit different. These are poor uneducated parents either selling their kids, or forcing them to work the fields that put them into dangerous situations, and that don't allow their children to take the time off to get an education. I would think the goal should be to make sure every farmer is as responsible as you appear to be, but in the third-world, that is almost never the case. We are lucky to be in America where you can be the parent you need to be and our children can grow up to be the adults they desire to be.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  59. Sayward

    I appreciate these articles informing me about how businesses may be using child (or adult) slave labor to make the products that I buy. I try to buy products that say "Fair Trade" or "Made in the USA", but sometimes they are hard to find. And those products are usually twice the price. I don't mind paying more for Fair Trade, but I'm not rich either, so it is a problem at times.

    When people post articles or blogs or whatever, about businesses using child slave labor, they really do need to list the companies and the names of the products. Don't just say, "But before you bite into a chocolate bar or take a sip of hot cocoa, consider, where did it come from?" Tell me WHAT companies do this. Tell me the NAME of the product that is made by slave labor. DON'T generalize. Be specific! Not all companies and businesses use child/adult slave labor.

    If I am going to stop buying products made by these businesses, I need to know which products to stop buying.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  60. HowIsThisNews?

    My stand to end slavery starts with ending North Americas slavery to the banking system. I'm refusing cash and only taking gold and silver coins from now on!

    April 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  61. HowIsThisNews?

    the world bank forced India to not provide free food to it's poorest citizens because it was anti-competitive! now those children are working in sweat shops to pay for rice that should have been free.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  62. Robert

    I was born in 1951 in rural area in France, i spent my childhood working to my parents, it was more or less the same for my fellow friends, it was plenty of work and one assistant was not enough. Today farmers have 3x surface and no assistant, they growed rich and buy engines. Young are unemployed and have to move to the cities.
    In Africa -and all "undevelloped" countries-children have to work or to beg, but if they success they retire very young and have a position of master.
    I do not say what's good & what's wrong....

    April 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  63. sfsfds

    Buying "fair trade" products doesn't help anyone. It's an ignorant fad.

    How does it HELP child laborers and sweatshop workers to not buy their products? Do you think their companies will say "okay, we didn't sell very much, let's let little Johnny go with a generous severance package?" Buying their products helps these countries develop, which will let them shed exploitative labor. Besides, little Johnny is probably happy to work when the alternative is much, much worse.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  64. Alex

    "The International Labour Organization estimates between 56 and 72 million African children work in agriculture, many in their own family farms. "

    Ok, so why is that bad? Working on the family farm....sounds vaguely familiar. Maybe because that is how farms in THIS country and every agricultural country in the world have been operating for centuries. Working on the family farm or in the family business is not slavery....maybe the kids don't love it, but it sure as heck isn't SLAVERY.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Reply
    • StationaryDave

      You're missing the point. It's not about child labor, it's about forced labor. Watch the documentary and read some of ther other articles on this issue.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  65. T3chsupport

    Simply not buying it isn't going to help the situation. All that does is drive the price lower, so either more people buy it and they make the same, or they pay even less toward keeping these slaves. It won't result in better treatment of farmers at all, it'll just make the people driving them more ruthless. It's certainly not going to reform anyone!

    April 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  66. Jenny

    This article isn't mentioning the hours the children are working so its hard for me to get worked up, as I'm sure is the point of the story. If the kids working on their family farms are simply doing their part in the family, I see nothing wrong with that. I think doing a little manual labor would do a lot of kids good: would give them responsibility, a sense of pride in the work they were doing, and keep them out of trouble from being bored and looking for something to do. We need more info before we can get angry and boycott the chocolate industry. I'm certainly not going to automatically assume all of the child labor is excessive, and I'm not going to rob families of what may be their only income.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  67. YESnNO

    I bet everyone commenting on this is American and White. HA!

    April 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • Anne

      They better be, don't want any Blackies here.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  68. Nurse Lisa

    pardon me, but your slip is showing... the African country is spelled Cameroon.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  69. JRZGirl

    What we forget is that for most of these children in poor countries, making chocolate, shoes, clothes, electronics, etc., is far better than the alternative...the sex industry. A few years back when people wanted to put Kathy Gifford’s head on a platter for having children work in her factory, a man from that country was interviewed and said that we (mainly us Americans) were actually making it worse and that if we stop buying products in protest and factories close the families are left in dire straights and many would end up actually selling their children and not for the purpose of giving them a better life.

    I am all for making sure these children are treated and paid well but let's think before acting and instead insist that the companies that employ children do so in a humane manner.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  70. Donahue H.

    Well, kids make damn good chocolate!

    April 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  71. smc

    "... African children work in agriculture, many in their own family farms." Really! You wouldn't have to go farther than rural USA to find children working on their own family's farm. When I was a child I worked in my own family's garden! We were poor, we needed the food. I bet these children's families need the money. Stop buying from them and then what happens to the child?

    I am certain there is more to this story, but as it is, this is a poorly written article.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • smc

      And for that matter, I worked on some of the neighbor's farms as well when I was a child. Used a knife to pick veggies, just like these kids are. I saw a post above that said, "these are not happy kids working on a farm" – trust me, I wasn't a happy kid doing it either, but the money sure was useful.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  72. Jim

    How can you tell whether the chocolate is fair trade or not? With coffee there is a symbol that is applied to the packaging.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  73. cosmicsnoop

    Look, the oompaloompas will gladly make the chocolate if we just liberate Loompaland. We need to devote our military power at once, even if they're slightly stretched, a draft may be in order. The Vermicious Kinnit are a threat to all free people, including oompaloompas, and need to be stopped, not to mention chocolate is very yummy.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  74. dx2718

    I don't see a problem with kids working on their own family's farm (or even someone else's), as long as they're also getting educated and their basic needs provided for. Kids doing farm chores (milking, feeding, collecting eggs) was common here, too, when family farms were common. What's the difference between a kid having a part-time job at McD's and having a part-time job harvesting cocoa? What to kids here spend their time doing? Playing video games, texting? Don't you think they'd grow up to be more responsible if they actually did something useful during all those wasted hours? Not to mention the benefit to society if they were producing something rather than just being lazy!

    April 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  75. Job

    You understand that harvesting with your family on family land is not the same thing as being taken from your family to work in hazardous conditions.
    Besides, if their work suffers they won’t be able to care for the trees. If you didn’t know, cocoa producing trees are being decimated by disease and there are fewer varieties than there used to be. Every field needs to be cultivated to make sure these trees survive the decimation of a species.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  76. motormouth

    Please tell me, again, why we care so much about supporting OTHER countries, helping OTHER countries, pointing the finger at OTHER countries, protecting OTHER countries when we aren't doing anything for OUR country?

    OUR farmers, OUR children, OUR women, OUR elderly, OUR homeless, OUR unemployed. How about we let the OTHER countries tend to THEIR problems, and WE tend to OURS? I think that's a novel idea.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • Jenny

      Very good point.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • michelle

      While I definitely agree with you that we are far from living in an utopian U.S., and that the U.S. does have problems such as all the ones you listed – it does not mean we should turn our backs or be apathetic to the problems that face our fellow countries, our fellow human beings.

      I find it interesting that you refer to these counties as the "OTHER." You may not have known this, but the term "OTHER" is actually a term of exclusion, subordination, and dehumanization in continental philosophy. It may not have been what you meant, but the tone of your comment certainly implies that the problems of other countries should fall second in line to the rest of the world’s problems. Yes, attention to local problems will place us in a better position to help another – and oftentimes it is the only way to effect visible change, i.e. grassroots, etc. However, there is no need to advertise an open disregard for a lack of interest/compassion for the problems of another person or country. It sounds as though you are full of compassion, as you seem to heartily stand behind the social and political problems faced by the U.S.

      I guess what I’m really trying to say is that we may not all have the power to change the world, but to be globally compassionate is a step in the right direction.

      After all, we all live in this world together; we are all human; we all feel hope, fear, love, loss, despair.

      Yes, we are divided by geographies (land mass, water, etc.), but all those lines of nationality really are imaginary. We are all globally linked and connected. I’m not promoting a global government or anything radical like that, but rather that we eliminate this view of the “OTHER” and begin to be inclusive in our humanitarian efforts. If one chooses to focus more attention to local problems, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it is commendable as most people fail to believe in any form of social responsibility. But the truth is, the circumstances/changes in the larger world will have an impact, directly or indirectly, immediately or in the future, to our local livelihoods.

      It seems to me that attacking the global issues, might just resolve any local problems in due course.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Reply
      • Anne

        michelle, you lost me at the first sentence, but you sound hot anyway. :)

        April 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
      • Don't Give A Fuck

        It's survival of the fittest. Given the circumstances, everyone involved is doing what is best for themselves. Some people get the shit end of the stick. Crying about it and giving a lecture on the meaning of a word will not change the circumstances or the outcome in life that someone always loses. Grow the fuck up.

        April 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Katie

      Spoken like a true American. So tell me, do you make sure you buy American? Do you shop only at your local Farmer's Market? Never at Wal-Mart or other chain stores with only imported products? Do you bike instead of drive? Do you donate regularly to your local food pantry? Help your neighbors with their heating bill? Volunteer at your soup kitchen?

      I suspect you want whatever you want, you want it all, you want it now, and you want it cheap. (And you probably think you 'deserve it.') I suspect you think socialism is an evil word and you vote a GOP ticket.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
      • motormouth

        Katie –
        May I suggest that you stop smoking whatever it is, and realise that you can't second guess anyone?

        No, I don't always shop at farmer's markets, et al., but I do my best to when I can afford to. I usually like to grow my own vegetables in the city on the corner lot that I have and freeze them for consumption during the 4 or 5 months that they will last. No, I do not bike instead of drive. Living in the city is tough enough. No, I don't donate regularly to my local food pantry, but I do invite perfect strangers to my home once or twice a month to eat with me. No, I don't help my neighbors with their heating bills because I can barely afford mine...but you know the funny thing? I DO take my pocket change once a year to a children's home and give it to them (after having saved all year – I have an antique milk jug for this purpose).

        Your suspicion of what I want is so far off, I'm surprised you haven't fallen off the edge of the earth. I don't want anything more than what I have worked for, both hard and honestly. I don't expect anything cheap, because I know that's not reality in the business/consumer world. EVERYONE wants to make their little piece of the pie. I don't deserve anything more than the respect that I give to those who deserve it from me (unlike yourself, who seems to have a giant saguaro trunk in her backside).

        You see, I was raised with a different set of values than most because I was partially raised by my grandparents (I'm now 39). They were children of the Depression, and my grand-father was a 22 1/2 year veteran who served in both WWII and Korea. I believe that it is up to the U.S. (notice the word US there?) to take care of her own BEFORE taking care of others. I don't disagree with helping each other out by any stretch, but I sure as hell don't agree with us helping everyone else out at the expense of our own people.

        So, before you get your prissy little self dirty by slinging mud, perhaps you should sit back and think about what someone else might have learned through-out their own lifetime, and what they've seen with their own eyes. Come out of your shell Katie, and smell the (foreign-grown) coffee.

        P.S. I choose not to vote, because I don't believe in voting for the lesser of two evils.

        April 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
      • motormouth

        I guess the point that I was making, that you missed by a long shot, is that our government needs to stop sending money to, and spending money on, other countries. It needs to put that money towards our school systems (have you done any research lately on how many of our schools aren't even meeting the national criteria for graduation, and wondered why so many of our kids are basically dumb?), towards our elderly care systems (face it – they suck at taking care of those who have taken care of them for so long), our vets (how many homeless vets do you hear about or see every week?), our homeless children (so many golf courses, so little land or money for shelters), our struggling farmers (government-based farmer protection sucks, too – take a look someday at how our federal and states governments treat farmers who are the ones who supply most of the food to our country), and the list goes on. THAT'S the point I was making.

        April 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
      • fu9l

        actually kate they are quite naive they dont even know that they have legal slaves in there own country a diplomat was reciently found to have slaves in his compound one ran away because she was getting mistreated ... nothing was or can be done because he is a diplomat hence it is legal in his country to have slaves this problem can only be resolved when it becomes illegal in all countries to have slaves or forced labor typing here about it wont change a thing legal action towards the countries that do this would ......

        April 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
      • motormouth

        @fu9l –

        What does that have to do with what I said?

        April 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  77. nicole

    umm...i like how it made it seem appalling that this children work on family farms.....you know....just like north american children have for centuries....

    April 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • Katie

      Yes, yes, in America we regularly beat our children so they can help us turn on a profit on our family farms.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
      • motormouth

        @Katie –

        How do you know they beat the kids? Because of something you've read? Or have you actually been there and witnessed the beatings for yourself? Political rhetoric and all that is a bunch of bull. Please stop being a sheep, and observe before you judge.

        April 7, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  78. dicerotops

    At the cost of sounding very un-PC, there is child labor in those countries for a reason. The children are trying to help bring food and necessities to their families. By NOT buying the chocolate, you'd actually be hurting these kids because then they won't have the work they need to survive. Yes, I'd love for all countries to treat their workers fairly. Realistically, that is not going to happen, and these children are doing what they need to do in order to survive.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • hayleydrew

      Buying fair trade is not so much about boycotting the other companies (because we do realize that this can be a detriment in a way like you have pointed out). But when more people buy fair trade more often, it shows that there is a significant demand for it and that people do care where their chocolate comes from. These farms do not just pay unfair wages, they beat and threaten these kids all the time.

      In your method of logic, Rosa Parks could have continued to sit in the back of the bus.... at least she had a ride.
      It takes little steps, sometimes very hard ones, to make a difference and change things for the better.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • hahahahahaha

      Since I don't like chocolate, I don't usually buy it. But if it will help these poor foreign slave children, I'll start buying it, and i'll just throw it away after, okay? Because I'm just that kind of stellar human being.

      April 7, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  79. donna

    Think if we could get nucular power from Chocolate? There would be an earthquake, and they'd say like:

    Uh oh. Chocolate is seeping into the ocean!

    We're all DOOMED!!!

    April 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Reply
    • donna

      It's a MELTDOWN, call the Ice Cream Trucks!!!

      April 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • Summer

      donna, can i pour ice cream all over you and lick it off? :)

      April 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  80. hayleydrew

    NYC Conservative (near the beginning of comments):

    This is said with respect because I don't know you personally. But from what you have said.... You are a fool.
    I do not think you realize that Fair Trade companies can offer just as many jobs as the "child labor" that these kids probably beg for (as you say, but which is not true). If people would buy or simply tell companies they would still buy if it is fair trade, it would most definitely help the children and no it would not cause economic disaster here in the states.

    But, it's nice to know that you are so selfish in your great American wealth that you cannot spend a dollar more on your precious chocolate to help a few kids.

    These children who work on these farms are not simply paid low wages... They are beaten and threatened every day. Very young children. They do not beg for this work. It is the only option for many of them. But they do beg for a better life. Wouldn't you?

    Maybe you should do your research (on cocoa farms, economics, and pretty much everything you said) before you make such bold comments.

    And to everyone else complaining about these people procreating:
    Are you going to pay for the birth control to give out to hundreds of thousands of people? Or would you rather spend a dollar more on the chocolate that is making you fat and unable to do half the work these children can?

    April 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  81. N.J.

    Soooo...which chocolate are we supposed to avoid? Can we get some brands or do we have to guess?

    April 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply
    • hayleydrew

      Try Free2Work. It's a website and an app. They grade various companies on their policies.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  82. john

    Like I care where it comes from. I buy Blood diamonds.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • Summer

      oh my, john is a bad a s s. :)

      April 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • motormouth

      lol

      April 7, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  83. hayleydrew

    This piece is not well-done. Fair trade is not about just the low wages. It's not just family farms. There are a lot of farms where the children and adults working are virtual slaves. They are beaten, etc. This piece only highlights one small aspect of fair trade....

    April 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • GregJ

      Does this mean I gotta quit having my kids do chores around our place? I thought they were learning responsibility, honest labor, the value of a dollar, connection with the earth --

      April 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  84. delilah1

    Wouldnt it be nice if it were so simple. STOP BUYING BAD CHOCOLATE! What will these children do if they dont work for their families? What will they eat? Who will school them? The fact is the developing world dosnt have the resources or infrastructue to support these kids in food, health and schooling. They have to support themselves or their families. Otherwise the alternative is they will join a local gang or militia and go fight wars for REALLY BAD people. Or they will beg and become victimes of child pimps. Or they will be sold into slavery somewhere else in the world.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • Summer

      You sound hot delilah1. Chocolate makes people a little warm and tingly.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • ckolb

      These children for the most part are not working on the family farm, they are bought or tricked into forced labor. IT IS NOT A JOB THEY ARE NOT GETTING PAID!!! So they are not helping themselves or their families. They are starved, beaten and forced to work 12-18 hours a day. See this link for more info about chocolate farm slaves...http://vision.ucsd.edu/~kbranson/stopchocolateslavery/goodchocolateproducts.html

      For those that asked there is also a list on that website of about 40 fair trade chocolate companies including.

      Newmans Own
      Ben and Jerrys
      Ithacas Fine Chocolates
      Amano
      Coffee-tea-Etc.
      Clif Bars
      Equal Exchange
      health by Chocolate
      Maramor Chocolates

      April 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Reply
      • hahahahahaha

        I'm now looking forward to the lurid exposes on each and every choco-shyster named here on this list...thank you! Or maybe they are not shysters, they are probably just being hoodwinked by someone further along the supply chain....either way, some kid is crying over something somewhere so you can have some chocolate. Accept it.

        April 7, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  85. Dan

    Wait a minute....that's not the real sarah palin!!! I bet that last guy wasn't the real wallet inspector!!!

    April 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  86. Glen Beck

    These kids are spoiled rotten. They get what is essentially a free gym membership and work in Willy Wonkas factory.

    April 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • Anne

      Poser! Poser! Poser! :)

      April 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  87. Mark

    wow, no balls to give its own name. :)

    April 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  88. cindy

    i love chocolate............................... the darker the better
    i will thnk of these children every time i take a bite

    April 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Reply
    • Miriam

      cindy, i am thinking about you right now in the bathroom

      April 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
      • cindy

        why are you full of poop

        April 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Miriam

      no, but i'm full of something else now, wanna lick?

      April 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Reply
      • cindy

        shame your sick

        April 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Stuart

      I want to see cindy and miriam :)

      April 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • Lorrie

      Come on cindy, unwind that tight a s s and give in to miriam, she probably means well and you'll have fun.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  89. Mark

    your momma didn't want to leave my room last night, that's what we're talking about. dumbass

    April 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  90. Roger

    mmmmmhh cindy, you just made my day, i am very dark and you can take a bite out of me anytime.

    April 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  91. cindy

    lets send some of our brats over there.............................
    and ps we have kids here in america that farm at a young age......................................................

    April 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  92. Glenda

    I've never read such nonsense my entire life. Why don't you guys go and get a real job?

    April 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • Lorrie

      I think you just made me c u m !

      April 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  93. Márcia Serrão

    Has this report became a porno chat or something?

    April 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    • Miriam

      yes Márcia Serrão, you can join in if you want, I'm working on getting cindy over here

      April 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  94. Katie

    Since when do Americans really care how their products come to be in their stores? Since when have they ever really cared? They just want stuff now and they want it cheap! They deserve it! They're Americans!

    BTW – most chocolate also comes infected with the Brazillian storage dust mite. If you have allergies to dust, your chocolate may also affect you. Two 'safe' brands are Ghiradelli and the organic brand Green and Black. Almost all your average chocolate – candy bars, chocolate chips, cocoa – contains the dust mite. Want your chocolate now??

    April 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • Marie

      Katie, i would like to pour chocolate all over you and have cindy and miriam, and maybe even glenda from this forum join in, are you up for it?

      April 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  95. Louiext

    At least these people have jobs. Unemployment and poverty are high, I doubt harsh working conditions and low pay are worth no pay and unemployment.

    April 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  96. Zoso

    You call THIS an article!? How about a little more info? For instance, what are "fair trade" and "direct trade" chocolates? And I've got news for you: EVERYTHING is the product of someone else's hard labor...

    April 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  97. Jim970

    Not sure why chocolate is singled out. From what I understand, cocoa harvest is not all that different from hundreds of other products. Don't put the blame on the product, put it on the countries that allow or ignore the problems.

    April 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  98. screwCNN

    And if you don't buy the chocolate, those children working on their FAMILY farms may starve.
    Get real! They are not in a 21st century western economy.
    100 years ago, most children in agricultural families worked on their family farms.

    April 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  99. huxley

    The problem with child labor laws is they take jobs away from the desperately poor that need them most. Sure, conditions in a sweatshop may be very bad, but thats a job that pays more than the alternatives. Its easy for us to sit back and say everyone should be in school, but if your city has no functioning economy, what kind of school can the government build? When you are worried where your next bite of food will come from, how can you study?

    April 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  100. fu9l

    the dark side of diamonds the dark side of clothes the dark side of choc. the dark side of brick laying the dark side of gold the dark side of coal the dark side of just about everything in third world countries that allow this type of activity legally.....

    April 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  101. joe

    Now I have a reason to eat more chocolate as with every bite I know that I am supporting an African child.

    April 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  102. Aubrie

    Since when is a child working on his family's farm considered a "travesty"? If I had a farm, I'd certainly expect my child to help out and do his share of the chores. That IS farm life. This article is stupid.

    April 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Reply
    • fu9l

      yup those of us that grew up on a farm were expected to work and help.....and we did

      April 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • Marie

      Aubrie, you sound like a hot mom, i want to pour hot chocolate all over you. :)

      April 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    • Aubrie

      Sounds good to me marie, just need to put the kids to bed. ;O

      April 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  103. girlpirate

    You can certainly tell...who is shoving the chocolate in their face with "SILVER SPOONS". Anytime...child labor /slave labor is utilized in our products we should be concerned. They are children. As we continue our path to hopefully mesh into "ONE WORLD", one day, children anywhere , will cease to be used for cheap labor to "survive". Yes..this country, does not even take care of their own..protect the rich at the expense of the poor, elderly, sick. Does not negate a need to be concerned about child labor taking place anywhere on the planet. Evil..self concern.

    April 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Reply
    • Aubrie

      That's your opinion girlpirate, but I'm horny. Can you help?

      April 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  104. Child Worker

    Starting at 6 yrs old, I was expected to start working around the house/yard with my mother. I could wash clothes/dishes, bathe/feed my younger sisters, vacume/mop/sweep, do basic yard work. By the time I was 10, I was able to cook meals for myself/sisters, and was watching them on a daily basis. By then, I was doing all that and going to school every day. The work became more the older I got, and I was still expected to go to school, and get good grades. None of the other kids my age were doing that.

    April 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  105. Child Worker

    It didnt seem normal to me, but we didnt dare say no. We did what weretold to do and that was it. I understand theres a difference between abuse and chores, but I believe my mother was on the line, if not crossing it alot of the time. I worked from before sunup and long after the sun went down. I may have great work ethics b/c today. I feel for those children, as I wasnt much different from them. But the phrase 'child labor' was never mentioned in our house. Those kids will be ok. After all, I turned out ok

    April 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  106. Child Worker

    So if anyone reading this thinks that things like that only happen in 3rd world countries, I ask you not to be so naive, and think again. Any person who grew up on a farm knows exactly what Im talking about. I say we need to look around the USA 1st, and try to help/save our own children here. I know its sad that things like this happen all over the world to children. But I doubt itll ever stop. Lets clean up our own backyard 1st, then we can worry about saving the world. Coming from someone whos been there.

    April 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Reply
    • Kevin

      There are many ways to hold slaves. In the USA we use "black lists" to make sure anyone that does not work the 100 hour weeks will be sent to the "low income" areas of the country where they can look forward to watching their children beaten!

      April 10, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  107. FloridaDave

    Just wait till the Chocolate Union hears about this!

    April 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  108. j

    These kinds of documentaries help us to raise our consciousness about the far-away impacts of our own actions on others. We would never accept this kind of treatment if it were our own child farming cacao in our backyard. The only way we can accept this kind of mistreatment is if we view these people as "not us," not part of "our family." But when we expose ourselves to this knowledge, we cannot avoid realizing that in fact these ARE our children. When we are receptive to the knowledge and we allow it to really enter our consciousness, we cannot continue to support a system that creates suffering and injustice, wherever that suffering may be. We need to get past the artificial distinction between "our" children and "their" children, "our" backyard and "their" backyard. In a globally interconnected world like ours, the whole world is our backyard.

    The great news, as many posters here have pointed out, is that there are options out there in the marketplace to satisfy our sweet tooth AND support just, sustainable cacao production systems. Products that are certified by Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, and similar systems must be sourced in accordance with very strict standards for sustainable and just production methods, including no child labor. It is easy to find these products in any supermarket. They are both higher quality than most chocolate out there, and your conscience can rest easy when you buy.

    Someone asked the question about M&Ms/Mars in particular: That company has made a public commitment to source 100% of its cacao supply from certified sustainable farms by 2020, and is working with international agencies and non-profit sustainability training and certification organizations to get its entire supply chain sustainably certified by independent 3rd parties on this time frame. It is not an easy task when you think about the scale and the kinds of places where you need to do the field work (Ivory Coast, which is the world #1 producer of cacao).

    Let us stay receptive and open to all of this information, and respectful of one anothers' views. Peace.

    April 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  109. ErieVern

    I know that certainly don't care about this.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  110. lara

    Eyeopening. I just ate some chocolate . I dont feel the same about it anymore ..

    April 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  111. Demara

    Yeah, everyone with a brain considers where something comes from before they bite into it. Sadly, everything has exploitation plastered all over it nowadays – the clothes we buy, the stores we buy those clothes from, and what we eat. Either exploitation, or poor quality control, that is. Talk about a bitter story.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  112. John

    What's wrong with children working? Children have worked through the entire human history save maybe half a century in the west. Ask yourselves what those children would be doing if not working. Starving? Joining Somali pirates?

    April 7, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  113. Nicholas

    I love chocolate and don't give a rat's ar$e where it comes from...sound familiar? I hate to sound callious, but the standards set forth in the U.S. don't add up to a hill of beans in these choco-republics.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:02 am | Reply
  114. Scott

    Just reading the comments about others making comments here is entertaining as anything! I am a loyal fan now!

    April 8, 2011 at 1:30 am | Reply
  115. Cayenne Pepper

    I am eating chocolate as I write this comment. I don't know where Hershies get their chocolate from, but I am not going to stop eating chocolate because of this. I tend to like very dark chocolate and this is the chocolate that comes from child labor.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:25 am | Reply
  116. KEIDA

    let me tell you exactly how i think it. I'lll never stop eating my dark chocolate, and frankly, I dont care where it came from. I love it, and never will stop eating it. What is this, some campaign to stop people buying chocolate??? why dont you do something against cigarettes or alcoholic drinks that really harm your health, instead of the best tasting, moodfixing diva in the market.

    April 8, 2011 at 6:05 am | Reply
    • steve p

      No one is saying you should stop eating chocolate. What you should be aware of, is that you now have a choice. You can buy fair trade chocolate or any other chocolate.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  117. Rosie O Donnell

    SOMEBODY SAY CHOCOLATE?

    April 8, 2011 at 7:51 am | Reply
  118. Decisis

    eating chocolate is evil-I blame palin's rhetoric or george bush. I will not eat any for the rest of this morning in protest.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:09 am | Reply
  119. Reporter8675309

    Willy Wonka said that he only buys conflict-free chocolate. He too was accused of trafficking Oompaloompas at his factory until it was discovered that they were there under their free will. Buy only Wonka bars and stop buying conflict-chocolate people!!!

    April 8, 2011 at 9:05 am | Reply
  120. Teacher

    Proper spelling and grammar are rare here.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  121. Ron Millington

    Shut the hell up n quit crying. I'm so sick of people in this country trying to change other cultures into what they believe. Did it ever occur to u that's their way of life n they like it.bad enough here in our own country what started as doing u crybabies a favor n creating a smoking section has turned into as much as banning smoking outside or in ur own vehicle.u give these idiots an inch n they keep coming.shut the hell up n leave other people alone.quit trying to force ur beliefs on others.quit crying n grow up or leave our freedom of choice country.I for one will fight for that freedom and u people butting ur nose where it don't belong will b our 1st opponant.nuff said.

    April 8, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  122. Nick

    you are one of the dumbest people I have ever heard. MAYBE CHILD LABOR IS JUST THIER CULTURE. your picture should be under ignorance in the dictionary. and no thank you, I would not like your second-hand smoke... grow up or go back to preschoolm If your parents didnt teach you about whats good and bad they will

    April 9, 2011 at 8:22 am | Reply
  123. mslnifty

    IIt's not OK to accept the status quo. We all have an obligation to work together to solve all the problems of mankind. Over population is usually cured by industrialization. See Japan US European birth rates. Jesus asked us to love thy neighbor. Children working on a family farm is should not be a crime unless its part of an abusive situation. Working for the family is not a crime.
    Ethical and sustainable efforts
    In 2000 Nestlé and other chocolate companies formed the World Cocoa Foundation. The WCF was set up specifically to deal with issues facing cocoa farmers (disease had wiped out much of the cocoa crop in Brazil) including ineffective farming techniques and poor environmental management. The WCF focuses on boosting farmer income, encouraging sustainable farming techniques and environmental and social programmes.[13]

    Nestlé is a founding participant in the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), an independent foundation set up in 2002 and dedicated to ending child and forced labour in cocoa growing, and eliminating child trafficking and abusive labour practices.[14]

    In October 2009 Nestlé announced its Cocoa Plan. The company will invest CHF 110 million in the Plan over ten years to achieve a sustainable cocoa supply. On the 23rd October 2009 Nestlé and CNRA, the Ivorian National Centre for Plant Science Research, signed a frame agreement for cooperation in plant science and propagation, with a target of producing 1 million high-quality, disease-resistant cocoa plantlets a year by 2012. The aim is to replace old, less productive trees with healthier new ones.[15][16]

    Nestlé is launching a Fair Trade branded Kit Kat in the UK and Ireland from January 2010.[17]

    t

    April 10, 2011 at 3:06 am | Reply
  124. chika

    they shd not use little kids to be doing their dirt work they shd employe some people to do that and be payed

    April 10, 2011 at 10:19 am | Reply
  125. Shawn

    Chocolate still tastes just as sweet. Children work on family farms in America, too. Nobody trying to make you feel guilty eating corn.

    April 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  126. lnchbsty

    she made free lunch bus toy at each curb . i say she . she was comprised of 30,000 lunch pails and green beans and casseroles and other beans and such at each sick curb in forever . and 300 folk . 27 million local sick curbs that i counted . and boundless more in phone booth waves and shrubs and such

    but she had a special sensitivity a tenderness . she said to her day, go forth upon my rump and you'll find there in all the filthy naked lusty kids and their free lunch for grandmom . you'll find a paradise . no free lunch . no naked lustyy slut . just good middle age wholesome appropriate sorts . riding ponies and slaves . in a realistic but virtual landscape . and ride your ponies and your slaves and your war baby whores daddy . and when i've the time, i'll stop in and suffer for your sins personal and diary my self my own rump in your own hell .

    and he lept in and never came back out even once yet . well, maybe once or twice . or a few times . but only for a little while . well, not always for a little while . maybe sometimes a little while .

    April 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • jim

      Wow! That was intense!!!!!

      April 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • steve p

      Can someone translate this for me?

      April 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  127. Andy

    i was working in miami at the age of 12 stop writing some puss y sh it article.... now if they were being beaten and or something like that then it would be ok but cause these kids are working its bad? wake up smell the coffee everybody has to work no matter what.

    April 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  128. Jim

    Children? Are you kidding? They make horrible chocolate. Also why should i pay for so much for chocolate if it's made by children?

    April 10, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  129. jim

    I will continue to buy or not buy chocolate depending upon the price and how much I want it at any given time. How the producers provide it is their problem, as is the source of their labor force. I am neither a global fair labor practices representative nor a child labor law enforcer.

    April 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  130. RDG

    Working on the family farm is not slavery. I did it and am better for it. At least they are not playing WII nd eating potato chips on the sofa.

    April 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Reply
    • steve p

      You are right on the money.

      April 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  131. montyross

    they should be like american kids, feed their pie holes, watch tv and have their parents give them money, buy them cars etc.

    April 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  132. matt brown

    So what are examples of fair trade or direct trade chocolate. What brand names or labeling should a consumer look for?

    April 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • steve p

      Most fair trade chocolate is labeled as fair trade.

      April 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  133. steve p

    It is common pracrtice, even in the US for children to do work, (chores) on family run farms. Why is this a big deal now? That is how family farms have been run for generations. Only in the last 10 years has this become slave labor.

    April 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  134. montyross

    soon i will be working for the government at my current job, if the libs have their way i will be paying 80% of my income to pay for entitlements etc., now that is the slavery we need to focus on.....

    April 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  135. slowbrow

    Horrors! Children working on their family farms! Western children in the past 100 years are the only children in history who don't have to work outside of royalty. I've got news for you, American farm children usually have to work too.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • Zephyrous

      oh, yes... because government interference is always the solution to everything, right?

      I have a better idea. Let's take care of our own problems right here and let other countries run themselves. I'll even make a suggestion for starting to take care of our own problems: prevent our government from continuously and unnecessarily interfering in every minute detail of our citizen's lives.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Reply
      • Zephyrous

        Sorry, mispost... this was meant for Glenn, just below.

        April 10, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  136. Glenn

    People don't have the time to research everything they eat. The government should have child labor laws by which they force companies to abide. If the company can't prove that their supply chain is clean then our government shuts them down.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • Zephyrous

      oh, yes... because government interference is always the solution to everything, right?

      I have a better idea. Let's take care of our own problems right here and let other countries run themselves. I'll even make a suggestion for starting to take care of our own problems: prevent our government from continuously and unnecessarily interfering in every minute detail of our citizen's lives.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  137. Steven Landers

    Anyone else notice the title "dark side of chocolate" in conjunction with the little black boy running? It just seems a little weird, that's all.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  138. Jake

    Haven't seen the film so do not know what it purports to expose. However, based on the CNN story it sounds like there is nothing there to stop anyone from enjoying chocolate.

    1) Not all children lead pampered American suburban childhoods.

    2) The story says the majority of these children work on family farms... well in the process of bringing civilization to the North American continent children worked on the family farm here too.

    In many cased Africa is much more primitive in their evolutionary path to modern civilized society. To project first world sensibilities on third world people is simply foolish. We should let Africa progress, along the evolutionary social path, at their own pace.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  139. Keith Alaska

    Seriously? A black kid with a machete and the caption reads: "The dark side of Chocolate..." Love it.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Reply
    • funnies

      how did they let the title of this article fly? I laughed a little

      April 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  140. Dennis

    So much better when the family goes hungry instead.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  141. Dennis

    What is the difference here and in China where kids are yanked off the street and paid .05 a hour and forced to work 20 hours a day. Or what is tthe difference in the fact that the trade agreements and the subsequent outsourcing of jobs overseas has made "The Road to Serfdom" a reality for the majority of America?

    April 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  142. Jumpman

    mmmmmmmm, chocolate.

    Also, the title of this article could have been re-worded into some clever reference to dark chocolate. How disappointing.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  143. justmytake

    I admit I have a chocolate addiction but i don't want my nasty little habit to be a monkey on some little kid's back. How do I know which chocolates are fair trade or direct trade chocolates? It isn't exactly stamped on the package. Should it be? Should I just assume the stuff that costs about five times as much is the sort I should be looking for or is there a list of non-compliant companies? Obviously from this film, Nestles has been casted as a bad guy. Who else should we steer clear from that refuses to at least do the bare minimum for these children?

    April 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  144. Eli

    Finally we get to see the real Obama in the Jungle where he came from, thanks for providing the picture CNN. Come clean Obama, show us the long form birth certificate, time to see who you really are.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61gGsDR_XFI&w=640&h=390]

    April 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  145. Bwanna

    Stop whining and get back to work. We are all slaves being pimped out by the man.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  146. Carol

    MsCookietoyou, that was so funny! When we eat chocolate from now on I'll mentally thank all who made it possible! Child labor here in the U.S.A. is one thing, and children working in uncivilized countries are helping their families to eat.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  147. DEBRA HARRIS

    Good they should have along time ago.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  148. DARK

    My Grandfather owned a farm and I first started working on the farm when I was 8 years old before school after school and on weekends.
    Oh and this is in the good old USA. And this is a normal part of working on a farm. None of my family members do drugs or are in jail. All of us finished school and pay our Taxes.
    How about those kids at home playing Video games and eating them selves to death. None of use are over weight.
    Wake up folks. Unless you understand the world go back and play with your video games.
    You have no right to complain. If you want to pay some one $10 per hour to work in a farm. Then you need to do the math.

    How much would you spend on food each month. Oh then again we would not have a problem with
    weight in this country. ????? Now that is an Idea.

    Don't let Obama read this post. He might just get an idea.

    Sorry if I disturbed your video games and you had to read my cr@ppy post.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  149. Richard

    Will you people just shut up and let the slaves alone? We need our chocalate.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  150. Porcupine

    There are plenty of people around here that need a help. And until I know every US resident has been properly taken care of, what is going on in Ivory Coast, Kenya or Haiti is beyond scope of my interest.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  151. RDG

    What in the world is all the discussion about ? Working might be consdiered a form of satisifaction to those who have tried it.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  152. Mimi Doberman

    Wow. For years American Children worked in agriculture on their family farms. What is exactly wrong with someone learning a trade in the family business. And what are their options.

    The producer of the documentary did it to make money not make a point and most likely exaggerated. Here we are again trying to force our values onto other cultures. What should we be proud of? The fact that most of our youth sit around playing Nintendo, our teen obesity or that our schools can't turn our anyone with an education or a trade skill? Maybe we should focus at home first.

    BTW – The GOP is Greed Over People post was obviously written by someone in an institution who has internet access or a plant.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  153. Rod C. Venger

    So a child working in the family business is a slave? Gadzooks...had I not been a slave I'd never have become a numismatist, nor a commercial Orchid grower, nor something of an expert on American Indian jewelry. These are all things that I learned while working for my folks...no classes can teach what I know...it's all hands on learning. How else is a kid going to learn how to be productive at anything if not by actually WORKING?

    April 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • RDG

      Well said my good fellow.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  154. Dan

    If we invaded Iraq for suspicion of WMDs, what the heck is stopping us from invading Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameron, Brazil, Ecuador, the Ivory Coast and Ghana? Why the heck not? At least America would be more respected for invading under these pretenses as opposed to a paranoid delusion.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  155. bob w

    Child labor builds character, keep up the good work and supply that chocolate.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  156. Tony

    **I DON'T CARE** IF CHILD LABOR IS USED–AT LEAST ITS **NOT** FOR COCAINE HARVESTING, WHICH IS USED TOO. AND, as an American tax-payer, I REFUSE TO "PAY FOR" NON-CHILD LABOR CHOCOLATE.

    WHAT IN HELL IS WRONG WITH EVERYBODY??!!! We FAT Americans **SHALL CONTINUE** TO BUY CHILD-LABOR CHOCOLATE–AND WE **SHALL NOT** PAY for a "correction" in the market.

    PERIOD.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  157. Steve in Michigan

    See? The Ivory Coast Chocolate crisis is growing! We need to inavade to maintain the free flow of Chocolate... for... uh ... Humanitarian reasons of course... but... Time to Reload the Tomahawk missiles!

    April 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  158. Andrew

    Honselty how did that reporter in the studio get that job

    April 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  159. AL

    Over there they have kids work, over here they have "fundraisers" call and beg you, and will keep calling even if you tell them you do not have any money!

    April 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • RDG

      Buying candy bars I assume ?

      April 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  160. Mom

    Check out what the first fair trade High School in the US, Emma Willard School, has done to address this issue http://www.emmawillard.org/news/releases/2010-11-19_fairtrade.php.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  161. shmoogly

    Why don't we all just stop buying chocolate and run all these families out of business, so a year from now, some sap will be harassing everyone to donate "less than $1 a day" to feed their children?

    April 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  162. Jen

    Don't they know that the Oompa Loompas made the chocolate? Have they never seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

    April 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  163. OvenMan1941

    What's the big fuss? I was delivering newspapers before school when I was 10, 11, 12 years old. Nobody was crying child abuse then. It was fine, I wanted to earn some money–has served me well in life. Kids in third world countries work–that's the reality. Better they're prepping the cocoa leaves than prepping to learn how to become a terrorist.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  164. Bill

    Dark Side? How racist!

    Ever stop to think the only reason those kids are eating is because of the labor they are lucky enough to get? Save them from the evil capitalists and let them starve to death.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  165. Q1

    For me this boils down to two points. 1) What is the world like when it is over populated? are we there yet? Does everyone deserve a high paying job? Someone needs to clean the toilets. 2)Captain Kirk (Pike, Picard, Janeway, et all) had the prime directive. Is it because we are all alone on this planet that "American (Christian)" values need to be observed by everyone? does everyone deserve life my way?

    Just asking. And don't be a simpleton. Think before you "speak." I am not saying I am right about anything. But I will say, I really have nope hope for this planet and what we call the human race.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  166. Jeff

    I guess in this world the only people allowed to do any type of labor, farming, selling etc etc must be adults. In the U.S. just how many kids work on the "family farm" ? I agree that children should not be doing forced/sweatshop labor etc but again, who are we to critisize another countries laboring? Can't have your cake and eat it two America. Or maybe you can just without chocolate.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  167. Samuel

    Congratulations CNN for making a special segment that they will never bring up again for an issue that has been around for decades.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  168. Just over it...

    Chocolate from chocolate, you is what you is...or is it cocoa?

    April 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  169. R Burns

    Just one more example of modern witch hunting under a seemingly innocent guise. Yes, we need to work as a global community to keep exploitation at bay, but to raise alarms like this over every bite of chocolate, every cup of coffee, every pair of sneakers, every yard of hand-embroidered fabric does nothing but create guilt where guilt is inappropriate. And it creates situations where folks are picked on by others who have read these articles, unnecessarily creating tension and bad feelings among otherwise congenial folks. We constantly pick on each other about weight, bad hair days, the occasional candy bar, zits and untied shoe laces. Please remember that overwhelmingly the products we purchase are produced by adults who need to eat too. Give it a break.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  170. Charlie Rounds

    The reality is that when CNN can't even spell "Cameroon" correctly – that what happens in these countries will never be important to 90% of Westerners. Having lived in "Cameron" for 3 1/2 years the reality is that children work because their families need to eat. When and only when we look at a solution of economic justice that includes Westerners consuming less and African, blood-thirsty, money-hungry dictators being deposed – will this stop.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  171. Nobody Special

    LOL. Funny how white people are still made to feel regret for a custom our ancestors shunned over a hundred years ago. Yet black people still practice slavery. Go figure.

    April 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  172. Geez

    CNN explores why you were wrong for having enjoyed anything in your life. Next up: How breathing destroys the ozone.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  173. Allison

    OK, really I really don't care what's going on in other countries anymore, and the USA should really stay out of it. Most countries aren't politically correct. I'm sick of it, and until the US starts dealing with and fixing our own problems, we need to stay the hell out of other peoples business.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  174. Mahmoud El-Darwish

    Sadly, having lost the moral high ground over the past 60 years, not too many Western countries have the right to do any finger pointing with respect to either a fair trade chocolate or a direct trade chocolate.
    The baffling irony is that so-called ' fair trade chocolate or a direct trade chocolate' are largely of inferior quality to top of the line grocery store distributed 'Swiss Chocolate'.
    Why is that so?
    I hope this documentary addresses this issue as the marketplace has shown a repeated aversion to 'Fair Trade/Inferior quality goods' time and again.
    As a confirmed chocoholic, I support whatever quality my digestive system agrees with, since even though my head may firmly despise slavery, my stomach doesn't care.
    Solve this dichotomy and the fair trade foods dilemma is solved with it.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  175. John

    These africans can't be saved. They're a bunch of dirty savages. There. I said it. You all know it to be the truth. Gimme a break.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  176. SR

    Kids making chocolate...wonderful!! I think its great! If these countries are going to keep breeding kids they can not take care of that lets at least make them earn there keep. I have no sympathy. Just like these feeding kids commercials I see. How about we take that money and invest in birth control...What a waste of assets to feed a never ending stream of children who have more children they cant afford.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  177. John Galt

    The United States is not the police of the world, nor does the U.S. make the laws for everyone else. I really dont care one way or the other what a sovereign foreign nation does inside their own borders. It is their own internal affairs and we should mind our own business and fix our own issues first before worrying about other nations. if you dont like it personally dont buy the product, end of story.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  178. Canadian

    The tyrant leaders of Africa are to blame for all the corruption there.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  179. Chris

    I don't give a damn if some black slaves are making chocolate. It doesn't bother me one bit and it will certainly not effect my purchase of chocolate.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  180. food4thought

    Oh so now you want to say something about this? This has been going on for a lot longer than you think. Why all the sudden do you pay attention now?

    April 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  181. the_Hawk

    This article comes as no surprise.

    Haven't we all witnessed the horrific exploitation of the Oompa Loompas for decades now?

    April 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  182. M

    MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! WHAT, THE OIL INDUSTRY IS SO BAD CORP AMER NOW GOES INTO CHOCOLATE COUNTRIES? MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! WHO THE HELL SAID AMERICA IS THE WORLDS SAVIOR? IF YOU WOULD TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN FAT, UNHEALTHY, DRUG ADDICTED, CHILd MOLESTING, LYING, GREEDY
    ASS YOU MIGHT GET SOMETHING WORTH WHILE DONE IN LIFE.............mind your own business!!!!!!!

    April 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  183. jean

    That chocolate bunny doesn't look quite so good anymore.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  184. John

    My friends and I worked on farms as kids, helped at home, delivered newspapers and all when I was an early teen. I had a full time job at age 16. I put myself through college and every degree since then. Child labor, I think not. They and their families would starve without the extra income, sadly a way of life for their region. I think this story was off base for if not every time we see a young teen selling a newspaper or helping out at the family farm to raise cattle or produce milk we should scream child abuse. Get real. How about wonder about the next glass of milk you drink. CNN...how about something else more important and factual.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply
    • jean

      The U.S. did have child factory workers at one time, that is until child labor laws were passed. There is now an attempt by some states to eliminate child labor laws pertaining to age and hours. Children will work for less than adults.

      April 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  185. Dennis

    With the post like the majority that are on here which are apathetic it is no wonder that America is on the "Road to Serfdom".

    April 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  186. Bob

    It keeps them out of trouble and gives them a skill.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  187. jones

    What is wrong with child labor a family farm? This happens all the time in the US and no one complains. I was working in tobacco in NC at age 6. It’s considered a “vanishing quaint way of life”. And what would the kids do if they did not work and contribute to feeding themselves, go to a school that they have to pay for (common in Africa where few schools are free) if one exists at all? And when they finish that school, where would they work, in the cocoa business? My deputy in my office is from Nepal. He likes to recount a clothing firm that offered its child workers a short day of work with meals provided and then a full day of school. Westerners refused to do business with them for using child labor, so they fired all the kids and they now beg in the streets all day (they have to eat) instead of going to school. And, they hope they will be able to get a job in the clothing factory when they are old enough. Western values should stay in the west.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • Zephyrous

      Excellent point. Thanks for the reasonable post.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  188. greg

    I thought umpa lumpas made our choclate

    April 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  189. steve

    What we need is more "workers", for more production, in order to drive chocolate prices down.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  190. Blah

    A lot of "may be...", "may hav..." but no hard data, just a plug for a "documentary."

    April 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  191. angry jack

    ah, yes...a gathering of fools again. will just say this but am sure it will do no good. all of your opinions mean nothing except as a way for the advertisers to count how many people log on. sure you may not click on the ads, but that doesn't matter. advertisers pay a rate based on how many of you idiots 'might' click on their ads. don't believe me? do some research.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  192. tracy

    Who really cares if some k African kids are working in the cocoa fields.??
    Not my kids & not your kids so who really cares ?

    April 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • Clark Nova

      Bet you're a Republican.

      April 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  193. PARROT

    CHOCOLATE (COCOA) IS AN AMERICAN FRUIT, THE SPANIARDS DISCOVERED IT BECAUSE THE MAYANS AND AZTECS USED TO DRINK HOT CHOCOLATE. CHOCOLATE COMES FROM THE MAYAN WORD "XCOLICT"....SO STOP MAKING NEWS ABOUT AN AMERICAN PRODUCT WHICH HAS BEEN CULTIVATED IN THE AMERICAS FOR HUNDRED OF YEARS AND NOW SOME POOR AFRICAN COUNTRIES ARE TRYING TO EXPLODE IT.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  194. shartoo

    Aggh – gees now I'm supposed to feel guilty about my chocolate? Does it ever end? Just leave Mother See alone.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  195. emtlady

    Aw cripes now they gotta ruin eating chocolate too? They gotta feed their families, if their kids gotta work, they gotta work. Big friggin' deal.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  196. nadja

    what are you going to do with all these children? they keep popping out in droves. children everywhere. Stop having children first, then we can talk about getting them all proper education and food.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  197. Mungam44

    Quickly son, quickly. Let's put together a Congressional committee to study the chocolate industry. They can probably force the choco manufacturers to sell only chocolate that has NOT been harvested by child labor. Each bar sold would be required to indicate that" the chocolate in this package has not been obtained by the manufacturer through the use of child labor" Then, we can all continue to eat chocolate guilt free. And, some of our illustrious political leaders occupied with this task will not, otherwise, be spending more money that we don't have.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  198. Nick Naranja

    Up until agriculture in the USA was fully mechanized, all rural children were up to the same thing. My family was picking cotton into the 60s. Children would start picking as soon as they could hold a cotton sack.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  199. PARROT

    COCOA IS AN AMERICAN FRUIT, JUST LIKE CORN, TOMATOES, POTATOES, GREEN PEPPERS, AND YES TOBACCO AND CHEWING GUM (CHICLET FROM THE MAYAN WORD: XCLOTE)...OH WELL

    April 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Clark Nova

      Chewing gum has been completely synthetic for many years. No chicle at all.

      April 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
    • Clark Nova

      Technically, it's an American seed, not a fruit.

      April 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
      • PARROT

        WELL, THE FRUIT LOOKS LIKE A PAPAYA, AND THE SEEDS ARE INSIDE....TO TECHNICALLY SPEAKING IS A FRUIT.

        April 11, 2011 at 1:04 am |
  200. PARROT

    OH AND I FORGOT, THE PINEAPPLE IS ALSO ANOTHER AMERICAN FRUIT

    April 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  201. Bubuq

    I don't think children working is exactly child labour...a lotmofninequity children work at a young age im the third world outmofmnecessity....but its not exactly slavery.....if thaspts your definition of slavery than anyone that isnpoor In this worldmis enslave. That's f insane.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  202. Oh my

    Maybe it is just my mind, but the title "Exploring the Dark Side of Chocolate" with the snapshot of the kid running with the machete, seems a little too...accidentally racist. :-/

    April 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  203. Piere

    Hahahaha, they called this DARK Chocolate...if it were in Europe or America it would be called milk chocolate or white chocolate!

    April 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  204. concerned citizen

    i like dark chocolate :)

    April 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  205. Noah Benzing

    I had LOTS of chocolate cake for my birthday! It was gooooooood.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  206. ShakinSean

    Wait wait wait.... So the big deal about this article is that children are actually working on their own family farms? I may be cold-hearted, but isn't this exactly how it's been for many families in most countries for thousands of years up until the 20th century? I don't see anything wrong with a family farm growing a product and selling it for the price that the market demands. I agree that it's nice that in America many families can afford to not have their children work until their mid-twenties, but that isn't the case with every country and sometimes kids have to work at a young age to help their family (which, by the way is something that America experienced a few hundred years ago as well, and it wasn't wrong then for us).

    If we, as consumers, were to stop supporting these farms, we wouldn't be helping the children, we would just be hurting them and their families and taking away from their profits.

    April 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • Zephyrous

      Agree completely.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  207. Bubuq

    Im going tk buy more chocoare because of thismstupid article.

    That's what i think about you. I'm gonna take out my was and pay 100 dollars for chocolate

    April 10, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  208. Bubuq

    Maybe the kid can actually go to school due to my geneorsity

    April 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  209. dsn63

    You people are unbelivable! You're getting on your high horses and soap boxes about this when I bet that most of you have products made by Nike(who has been known to use child labor) in your closets and dresser drawers.Cut the self righteous crap and practice what you preach!

    April 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  210. Hillbilly

    Gravy.

    April 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  211. heffpa

    What/who are the "Fair Trade" organization members and what body of omnipotent advisors sets the rules for 'fair'? Who enforces and guarantees the product is produced 'fairly" and who pays for someone to review each facility all over the globe that is perceived to be 'unfair'? Seems a bit far-fetched that anything marked 'fair trade' can, in reality, be produced 'fairly'. On the suface, seems a bit of a scam... wonder how many kids work at 'fair trade' facilities.

    April 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  212. Carla

    Yes...for god's sake stop buying chocolate...maybe these poor children could do like our American counter-parts and sit in front of a telly...oh have an iPod dangling from their ears...and surely this disrupts their MySpace and Face-Book time. Not everyone coddles their children like we do so that we have 30 year old's sitting in their Mom and Dad's basements eating hot pockets, drinking Mountain Dew and playing World of Warcraft. These children are helping their families so that all of them can EAT...survive...during the Depression (in the country) kids used to help their families too...now they sit on their ass and say "Not my Problem". Yes...we have it all figured out. Let's tell the world how to live.

    April 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  213. 8oh8

    So what brand chocolates should I buy?

    April 10, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  214. Sniffingbutts

    all i care about is cheap gas, cheap food, cheap chocolate cheap sex, and cheap clothes. if it takes exploiting other people to get that then i'm all for it. GO SLAVERY!!!

    April 10, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  215. Dan

    I think it's funny when everyone's all about democracy until it goes against their ideology.

    April 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  216. C

    Having lived in two of the seven countries cited in the articles for most of my life, i can tell you that agricultural is definitely one of their big source of money. Yes children are involved. Yes, it is hard labor and many times if there are any injuries, you have to take care of yourself. On the other side, are there schools around the neighborhood? Do they have enough to eat if the children dont work? Is there anything else the children can do? Can we impose one's country political actions into another country without thinking of consequences? Are they really slaves? The author and the people who made the documentary should probably live in those countries for a bit longer than just the time for filming and expose to the way of life from different group of population before making such statement as "chocolate slavery"

    April 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  217. myo kyaw

    It's a conflicting issue and the kids may be earning something for a living. Probably if they don't work it would be difficult for the to survive. Not sure to jump into comments like "Slavery" or Child labor or simply working for thier survival. Many time have I heard "To end modern slavery" and sound like a fairy tale to me. As long as there is the polarity of poor and rich, the powerful and the dominated, people and politics these issues would continue, not to say that I should happen. My empathy to those children who struggle to find a days meal and a place to live. It's a good show from Mr. Price and Mr. Romano but I doubt this would bring a change. Easy to criticize but difficult to understand, and it is insensitive to say "Modern slavery" whatever that means.

    April 10, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  218. Utah

    Everything we consume or buy is suspect – clothes, diamonds, gold, fruits, vegetables, plastics, car parts, gasoline, etc, etc, etc ... the only escape (really) is to grow it yourself or make it yourself ... not that it is right but it is just reality.

    April 10, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  219. Jim970

    "Child labor could be involved at some point." So? Child labor could be involved in coffee. Child labor could be involved in bananas. Child labor could be involved in __________ (pick your product that comes from any contry near the equator). I don't understand the anti-chocolate stories that have been appearing lately. It's production is very similar to tens/hundreds of other agricultural products we import.

    April 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  220. Name*alica gregory

    Um wow surprising scary. I think that coca prkouductions shouldn't bring children Ito this.

    April 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  221. Steve

    Ok, let's not act surprised. For over 5,000 years the human race as enjoyed everything from items of necessity, which includes innovative consumer goods, and extravagance. Blood, sweat, tears, and death are simply a part of the entire process. Life isn't fair and be fortunate and grateful that you might have more than the next person.

    April 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  222. jim

    There is a possibility of some sort of illegal activities in the production, transportation, or retailing of any product I might choose to buy. It is neither my responsibility nor my inclination to discover what those activities might be, to say nothing of trying to stop them. People all over the world are paid to do that, get on their @sses.

    April 10, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  223. daveugber

    most of these kids are doing something to help their families...i'm not sure what we expect primitives to do other than exist, survive and live each day with what they have, but slavery??? quite a stretch...

    April 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  224. WHO CARES?

    I'M STILL GOING TO EAT CHOCOLATE!!

    April 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  225. Iggy

    Slavery was invented in Africa about 4000 years ago according to recent studies. Feudal wars always resulted in the losers becoming slaves. Africans made a lot of money selling their slaves to Europeans when Europe was born! Does anyone think that slavery can be wiped out in Africa? It is still part of the culture.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  226. randallinnb

    Question: If I was to stop buying regular chocolate and only buy the "fair trade" chocolate.. does that mean that all of the children of Africa that would normally be toilng on a farm would suddenly get free education? Or would they be worse off since no one is buying their product?

    April 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  227. ferris

    We to boycott chocolate coming from ivory Coast

    April 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  228. Kevin G. in Texas

    I had a newspaper route when I was 13 and worked in fast food when I was 16. Great experiences. Child labor should be discouraged only if there are schools as an alternative. The reality in many third world countries is that there are neither schools, nor the resources to build them. So the choice for children is working, begging or sitting around. Under those circumstances, it's hard for me to see the evil in children working. Children in US worked on farms for years until schools became an option fairly recently.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  229. White Chocolate

    Just like Tay Zondays prophetic words:

    Chocolate Rain
    Some stay dry and others feel the pain
    Chocolate Rain
    A baby born will die before the sin.

    BTW Where does white chocolate come from and is anyone being exploited over it?

    April 10, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • Clark Nova

      White chocolate isn't even chocolate. It's chocolate with all of the chocolate removed. It can come from anywhere that chocolate grows but I think that Americans are the only people who would eat it.

      April 10, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  230. Amavet2

    I always thought food picked and prepared by slaves was some of the best meals I ever had!!!

    April 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  231. wow

    It's amazing how far American politics will to try and deliver a skewered view of the world.

    Children hunting and gathering in other countries isn't slavery. It's their culture. Many are proud to do it.
    American children could learn something from it. We sit on our couches watching TV and think we
    know how the world really works. As Americans, we know very little about how it works.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  232. Amavet2

    A child working on his family farm isn't slavery you ignorant fool!! Its called pitching in!!

    April 10, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  233. Bensky

    Don't you just hate it when someone tries to place their own values on a society with other ethos? So what! I worked on my grandfather's farm as a child and learned the ethics of hard work, honest labor and a common goal. Also went to school and became a very successful businessman. I thought the article was about slavery. It is just about hardworking families doing the best they can to survive in conditions you and I would not welcome, under any circumstances.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  234. Charlie Sheen

    BUYING DIAMONDS mined by KIDS is ok though??

    April 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
    • Oh my

      Yes. But only if they are reasonably priced.

      April 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  235. David

    Is the goal to eliminate child labor at any cost? What do the children who work there want? Maybe they want this crappy job because it is a far better opportunity than anything else they have.

    The only way to solve the problem is to raise the price of chocolate which could then support a higher standard of living for the workers and the elimination of child labor. But how much of an increase in $/ounce would this take? And how would this impact demand? At some point, say $100/ounce, very few people will buy it and then there will be no industry/jobs/wealth creation at all. In an undifferentiated commodity market, lowest price wins...

    The problem is that no once is incented to stop it. Not the kids, not the individual chocalate farm operators, not the bigger corporations, not the exporting governments, and not the consumers.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  236. LiveFREEordie

    Exactly how is a child working on a family farm considered slavery? I grew up on a farm. As soon as we could walk we had a hoe in our hands. Get real. Children have been working on farms around the world since the beginning. Thats how they learn how to farm and take it over when it is time.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • wgage

      CNN reporters are freakin idiots.

      April 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  237. Art

    After the great exodus of American companies to use foreign cheap labor with little or no human rights and now start worrying about slaves on the family farm?

    April 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  238. Hank

    I think articles as these are good because it evokes progressive thinking and remarks from both sides of the arena. I sifted through most of the the rebuttals and for the most part people have something semi-intelligent to say ...to say the least. Its the idiosities ( not a word but I like it) that we could do without but that's the static we expect from a free world message board, any body can voice an opinion and that's good. So given the conditions stated in a third world country ( if that's still politically correct) if the children are enslaved by others and forced to do labor without real compensation I would agree that they are in fact slaves and something should be done about it. If the are forced to do manual labor at a young age to help support a standard of living for their family than I do not, Remember our own past in building this country (USA) when sacrifice was your "daily bread" in order to keep your family intact. I have my own stories of my dad and his brother working to help feed the family during the Great Depression at ages 8 and 10, slavery?...maybe...maybe not...

    April 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  239. Blazzeh

    Too little information provided yet again: funny how writers with agendas unsupported by evidence leave out the most crucial facts. i.e. Were these kids forced at gunpoint/or knifepoint to work in these fields? Also, what are their viable alternatives to working these fields? Is there a free k-12 education system in these countries to gain an ed.? Does Indonesia, Ghana, etc. have a robust social services safety net to provide financial/educational aid to these kids while they're NOT working the fields; i.e. pulling in an income? (yeah, probably not)
    So, what's left for them once the Do-gooders stop buying chocolate from these regions in favor of a higher priced, "fair-trade" source? Hmmmm...? The company pulls out of that region, eliminating the only source of income and social uplift these kids have. You all assume they have the alternatives to work that we Americans do, i.e. education/parental support, but you're wrong. IF given a choice, (big "if" I know) people tend to chose the option which benefits them the most in their given situation. Don't go assuming you're helping them by placing embargoes on the one source of income they presently have.
    If you want to really help them, you provide give them a financial education, show them how to save, invest and re-invest in themselves and business. But they'll never get that far if you cut-off the only financial support you give them now by buying their chocolate.

    April 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  240. Kevin

    I worked on our family farm until I left high school. I don't ever remember not working on the farm and I mean real hard work. I am a contributing tax payer worth a great work ethic. It didn't hurt me and no one cried about it. So are you going to do a documentary of the dark side of Idaho potatoes next? By the way who did you hire to cart your stuff while on the shoot and did they stay in your hotel and get paid your union scale?

    April 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • matthew

      I doubt you worked 12 hours a day, to get paid a few pennies. I doubt you did this daily, from the age of 7 until the rest of you life. cause when you're working 12 hour days, you don't get to go to school. you don't get to acquire skills to get a better paying job as a child. you don't break the cycle of poverty.

      this director is known for his child labor advocacy all over the world. he has another film called Stolen Childhoods.. The film features stories of child laborers around the world, told in their own words. Children are shown working in dumps, quarries, brick kilns. One boy has been pressed into forced labor on a fishing platform in the Sea of Sumatra, a fifteen-year-old runaway describes being forced into prostitution on the streets of Mexico City, while a nine-year-old girl picks coffee in Kenya to help her family survive.

      Don't be so ignorant.

      April 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Reply
      • LiveFREEordie

        I grew up in a family farm. I never got a single cent for my efforts. What I got was a roof over my head and a belly full of food and lots of on the job training. People all over the world do what they have to do to survive. American need to get over their haughty ways and understand that we cannot fix everything to meet the twisted expectations of the leftist do-gooders. These farmers have something to sell, the market price is set by the highest bidder for their product. If we stop buying their goods then the price drops, they get nothing and starve. Then what do we do? Give them government subsidies not to grow chocolate? Give me a break, Yes there is bad sh!t that happens in this world. If fix one problem, we skew the outcome of another. it is better to let the people directly affected to decide what is best for them. Like they have a choice to live on a farm eeking out a meager living, or move to the city and die in the slums do to no option for employment.

        April 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  241. Michael K

    I can't beleive there are people on here who actually think this isn't a problem. Slave labor produces coca cola, half our clothes, shoes, toys, appliances, househld items, and now our food? by accepting this as just a neccessity or something that can't be solved you're no better than a slave owner, because you're financing then and don't care.

    April 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  242. theo

    for the love of pete!!!
    someone please anyone
    scratch my hairy balls

    April 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  243. theo

    who cares?
    as long as i get my chocolate i dont care about them!
    chocolate trumps slavery anytime

    April 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  244. Alex

    If a child is working at his family's farm in America, we don't call it child slavery. We call it chores.

    April 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • MSH

      yessir, you are CORRECT

      April 10, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  245. Clark Nova

    South American chocolates are superior in every way to the low grade Ivory Coast stuff. They're also relatively guilt-free as they generally aren't harvested by child slaves. They're pretty much the only ones I buy now. Single origin 80-85% Ecuadorians and Venezuelans, mostly.

    April 10, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Reply
    • PARROT

      I AGREE....VENEZUELA USED TO BE THE WORLD'S LARGEST PRODUCER OF COCOA IN THE EARLY 1900

      April 11, 2011 at 1:01 am | Reply
  246. katmoondaddy

    What happened to the original picture of a black child in the jungle that came with the caption: "The dark side of chocolate"? I saved it Didn't anyone see that?

    April 10, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Reply
    • theo

      who really cares?
      not me!
      as long as i get my chocolate every day i dont care how it gets to me
      capitalism at its best

      April 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
      • Oh my

        Yup! And my diamonds. And my knock off designer bags. And my real pocketbooks for that matter. And those nice bidi cigarettes they used to import. Oh heck, face it...all the good stuff comes from somewhere bad.

        April 10, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Oh my

      Kat...I want that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL..Please please pu-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze make it available to us. I forgot to screenshot it!

      April 10, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  247. wgage

    why do you call doing what is needed for survival slavery. You people are idiots.

    April 10, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  248. hoss

    i ask only this....if you were able to force all the kids to stop working these coca farms...what would be their alternative....most countries have the luxury where children do not have to work....but wish as you might...not all cultures or societies are the same....many of these children live in circumstances where they have to work to survive....if you're going to try to help people out....make sure what you're doing wont leave those you "help" worse off....if the kids werent working on a farm they would be working somewhere else...and i can think of dozens of place much worse for a kid to work than on a farm

    there is a logical fallacy when a person criticizes an aspect of a foreign culture based upon the observers own cultural ethics...especially when it's completely out of context

    April 10, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  249. Steve

    I'm a choco-holic and get all my Fair Trade chocolate from "Devine Chocolate" (my personal favorite is the 70% Dark). FYI, their website is...

    http://www.divinechocolate.com/siteselect.aspx

    I purchase it through a Fair Trade company called "Trade as One" that sells Devine as well as several other FT chocolates and other products. FYI...

    http://tradeasone.com/shop/food-drink.html

    April 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  250. matthew

    http://images.lib.uconn.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/photographs&CISOPTR=1773&CISOBOX=1&REC=4

    A 9-year-old girl trafficked from a catchment area in neighboring state pulls excess clay from a brick form. The discoloration in her hair is due to vitamin deficiency from a poor diet and long hours of exhausting work in 100 degree temperatures. The bricks behind her represent a day's work. Thousands of brick kilns line the riverbanks in Bengal and the surrounding states of India.

    is this how your childhood was? you heartless people.

    and for those commenting that americans are all fat and lazy and sit in front of the tv, and think this is a better solution....maybe you should teach your children to not lazy and sit in front of a tv all day. or just keep feeding them the idea that this world is theirs. let's keep teaching entitlement. that has worked out well.

    April 10, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  251. Hmmmmmmmmm....chocolate

    And here I am thinking that the dark chocolate was dark because they threw a colored boy in it & he melted.

    April 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Reply
    • antoinette

      Ignorant Comment. funny, BUT ignorant

      April 10, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  252. gphx

    Oh damn just what I didn't need – equal rights for Oompa Loompas.

    April 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  253. martin

    So the he** what!

    April 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  254. MSH

    so.... whats so wrong with a child working on a family farm ? . they have been doing it in this country for 200+ years

    April 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  255. Dano

    You also have to ask yourself where things like Nikes come from. America largely turns a blind eye to such things.

    April 10, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  256. Oh my

    Does anyone like how they changed the picture on the front page after everyone noticed the title seemed...um...less than PC? HAHA

    April 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  257. Willie Wonka

    Willie wonka and the chocolate factory....must have been a million kid slaves to make that movie...
    I guess the lib/tards want a trillion dollars to regulate candy bars, where does it end?

    April 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  258. MSH

    hard work builds character i say....heck of alot better than milking the system and getting welfare

    April 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  259. Zephyrous

    The International Labour Organization estimates between 56 and 72 million African children work in agriculture, many in their own family farms.

    Umm... so?

    I don't get how this is a problem, if it is their own family farms. I personally grew up and worked on my own family's farm starting at about age 8 doing whatever I could do to help out. I grew up with a great work ethic and sense of personal responsibility and am now a successful albeit hard working physician. My brothers, and in fact every former child of a farming family are all similarly hard working and would never dream of collecting welfare or otherwise leeching off the rest of society.

    I'm sure there is some other point that this poorly written article totally missed, like educational neglect or some other problem. And perhaps to the city slicker who wrote the article a child having to actually work on the family farm seems horrifying, but it is truly a great way to grow up with very solid values. Show me anyone who grew up on a farm and almost without exception I will hire them immediately because I know they understand the value of teamwork and getting the job done. The vast majority of suburban or city employees I have had are lazy and will do more to avoid work than if they had actually just done the work asked of them in the first place. I suspect that's from growing up where taking out the garbage or cleaning their room is the only "work" they ever had to do.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  260. theo

    americans love their cheap stuff
    if we have to get it by some slave labor-then so be it
    i expect good deals on everything and that is where slave labor comes in

    April 10, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  261. Oleg

    This article is wrong. If we will not buy the chocolate made by child slaves, then the slaves will not eat and they will die. This is as simple as that.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  262. Sniffingbutts

    people gotta work to eat. that's the way it is all over the world. even in the future if they invent some machine to feed, clothe, and shelter us, people still have to be hired to work on that machine to make sure it runs like it should. people have to work period. too many lazy slobs in america think they're entitled to sit on their ass, flap their big fat yapper all day, and yet not labor for their meals. douchebags.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  263. chvinson10

    i think it is completely fine they have children do work. i think if people in the country had a problem with it they would have done something. its just like chores in a sense

    April 10, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  264. Patricia Redstone

    Child Labor is honorable when the child and his/her labor is honored. When the child is exploited, we have a problem. If the only child labor law is the outlawing of child labor then children are set up for exploitation. Many children like to work and will work regardless of the banning of child labor. My son worked as a professional actor and as a singer in an opera company. He had duties to perform at a certain time and certain place. He had to prepare for work and he had to collect his pay and deposit it in the bank. It was good for him.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  265. Patricia Redstone

    He says in the video that if the children are not paid to work they will go to school and be educated. He can't really expect us to believe that!

    April 10, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  266. theo

    make them work longer hours-it builds character

    April 11, 2011 at 12:38 am | Reply
  267. O-12baby

    the only thing that makes my dark chocolate better is the fact that dark chocolate is picked by tiny dark chocolate hands. YUM!

    April 11, 2011 at 1:05 am | Reply
  268. theo

    black little hands picking my chocolate!
    luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv it!

    April 11, 2011 at 1:23 am | Reply
  269. hau

    the relevant issue is worse in vietnam

    April 11, 2011 at 1:28 am | Reply
  270. hau

    there're a lot more serious problem in my socialist country,corruption spreads in any aspect of life in vietnam ,but you can't express your opinion!

    April 11, 2011 at 1:36 am | Reply
  271. Victor

    First i am indonesia and came from cocoa farm. For what i know, almost al cocoa farm in Indonesia is family private farm. So in doing their life, they use al family to help them. Just like american farmers ask their child to help them.

    it not slavery or child rights abuse. The child was not pay because it is their life too. Mostly farmer didn't learn school. Their only life by farming.
    So there is no child worker in Indonesia cocoa farm because it is not a company farm.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:42 am | Reply
  272. DancingKim

    Hi, i'm a professional dancer. i would like to make a showreel regarding my promotions. I also need to use some animation. Can someone suggest me a fantastic animation studio, but certainly not very expensive? I'm here for 3 months for a tour.
    Love
    Kim.

    May 12, 2011 at 3:10 am | Reply
  273. RG for a Fair World

    Many ppl in this country don't know the dark side of chocolate or that of any of the products they consume. Most ppl have never gone to other countries and seen poverty first hand. However as our economy steadily goes down the drain we won't have to go very far to see children, our own children suffering.

    A 360 degree change is far from our reach, but it doesn't mean we should not try. Everyone from every country would benefit from this change. Profit- hungry business need to bring back companies to the state that will insure jobs and products done lawfully (meaning no employee abuse). The people from other countries could cont. working under appropriate laws that we would demand for our selves. And sustain their own countries by going back to their natural skill (further cultivating their land, textile, etc.)

    I see a lot of complaining, your guys just want you chocolate. We're a spoiled country and want things at our fingertips and we want them cheap. We need to be conscious consumers.

    Their is nothing wrong with working and teaching your children workmanship, after all it's always good to know. All children regardless of any differences should be entitled to the rights we have for our children. And our children should know the truth about how things are being operated and they need to be taught to be conscious ppl as well.

    Remember it isn't only kids that are being exploited, their parents, their land is being exploited as well. Look at the picture as a whole and see that you are in it! (if all you care about is yourself, then you really must look). The rabbit hole runs deep and you may not see the effects that it has DIRECTLY on you, because after all they make sure all you see is the beautiful chocolate in you hand.

    In the end you are also slaves... slaves to fast and cheap lifestyle. Your selling yourself, you soul, earth, health and that of your own children but the funny thing is that you're also paying them. You can't be a prostitute and a pimp!

    July 2, 2011 at 4:51 am | Reply
  274. Chai Chu

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