January 16th, 2012
01:59 PM ET

The human cost of chocolate

In "Chocolate's Child Slaves," CNN's David McKenzie travels into the heart of the Ivory Coast to investigate what's happening to children working in the cocoa fields. More information and CNN International air times

It may be unthinkable that the chocolate we enjoy could come from the hands of children working as slaves. In the Ivory Coast alone, there are an estimated 200,000 children working the fields, many against their will, to create the chocolate delicacies enjoyed around the world.

More than 10 years ago, two U.S. lawmakers took action to put a stop to child labor in the cocoa industry. Despite pushback from the industry, the Harkin-Engel Protocol, also known as the Cocoa Protocol, was signed into law on September 19, 2001.

In an upcoming documentary, "Chocolate's Child Slaves," CNN's David McKenzie travels into the heart of the Ivory Coast - the world’s largest cocoa producer - to investigate what’s happening to children working in the fields, 10 years after the protocol was signed.

The CNN Freedom Project examined in September 2011 what effect this protocol has had over the years and also what some of the major issues are surrounding slave labor and the cocoa industry. Here's some of the background of that coverage reprinted:

Where does cocoa come from?

Some 70 to 75 percent of the world's cocoa beans are grown on small farms in West Africa, including the Ivory Coast, according to the World Cocoa Foundation and the International Cocoa Initiative.

Does Ivory Coast allow children to work on these farms?

No, child labor is illegal and since the implementation of the Cocoa Protocol in 2001, the chocolate industry along with governments and human rights groups have worked to end the practice. Yet, a 2007 UNICEF report estimates 200,000 children are involved in the worst forms of child labor on cocoa farms throughout Ivory Coast. Some are the children of cocoa farmers but many other youths are smuggled into Ivory Coast from Mali and Burkina Faso to work on cocoa plantations, according to the International Labor Rights Forum.

What exactly is the "Cocoa Protocol"?

Ten years ago, U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-New York, and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, introduced legislation mandating a labeling system for chocolate. After the industry raised concerns, a compromise was reached that required chocolate companies to voluntarily certify they had stopped the practice of child labor. The certification process would not involve labeling products "child-labor-free," as initially proposed.

Instead, it calls for public reporting by African governments, establishment of an audit system and poverty remediation by 2005. The deadline had to be extended to 2008 (read Fortune Magazine's report on the state of the protocol in 2008) and again to 2010. Today, many aid groups say some of the provisions have still not been met.

So has the Cocoa Protocol had any success in ending child labor in the cocoa industry in the past 10 years?

It's hard to say. Ivory Coast has had further economic problems following its civil war from 2002 to 2004. Chocolate exporters and manufacturers say the war and its aftermath have hampered their efforts to eradicate child labor.

"Honestly, it's hard to see anybody saying that this protocol has attained the goals that were set out in it," said Judy Gearhart, executive director of the International Labor rights forum.

Chris Bayer, a Tulane University researcher, spent five years in the Ivory Coast and Ghana monitoring the protocol's plan and studying the scope of the problem.

"Unfortunately, over the last 10 years we have seen very little implementation of the actual commitments," he said. "Industry did not live up to the Harkin-Engel protocol. The issues are systemic. Children are still working."

The International Cocoa Initiative was set up by the protocol to bring all parties together to address the worst forms of child labor in the supply chain. The ICI board has representatives from the major cocoa processors and chocolate manufacturers. It says progress is being made.

"Five of the six commitments made in the protocol have been completed," the group said in an e-mail statement at the 10-year anniversary of the protocol. "And governments of cocoa producing countries, ILO, the OECD, independent foundations, members of the cocoa supply chain and ICI itself are ACTIVELY working on the sixth commitment - to improve the livelihoods of cocoa growers the infrastructure in cocoa communities farmers organizations, educational facilities etc. Substantial funds are being expended on these activities."

Read more about the industry's response

Stop the Traffik director Antonie Fountain talks about his group's efforts and the 10 Campaign

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin on the Harkin-Engel protocol 10 years later:


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soundoff (433 Responses)
  1. Caroline

    Child labor in Africa is a tradition until now nobody see
    anything wrong with it its a normal life for an African child to work so stopping it now will not be an easy task.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • FauxNews

      Same with China too. They would not understand why you took a job away from their child.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply
      • oussu

        did you miss the part where they are not employed, but are slaves? A job is a choice. The article said these kids were smuggled (e.g., human trafficking) and then forced to work.

        January 18, 2012 at 10:47 am |
      • the law

        this stuff(slavery) has been going on way before Christ, and will continue way past your lifetime...

        January 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
      • jtc

        The news media consistently hypes issues to get attention. The conversation starts with the word "slave", but for the most part all it refers to is child labor. If the definition of slave is "Being forced to work against your will", then I was a slave as a child since I had to work around the house against my will. I remember at about age 12 I went to a vacation farm and helped work around the farm. Not only didn't I get paid, we paid to go there! Ask any farmer in the US how old they were when they started working. I think you'd find that this country was built on working kids. By the way, if we boycott chocolate these kids won't go home and play on their xbox. They'd be much worse off!

        January 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
      • John James

        I don't think anything wrong with kids go to work, I don't think they are slave-kids, they are a lot smarter than American kids, too spoided for toys, sport and gang. These working kids are out to help family together in the poor country so they can have money for foods and school and they learn how to work early to see how hard there parents have to work to grow themself. That's why we don't have much high-tech graduation from colleges to fill all the high tech jobs we have here in the US. Take a look at those SLAVE KIDS succeded and learn from them. So, what's is wrong with slave kid...!

        January 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
      • Merlin10

        @ jtc. Why do you take the time to write about how much you do not know about the lives of Ivory Coast children instead of spending that time to find out ?

        January 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
      • jtc

        @Merlin10 – I've read a lot about it and nothing I have read convinces me that they are what I think of as slaves. I'll watch the report on Friday, but I usually take everything reported by the Freedom Project and divide it by 2 since it's mostly hype targeted at 20-something activists in need of a cause.

        January 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
      • jim

        @The Law – then don't worry, if it's been happening so long it will probably just keep happening – so there isn't any reason you need to have any moral response, take a stand, or change your behavior. Heck, just have another hot chocolate on me!

        January 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
      • mike

        Having a nice hot chocolate right now myself.

        January 18, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
      • Bob

        Mike, you are clearly a child yourself.

        January 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Neeneko

      And just think.. this is the model the GoP is holding up for why America can not compete and if we just took away all those pesky regulations we would have cheap labor again.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:46 am | Reply
      • MomOf3

        I was just thinking – "Would Newt Gingrich be proud?"

        January 18, 2012 at 10:58 am |
      • MomOf3

        Sorry – should have been "Wouldn't Newt Gingrich be proud?"

        January 18, 2012 at 10:58 am |
      • Kneejerk Mom

        @MomOf3: That's what you get for "thinking" without the proper equipment.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:18 am |
      • John Smith

        Check the date that the bill was passed to try and stop this it was during the Bush admin. and the GOP held the majority in the congress you moron.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:18 am |
      • Kay

        @kneejerkmom,
        Judging by your post you're the one missing the equipment.

        January 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
      • Bob

        @Kay, good job!

        January 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • Bob

        @Coco, no thanks. Clearly, you are toxic waste.

        January 19, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Chartreuxe

      It's simple enough to stop eating chocolate. If enough people do this it will make a difference in the demand for chocolate and things can change.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
      • BethTX

        No thanks.

        January 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • Lynn

        This is doubtful. No matter what people will always find a way to exploit other people. We could all stop eating chocolate and that form of production will stop but the next thing anyone likes that can be mass produced the unfortunate children will be used for that. It’s sad but just look at the other industries diamonds, Tobacco, drugs you name it. We need something that will change everyone’s way of treating others

        January 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
      • coco

        Eat Me

        January 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
      • Hooley

        What it the toilet paper industry took on slave labor, would u stop wiping?
        smh!!

        January 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
      • Shawn

        And then those countries lose an entire cash crop, go into recession, and instead of a few thousand child slaves, you have several million people living in poverty and starving.

        January 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
      • the law

        no way Pal...

        January 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
      • Katie

        I'll stop eating chocolate if you stop eating meat.

        January 18, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
      • slavery tastes awful

        "Stop eating chocolate" is not necessary. "Stop eating unfairly-traded chocolate" is both easy and delicious. Most of that Hershey's chocolate is more wax than food, and have y'all noticed how the price of crappy US chocolate has been steadily rising, even as Hershey's has cut jobs in the States and moved their factories out of the country?

        BUY FAIR-TRADED CHOCOLATE. It's not just simple, it tastes a whole lot better, and supports small businesses and not gigantic corporations who profit from child labor. Fair-trade chocolate (and coffee!) is most often farmed by small family farmers who do a better job, and get a better (or ANY) wage, encouraging them to produce a product that doesn't suck.

        If you go for a price bottom-line in a luxury item like chocolate, you've sacrificed the luxury aspect anyway. If you eat Hershey's, you're just eating parafin, corn syrup, and the sweat of child slaves. That's not yummy.

        January 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
      • Brian

        I say economic sanctions and a no fly zone over the cocoa fields. Perhaps we can get some Predator drones over there looking for concealed chocolate factories.

        January 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
      • mike

        I like that idea. Bomb them so that when the money stops coming in from the coco industry they won't really think about starving as they will be running for their lives.

        January 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
      • eville11

        You can quit, but the kids will be sent to work doing something else then. Just because they don't collect cocoa anymore isn't going to stop the child labor in Ivory coast.

        January 19, 2012 at 12:57 am |
      • Dave

        So what I'm gathering from all the comments and counter comments in this thread is that....gasp, capitalism is the problem?!?!?!?!?! Say it ain't so!

        January 19, 2012 at 11:58 am |
      • melvinslizard

        katie-
        I'll stop eating chocolate if you'll start eating...

        January 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • homer j

      Huh black people enslaving black people how ironic

      January 18, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
      • Neli

        Not new; they use to do that long time ago before the Europeans started to explore the African continent. Even India had their own slaves inside the country, China to. Slavery is old as the world is.

        January 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
      • MaryJand

        Some call it a dream, or courage or evolution. Hopefully, all people will be free of the bonds of slavery. In the meantime, my chocolate will come from Europe. I can only help it will make some small difference. Thank you for sharing this article...

        January 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • OldGuy

      KIDS ALWAYS COME AROUND AT HALLOWEEN TAKING ALL MY CHOCOLATE. IT'S ONLY FAIR THAT THEY SHOULD BE ENSLAVED TO PRODUCE MORE.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
      • Hooley

        Wow, I can't tell if you're ignorant, st*&pid, or brain dead. Somebody help!!

        January 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
      • Todd in DC

        I think that was merely sarcasm.

        January 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
      • maria

        then just dont open the door

        January 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
      • Another Todd

        I just had a sarcasm-gasm.

        January 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
      • Relictus

        Cut out the middleman – Soylent Green is People!

        January 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
      • eville11

        that was good, might add they dress up like slaves and slave owners, whip each other and hold impromptu auctions on the porch....

        January 19, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • Choco

      I agree, I do not see anything wrong with these children obtaining gainful employment, especially working for a noble cause such as cocoa harvesting. I for one, do not want to see any government busybodies getting involved and having my snickers bar cost more. Please leave these people alone and do not place your values on them. Get a life people.

      January 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
      • Ayala

        Thank you! Well said! I will continue eating my chocolate!

        January 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
      • Datura

        It's not 'gainful employment'. It's slavery.

        January 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
      • Todd in DC

        Nice try, Choco. But these kids aren't being paid and aren't taking classes in school. They are being FORCED TO WORK for NOTHING. Try reading the article again. You'll catch on.

        January 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
      • LaWanda

        They aren't employed...if you listen to the story and actually read the article it states that they are forced to do it and some of them are never paid...that makes it slavery

        January 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
      • Andyvon

        Well said too! I'll continue eating chocolate as well.

        January 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
      • Dnk

        Wow. You would kill for a chocolate bar, one of your freedoms, huh?

        January 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
      • Howard Feinski

        They get all the chocolate they want, I hope. (I'd pay double for a bar with a notice on it which says 'Not handled by human adult hands'.)

        January 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
      • Retroman

        Unless you are trying to be funny, you have missed the point. The children are not 'employed' – gainfully or otherwise – but abducted, enslaved, and denied their human rights.

        January 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
      • melvinslizard

        Datura-
        It's not "unemployment," it's called starving to death.

        January 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • TT

        Obtaining gainful employment? They are not obtaining anything, they have no choice. Slavery is not 'employment' and they're not gaining anything as they are not being payed. I'm so sorry if the government getting involved causes the cost of chocolate to rise, making you pay a little extra in getting fat. What kind of stupid ass pig are you?

        January 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
      • Daniel Johnson

        I don't get how some of the commenters still want to eat chocolate. It is not okay to contribute to a group which then beats children to death because you cannot abstain from your chocolate bar!

        January 20, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
      • Daffodil Cee

        How can you say "gainful employment" when these kids are not paid??? Where is the gain here in exchange for there labor??? Why don't you walk in the shoes of these kids and work for your current employer for a year without pay in tattered clothes plus without being allowed to leave your place of employment??? Then, tell the whole world that you're gainfully employed. I hope you won't choke on your chocolate.

        January 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
      • Daffodil Cee

        How can you say "gainful employment" when these kids are not paid??? Where is the gain here in exchange for their labor??? Why don't you walk in the shoes of these kids and work for your current employer for a year without pay in tattered clothes plus without being allowed to leave your place of employment??? Then, tell the whole world that you're gainfully employed. I hope you won't choke on your chocolate.

        January 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Dan

      But it does need to be stopped

      January 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • Rob

      We should try none the less. Saying other wise is saying you support slavery. It's not like this is what they want to be doing with their life's. Maybe when they are older but not now.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • TomHank

      The bleeding hearts are at it again. Is it too difficult of an idea that may be if the children stop working the family may not be able to survive?

      January 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
      • Patsy

        To work and get wages is one thing. To work as a slave is another.

        January 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
      • Growapair

        Hey TOM slaves dont get pain, hence the point of this article, moron..

        January 19, 2012 at 7:29 am |
      • melvinslizard

        "slaves don't get pain"??

        January 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Patsy

      The consumers should change places with the slaves and see how they like it.

      January 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
      • melvinslizard

        I bet chocolate is cheaper in Africa...

        January 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Face

      My father worked as a child during the Great Depression picking potatoes for a penny a sack while the family lived in a tent. Now where is my Nestle's Quick?

      January 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Reply
      • thriller42

        Awesome, they got a penny and a tent, that put them 2 steps above these child slaves, and now you have a computer and internet and the luxury of them both, these children will never see either, there is no progress, no moving forward , just survival.

        January 18, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
      • Daffodil Cee

        Your Dad must really loved it. Now why don't you tell everyone if you followed in your Dad's footstep by doing the same if you think he had such a great time? Did you ever read "The Grapes of Wrath " by Steinbeck? May be you'd actually learn something from it.

        January 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • asda

      I dont give a cr@p what happens to them as long as I get my choc fix for as little as possible. If they dont like the job I say lets get some tribal elders to rape and torture them till they like it.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Reply
      • thriller42

        hahahah funny, u should do the world a favor and kill yourself asap :))

        January 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
      • Dianne

        Hey Asda...I feel sorry for you...it's people with a mindset like yours, i.e. I, me,mine, that is a perfect example of what is wrong with the world...too much taking and not enough giving...we're better together, helping one another than chasing after more for our own selfish gain. To think the human race has reached such lows as to prefer their own, personal chocolate fix and scoff at the lack of human rights these children have is appalling...shame on you and everyone else commenting on this story in such a manner.

        January 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
      • cam

        tipical american

        January 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
      • Daffodil Cee

        Spoken like a true pervert. I won't be surprised if you actually have done something like that.

        January 25, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Richard

      Can traditional child labor through family farms be compared to that of forced slavery, which includes abductions? The article doesn't mention this, however the idea of forced child labor would insinuate harsh abuses. Either way, if there is a successful method in ending this practice, then it should be done immediately.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
    • Justin Carson

      ok why are we making a big deal out of this these children have no place to go its either this or be a child soldier hmmm what sounds less likely to cause a child harm working in a safe environment picking cocoa beans or suffering under a warlord trying to tke over the congo. if it is soo bad why is it that every single child is smiling in theses clips. we as americans have no right to go in an do anything about it the americans are stepping way over the line in this verbal attack. these children have been living like this for years and they are happy they know that this is one of very few options presented to them so how dare we as american say anything to the contrary. the only way to to make this better for the eyes of the american public is to fly all of the children out of there and bring to them to american "on tax payer money" and put them in a system that doesnt even care about the tens of thousands of kids that we have in our country that are already homeless. so why is it america we dont care what happens to our own contry and it youth but as soon as some semi horrible event takes place outside we immediately drop everything to to anything we can or atleast let eveyone around us know we care. we think that this is what defines us as a country but it just makes us look weak to the rest of the world. we need to stop entering into situations that dont involve and start making this country all that we say it i instead of idley by hoping one day we may get a president that actually care about our country insead of just worrying about our PR. just to let you PR is just another made up word in our made language in our stolen country. We as americans need to wake up and open our eyes this country doesnt even look like it once its just a huge shopping mall that sells products from outside the country which we used to make inside of it but we moved them to different country were the working no nothing about unions or pensions. so why is it we go in the attack when we have been doing the same longer then anybody else.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Reply
      • Bob

        You are too ignorant to be using that many words so many times.

        January 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
      • Justin Carson

        bob look up the definition of ignorant before you make your self look more ignorant.

        January 20, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
      • Justin Carson

        bob look up the definition of ignorant before you make your self look more ignorant.!

        January 20, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
      • Daffodil Cee

        Please... you're better off studying the correct 'English Grammar" than participating in a discussion that's way beyond your head.

        January 25, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Justin Carson

      ok why are we making a big deal out of this these children have no place to go its either this or be a child soldier hmmm what sounds less likely to cause a child harm working in a safe environment picking cocoa beans or suffering under a warlord trying to tke over the congo. if it is soo bad why is it that every single child is smiling in theses clips. we as americans have no right to go in an do anything about it the americans are stepping way over the line in this verbal attack. these children have been living like this for years and they are happy they know that this is one of very few options presented to them so how dare we as american say anything to the contrary. the only way to to make this better for the eyes of the american public is to fly all of the children out of there and bring to them to american "on tax payer money" and put them in a system that doesnt even care about the tens of thousands of kids that we have in our country that are already homeless. so why is it america we dont care what happens to our own contry and it youth but as soon as some semi horrible event takes place outside we immediately drop everything to to anything we can or atleast let eveyone around us know we care. we think that this is what defines us as a country but it just makes us look weak to the rest of the world. we need to stop entering into situations that dont involve and start making this country all that we say it i instead of idley by hoping one day we may get a president that actually care about our country insead of just worrying about our PR. just to let you PR is just another made up word in our made language in our stolen country. We as americans need to wake up and open our eyes this country doesnt even look like it once its just a huge shopping mall that sells products from outside the country which we used to make inside of it but we moved them to different country were the working no nothing about unions or pensions. so why is it we go in the attack when we have been doing the same longer then anybody else. its time to grow up america

      January 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Reply
    • Justin Carson

      ok why are we making a big deal out of this these children have no place to go its either this or be a child soldier hmmm what sounds less likely to cause a child harm working in a safe environment picking cocoa beans or suffering under a warlord trying to tke over the congo. if it is soo bad why is it that every single child is smiling in theses clips. we as americans have no right to go in an do anything about it the americans are stepping way over the line in this verbal attack. these children have been living like this for years and they are happy they know that this is one of very few options presented to them so how dare we as american say anything to the contrary. the only way to to make this better for the eyes of the american public is to fly all of the children out of there and bring to them to american "on tax payer money" and put them in a system that doesnt even care about the tens of thousands of kids that we have in our country that are already homeless. so why is it america we dont care what happens to our own contry and it youth but as soon as some semi horrible event takes place outside we immediately drop everything to to anything we can or atleast let eveyone around us know we care. we think that this is what defines us as a country but it just makes us look weak to the rest of the world. we need to stop entering into situations that dont involve and start making this country all that we say it i instead of idley by hoping one day we may get a president that actually care about our country insead of just worrying about our PR. just to let you PR is just another made up word in our made language in our stolen country. We as americans need to wake up and open our eyes this country doesnt even look like it once its just a huge shopping mall that sells products from outside the country which we used to make inside of it but we moved them to different country were the working no nothing about unions or pensions. so why is it we go in the attack when we have been doing the same longer then anybody else. its time to grow up america

      January 19, 2012 at 2:03 am | Reply
    • Justin Carson

      ok why are we making a big deal out of this these children have no place to go its either this or be a child soldier hmmm what sounds less likely to cause a child harm working in a safe environment picking cocoa beans or suffering under a warlord trying to tke over the congo. if it is soo bad why is it that every single child is smiling in theses clips. we as americans have no right to go in an do anything about it the americans are stepping way over the line in this verbal attack. these children have been living like this for years and they are happy they know that this is one of very few options presented to them so how dare we as american say anything to the contrary. the only way to to make this better for the eyes of the american public is to fly all of the children out of there and bring to them to american "on tax payer money" and put them in a system that doesnt even care about the tens of thousands of kids that we have in our country that are already homeless. so why is it america we dont care what happens to our own contry and it youth but as soon as some semi horrible event takes place outside we immediately drop everything to to anything we can or atleast let eveyone around us know we care. we think that this is what defines us as a country but it just makes us look weak to the rest of the world. we need to stop entering into situations that dont involve and start making this country all that we say it i instead of idley by hoping one day we may get a president that actually care about our country insead of just worrying about our PR. just to let you PR is just another made up word in our made language in our stolen country. We as americans need to wake up and open our eyes this country doesnt even look like it once its just a huge shopping mall that sells products from outside the country which we used to make inside of it but we moved them to different country were the working no nothing about unions or pensions. so why is it we go in the attack when we have been doing the same longer then anybody else. its time to grow up america!

      January 19, 2012 at 2:03 am | Reply
    • Justin Carson

      ok why are we making a big deal out of this these children have no place to go its either this or be a child soldier hmmm what sounds less likely to cause a child harm working in a safe environment picking cocoa beans or suffering under a warlord trying to tke over the congo. if it is soo bad why is it that every single child is smiling in theses clips. we as americans have no right to go in an do anything about it the americans are stepping way over the line in this verbal attack. these children have been living like this for years and they are happy they know that this is one of very few options presented to them so how dare we as american say anything to the contrary. the only way to to make this better for the eyes of the american public is to fly all of the children out of there and bring to them to american "on tax payer money" and put them in a system that doesnt even care about the tens of thousands of kids that we have in our country that are already homeless. so why is it america we dont care what happens to our own contry and it youth but as soon as some semi horrible event takes place outside we immediately drop everything to to anything we can or atleast let eveyone around us know we care. we think that this is what defines us as a country but it just makes us look weak to the rest of the world. we need to stop entering into situations that dont involve and start making this country all that we say it i instead of idley by hoping one day we may get a president that actually care about our country insead of just worrying about our PR. just to let you PR is just another made up word in our made language in our stolen country. We as americans need to wake up and open our eyes this country doesnt even look like it once its just a huge shopping mall that sells products from outside the country which we used to make inside of it but we moved them to different country were the working no nothing about unions or pensions. so why is it we go in the attack when we have been doing the same longer then anybody else. its time to grow up america!!!!!

      January 19, 2012 at 2:04 am | Reply
    • Jute

      Traditionally chocolate, “cocoa” harvesting is front and center just before Valentine’s Day. Stop buying chocolate like some suggest and the families of small farmers that rely on that income will lose it.

      Sadly there are no easy resolutions to the slavery issue because of the political and tribal corruption and crime in the Ivory Coast and other growing regions. Unless we want topple another corrupt government and do some nation building this issue will not go away anytime soon.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:08 am | Reply
    • Growapair

      Just because its been going on forever doesn't mean it should be overlooked. Meanwhile back at the ranch....

      January 19, 2012 at 7:28 am | Reply
    • thatrix

      Personally I think chocolate should be illegal and listed as a scheduled narcotic.
      It makes black men lust after white women.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:18 am | Reply
    • Michael

      Courage to make a difference begin with one tiny step at a time. Make that step... Stop Child Slavery.

      November 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Reply
    • Lisa

      I read many of the replies and responses posted regarding the chocolate industry and child slaves. It made me sick to my stomach how the majority of people responding were unsympathetic, insensitive and had no compassion for the children. Bless those who are concerned. May your passion be strong enough to make a change in the lives of the children being used as slaves. If not today, maybe tomorrow.....but it has to start somewhere.

      January 8, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  2. Toppolina

    I LOVE chocolate, my friends say I am a chocoholic, but after seeing part of your future episode about child slavery in Cote d'Ivoire I have my second thoughts about any future chocolate purchase. I was so disheartened, I stopped eating the chocolate I had. Indeed, with the billions they are making for the sale of their cocoa they should and must give better working conditions and pay the people harvesting their crop and treat them with humanity and dignity. Thank you CNN for bringing this tragedy to your viewers attention and I hope we will respond with our pockets not words

    January 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • the law

      ya.!! give me a break... I think the family is happy to have the income..

      January 18, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
      • Andyvon

        Won't stop me buying chocolate. Perhaps if this were Europe or Australia but this has always been accepted in Africa.

        January 18, 2012 at 10:23 am |
      • CosmicC

        Income? What part of slavery don't you understand?

        January 18, 2012 at 10:26 am |
      • situationalawareness

        slavery != child labor

        January 18, 2012 at 11:25 am |
      • Shannon

        Actually child labor IS slavery. The whole reason they hire kids instead of adults is that they can push kids around.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:56 am |
      • Patsy

        Ya right, everyone is happy to get the income. No one is ever happy being a slave. Are you a slave? Do you speak from experience?

        January 18, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
      • slavery tastes awful

        Their families are DEAD. They were casualties of war.

        War-orphaned children are one of the world's largest source of child slaves. There's an entire industry of people who grab these kids from refugee camps, pretending to be aid agencies or churches, put them on busses, and then traffic them right onto a plantation or into even worse places.

        We've seen it during the 2004 tsunami, the Haiti earthquake, pretty much wherever large-scale confusion reigns, someone's there to "help" groups of children, who are never heard from again.

        There's no money for the kids, and their families are scattered in refugee camps thinking their children are dead, or are themselves dead. Assuming that this is the same as legitimate cottage industry just means that you don't know how things work in the world.

        January 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
      • Bob

        @Patsy, stop trying to make a point. You're going to hurt yourself with it.

        January 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • DeeNYC

      so you'll stop eating chocolate, and then they will be out of work, so all they'll be able to do is join a military group or something.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
      • Filtered

        Child slave labor means they have been taken from their families and are forced to work without receiving any income. It's not like they'll go find other jobs because this isn't a "job" that they sought out to earn a living.

        January 18, 2012 at 10:38 am |
      • situationalawareness

        That mentality is self-defeating, and could be applied to anything. If you stop smoking, you'll only die from something else.. etc etc.
        This is labor-induced slave trade. There is a demand for a product, so slaves were harvested.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Filtered

      If you purchase fair trade chocolate, then you have more control over where it comes from. Divine Chocolate is a great choice. You can purchase it at Trade as One. It's a little more expensive, but you know that you're not supporting child slave labor and you're helping families living in poverty earn a fair wage to change their situation.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply
      • lisa

        yes! thank you. fair trade chocolate is a good answer to this, and there are a lot of brands now available.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:50 am |
      • Concerned

        Actually I contacted Divine Chocolate by e-mail on this issue and they failed to confirm that they did not buy chocolate from growers that use child labor. If you read their literature they are all about improving quality of life for the growers. They say nothing about quality of life for the workers. Based on their lack of response on this issue, I would say that buying Divine Chocolate is not a aolution.

        January 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
      • Retroman

        Divine Chocolate is a UK processor and marketer that sources their raw materials from a Ghanaian farmers co-operative – Kuapa Kokoo – which is a part owner of the processor/marketing company.

        Here is a link to their website: http://kuapakokoo.com/

        January 18, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Lean6

      Don't eat chocolate, don't wear Nike products, don't shop at Walmart, don't wear furs, don't eat meat, look for "made in the USA", feel free to add the list and then go live off the land with what's left. Good luck.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
      • Chartreuxe

        With the exception of some grocery items acquired at Wallyworld, I do none of these things. It isn't difficult to do without them. What's the big deal? You seem terribly upset. Why is that?

        January 18, 2012 at 11:21 am |
      • Shannon

        Who said eating meat was bad?

        January 18, 2012 at 11:58 am |
      • MarileeBob

        Let me translate for you guys:

        "I do not appreciate being told what to do how to live my life all the time. Every day another story comes out telling me I can't do this or that because of some reason or another-it seems you can't open a door these days without upsetting someone."

        Well, I will eat meat, I will eat chocolate, I will wear fur and I will continue making my own decisions.

        January 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
      • bob smith

        or diamonds, or coffee...or...or....maybe ignorance truly is bliss.

        January 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
      • Retroman

        To the several people who posted objections to "being told what to eat, etc." – I don't know of any adults who let others make these personal decisions for them. I know of many who appreciate being informed about the consequences of their choices, so they can make informed decisions.

        January 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
      • thriller42

        omg you mean we would actually have to change our lives to help others?? how awful! I really hope you are religious and then are surprised one day why youre burning in hell, you have FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS if you are shopping at walmart and eating meat and chocalate regularly , spend ONE WEEK in their shoes, you would not survive.

        January 18, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Neeneko

      You are typing on a computer, a device that only exists because of similar conditions in the regions where many of the rarer materials are mined.

      We all have blood on our hands when it comes to this stuff, it is always somewhere in the production change of many modern goods because, in the end, slave labor is cheap and easy to hide.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
      • Chartreuxe

        So, Neeneko, there's no difference between bathing in blood and a few drops?

        One begs to differ...

        January 18, 2012 at 11:23 am |
      • situationalawareness

        You say that as if it's perfectly acceptable.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:30 am |
      • MarileeBob

        Agreed Neeneko.

        I feel as if some people think we're going to reach this point where we humans magically have no effect on the world around us. Here's some news-we're humans, we're covering the entire planet and we will have an effect on the world around us. It is a fact. We can try to limit the effects (I don't ever litter, I recycle, I walk instead of drive when I can) but we will always have an effect on our environment.

        January 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
      • slavery tastes awful

        I think the point is to get you to think about what KIND of effect you have on the world around you. If you stop and think before you create demand for something atrocious, you might decide to slightly change your habits to create demand for something GOOD that employs a US worker, supports environmentally-positive farming practices, and takes the profit out of abusing EVERYONE in the supply and demand chain. Remember that slave labor=crummy products. On a PURELY self-interested scale, fair-traded products cost only a little more ($2 for a SNICKERS BAR?! I paid $2 for a fair-trade espresso-bean dark chocolate bar that actually was less money per ounce!) and the quality is orders of magnitude better.

        Maybe if the same greedy companies who don't want to clean up their supply chain ALSO passed that cost savings on to the consumer, the argument would be different. But they don't. Their prices are rising, while the product quality remains terrible.

        So I'll keep eating meat, because animals are DELICIOUS, but they taste much better if they were small-scale and sustainably farmed, and if they weren't mistreated, frankenchickened-up with chemicals, and treated with MSG before getting to the store, in the hopes that I wouldn't notice. Hunters know that an animal that you shot when it wasn't looking tastes better than one that you surprised and caused to startle. Same principle of animal deliciousness.

        And I'll keep eating chocolate, but ONLY if it's worth my money. If YOU want to spend your money on CRAP-CHOCOLATE, I guess that's between you and the slaves that produced it. I think that not only is quality worth paying for, but that POOR quality should not be rewarded.

        January 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Chartreuxe

      There are those who practice their religion and their ethics where people can see them, i.e., in public in the marketplace, and those who practice their religion and their ethics everywhere.

      I know which I am. Which are you?

      January 18, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
      • Ramrod

        But you should be more careful constructing your sentences. It should have been: "Rare Earth materials" and "production chain"

        January 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  3. Pamela Bunting Lewis

    Have to give up diet sodas as they have reported that may be causing expanding waistlines and now need to really boycott chocolate until these children are freed, returned to their own families and until the cocoa industry is properly punished and restructured. This is intolerable. This is criminal. This is the extortion of innocent children. This is in violation of the United Nations anti-slavery laws as is set forth by our world on human rights. This will NOT be tolerated. Pamela Bunting Lewis On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day thanks to CNN International making me aware. God/Allah bless these children. 1/16/12

    January 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • Give it up? - not

      Let's just give up everything except unleavened bread and water. Then you could pretend that you're in prison. You might as well be.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:22 am | Reply
      • Chartreuxe

        Drama queen much?

        Cocoa production enslaves children. Period.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • homer j

      why there families will just sell them back to the bad guys but then doesn't that make the family the bad guys

      January 18, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
  4. Pamela Bunting Lewis

    Thank you for making us aware US Senator Tom Harkin Democrat from Iowa and CNN International through your Freedom Project. May these children be freed and may we know human rights throughout the world to include right here in the United States of America. Pamela Bunting Lewis I was enslaved once too. January 16th, 2012. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      Yeah. Funny thing is that *just exactly the same people* enslaved your ancestors. But you have spent your life to date not doing anything more about it than complaining, have you?

      January 18, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
  5. Oyeniran Taiwo

    Is just as if slavery will never end in Africa.Look at how the children-the hope of tomorrow is been play with.My advice to parent is to give their wards quality Education and care.By the way,are these children born to come and face hardship?May God intervene.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  6. Patrick

    CNN should take on the world hunger and feed all the children working in the cocoa industry and all other industries where child labor is involved instead of raising the issue and then moving on to another BS story... at least they have a job and probably feed themselves and their family.
    If CNN wants to stop child labor then they need to take on the countries where child labor is allowed and confront the local governments but CNN and all other networks do not have the b.... to take on the local government as they know they would be kicked out of the country immediately. CNN and all other TV networks only stir the sh.... and then move on... it was the same story about the starving children of Sudan a few months ago but none of their reporters adopted a starving kid and brought him/her back to their wife......

    January 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
    • Portland tony

      Well, I'm not down on CNN for reporting what's happening in third world nations as far as forced labor is concerned. That's their job. But these NGO's have got the cart before the horse. The most important issue is to pressure and help fund the governments of these nations to find alternative activities for these indentured kids. Schooling, shelter, guidance etc. You just can't free the slaves into a life of starvation and
      poverty.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:28 am | Reply
    • Filtered

      This story is not about child labor – a child making money for their families. It's about child SLAVE labor – a child being taken away from their families and forced to work without earning any income, but instead working off their "debt." By making people aware of the issue, CNN has played a tremendous role in combatting child slave labor. Now you have the choice to help end it by being aware of where your chocolate comes from. You either support child slave labor or you combat it each time you purchase chocolate.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
      • Ramrod

        Usually a child is sold by the family into slave labor. Families have too many kids, they sell the least useful of them. It is practiced in many countries.

        January 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  7. mike

    I hate to ask the question but I can't help but wonder how these kids will be fed after they stop working for the farmers. I don't want to see them starve either.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Reply
    • tuliplady

      Mike – it's not about if they are starving – it's about getting paid to work. I see them no better than the chickens that are fed so that they may lay their eggs to bring to market. And human beings should be much treated better than this... Shame on the industry, shame on them for keeping us in the dark about this... and pity the children...

      January 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Reply
    • Archibald

      I don't think that's a bad question, or harsh, at all. It's very much the catch 22 of the situation. Do you shut down the farm because the Ivory Coast can't regulate the system, and the industry refuses to do the same, and put those people out of work? Or do you just turn a bit of a blind eye in the hopes that things will eventually improve themselves naturally? Or can you find the time/money/willpower to make incremental improvements in the system but keep people working in the meantime?

      January 18, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
      • Leaf on the Wind

        Well put. Mike brings up a good point - what happens if you simply free these enslaved children? Were they stolen from their families, or did their severely impoverished families "give" them to the cocoa plantation so that they would at least be fed every day? It isn't as simple as saying "child slave labor is bad and must end." No one would argue that. The only thing we can do is be aware, when we buy chocolate, of where it comes from, and refuse to buy chocolate made from the cocoa produced by these plantations.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  8. Mummadi mallikarjuna reddy

    child labor is anti human and have to condemn at any cost ant any where in the world.The world human right forum most act quickly to take necessary steps to solve the problem immediately and made necessary steps to solve the problem with the government. The cocoa farm owner to implement children in the farm work and chocolate manufacture companies, It the duty and responsibility to avoid to practice such horrible things in the modern world.

    January 16, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Reply
  9. Vari

    Agree with Patrick. CNN should go one step further and hold accountable the governments allowing import of cocoa and private companies importing cocoa beans from places such as Ivory Coast. Otherwise the Harkin/Engel protocal is just a farce

    January 17, 2012 at 1:49 am | Reply
    • MomOf3

      I agree there should be accountability, but it's hardly CNN that should be policing this issue. What about the nations that continue to import this chocolate? They should be the ones that are held accountable. Where is the UN, shouldn't they be policing this?

      January 18, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • Leaf on the Wind

      CNN is a reporting media. Why would you hold them responsible for enforcing anything? Their job is to make us aware. Our "job" is to boycott chocolate derived from these plantations, and to put pressure on our government to in turn put pressure on the governments of countries that produce and import this product. So stop talking and start walking, eh?

      January 18, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Vari, you're confused about the role of a news organisation. It's their job to inform the public. That's what they've done here. They have no responsibility to hold anyone or anything accountable for anything.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
  10. Balendra

    I am not a Supported or Child Labour But I belive that it is so easy to hate it and call your self a saint. When you are starving and have not had food for some days you will understand what not having a Job will mean. The Question is not Why they are exploited the question is Why someone is able to Exploite these Children. They are exploited because they are weak they dont have food shelter and any other way to getting daily bread. Let us assume that all the World has started using child-labor-free label and All the poducts sold are child-labor-free. Do you think it will solve the problem. this will start feeding the Children and take all the Pain away and do you think they will not resort to other means to get there daily meals. I suggest that We address the Root cause not the Symptoms.

    January 17, 2012 at 7:41 am | Reply
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Excellent idea. What, exactly, do you see as the "root cause"? IMO the root cause is overpopulation and lack of birth control. If a family cannot feed the children they have, why do they continue to produce more children? Education and access to family planning products and practices is key, yet the religious organizations all over the world have successfully prevented this. It has to start with the women and girls, since it is clear that the men in these overpopulated, severely impoverished regions of the world are not willing to do anything to help.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
  11. emeka stub

    All these negative stories could only come out of Africa.Child labour should be treated as a crime against humanity and world leaders should come up categorically to speak against it and impose heavy economic sanctions to states that fail to stop this form of child slavery.It is inhuman and deprivative

    January 17, 2012 at 9:18 am | Reply
    • Filtered

      Child slave labor happens everywhere – even in the US. You're just not aware of it.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Economic sanctions would impoverish these countries even more. How many innocent children would starve to death? Would that be better than slavery, if slavery means that at least you're being fed? It just isn't that simple.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
  12. George

    I thought Oompa Loompas made chocolate.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • y2daddy

      And that's why Willy Wonka is evil! Human trafficking, and a predator to boot! Why did only kids get the tickets, huh? We know what Wonka was up to....

      January 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  13. commoncents

    And yet..........I am quite certain that everyone at CNN who reads this story will continue purchasing and enjoying chocolate.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • the law

      add me to the list, and you will STOP eating ALL chocolate... I say not..

      January 18, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • Filtered

      You don't have to stop purchasing chocolate – just know where it comes from. Divine chocolate is a great option – no slave labor.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
  14. Jardinero1

    I actually don't have a problem with child labor, as long the children or their respective families are reimbursed for the labor. I do have a problem with the use of force, violence or coercion to obtain labor from people which is the standard modern definition of slavery.

    This article doesn't address what type of force, violence or coercion is being used to obtain the labor. Where do these kids come from, are they kidnapped or runaways? Do the employers have a relationship with the parents in the home community? Are the child laborers fulfilling an obligation incurred by the parents? Also, slavery to be effective, requires the cooperation of the local civil and police authority. Without the cooperation of the local civil or police authority these kids could just run away with impunity. How do the local authorities facilitate the forced labor. The article fails to address any ot these questions which really go to the core of the problem and its solution. The article goes on and on about the plainly ineffectual protocol without even outlining the causes of the forced labor and comparing that to the current worhtless solution which is the Cocoa Protocal.

    I hope that they will follow up with answers to my questions.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
    • waterman

      Some kids are kidnapped, some are orphans, some are sold by the parents for a small amount of money. Children or parent are not paid for the work in any way (except enough food to keep them alive). Anyone trying to run away is hunted down and severely punished. This ain't your teenager working at the grocery store to earn some cash.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Did you read the part about this article being an excerpt from an upcoming broadcast? If you want more details, tune in.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:34 am | Reply
  15. chilly g

    the problem with child labor in most african country want change anytime soon because african leader is to corrupt
    and don't care enough about its peoples. SHAME SHAME

    January 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  16. crowsfly

    OK. So I did go to school & get an education but I started work when I was 9 working after school delivering groceries on a bike & by 12 I drove tractor from dawn until dust during haymaking season & was up before dawn miling cows. That was NZ in the 1950s. Kids did that in those days & many still do. If kids are working to feed themselves & their families that is the reality in many countries & all the bleating by dogooders won't alter a thing.

    January 18, 2012 at 6:16 am | Reply
    • Tim

      Actually the bleeting by dogooders COULD do something. It could make matters worse for the children. This story, while wrenching at the heart, leaves a lot out. It also doens't stress the fact that many of the children were sold into slavery by their parents because they are so poor they had no other options, or they just don't care about their kids. Either way, the root cause of this may not be what we westerners think. And meddling in there could definitly make matters worse if we go about it the wrong way.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • Cedar Rapids

      "If kids are working to feed themselves & their families that is the reality in many countries & all the bleating by dogooders won't alter a thing"

      which bit about forced child labor and slavery are not getting here? I am sorry you have an issue with 'bleating dogooders' trying to raise awareness of these conditions.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      These children aren't working to help out or for pocket money. They are slaves. They're underfed, beaten, starved and the girls are raped before they reach menarche. The whole story isn't told in this article, it's much worse.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
  17. Rangarajan Suresh

    This is not a Utopian world we live in. Child labor is real and will exist, laws, sanctions or not. This is a simple economic necessity and the parents of these children do not have an alternative. If they did, no parent will want their children to labor.

    Rather than try grandeur approaches to eliminate this in an "all or nothing" approach, lawmakers should try to implement practical solutions. Children can work, but say for 4 hours only per day, and they should be provided access to education and food each day. Over time, with more educated people, future generations will hopefully benefit.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:12 am | Reply
  18. skeletor

    It may be some sort of slavery, but in poor countries, the children need to have something. Take it away and what will happen, they won't eat, they will have no place to go. Poor nations in the carribean, someplace you would think the children are out of harm's way, have children starving. They don't go to school, have nothing to do, beg for money and go buy shoe glue! They sniff the shoe glue, and then they won't be hungry for a few days. These kids would be better off working in chocolate jobs, I don't care what you think!!!!! Lucky for them they are healty enough to take chocolate jobs, rather than sniffing glue and being living zombies. There are alot of these kids too, not just a few glassy eyed children, say in St. Maartin for example.. Oh it is easy for you all to sit there and pooh hoo this, but that only shows that you have seen really very little of the reality of poverty, and how hard it is for a little child to survive in poverty! Help them by working this out, not by boycots or taking this away from them!

    January 18, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
    • Kurt

      I agree. It is easy to say, "It's horrible that these children have to work!" What's not so easy to say is, "My family will literally starve to death if we don't all work." There definitely has to be protection for these children, but death by starvation is not an option, either. I think people in the U.S. don't realize just how bad it really is in other parts of the world – sometimes you have to do what it takes to survive.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
  19. Mick

    Maybe they could be hired as janitors in their schools.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • Archibald

      Well played, Sir. I award you ten internets.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
  20. mercenary76

    Slavery has existed in one form or another for most of human history and will continue no matter what news corporation publishes the story . No matter how many dogooders jump on this thing it will still happen because no one really cares more than about 2 weeks on any subject . They are probably better off doing this than a lot of other things that come to mind .

    January 18, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
  21. Dannelle

    Thanks for sharing this information. I had no idea. Is there a way to determine which chocolatiers don't use child labour so I can be sure to only eat humane chocolate?

    January 18, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • Nookleerman

      There's a list:

      http://vision.ucsd.edu/~kbranson/stopchocolateslavery/main.html

      January 18, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
      • hmmm

        Thank you for the list!

        January 18, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  22. DeeNYC

    No one is giving up chocolate. Many of you get fired up, skip your hershey's bar one day then it's back to shoveling candy in your face tomorrow.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
  23. Homer

    Ummmmmmmmm, yummy child-labor chocolate...........

    January 18, 2012 at 10:22 am | Reply
  24. DeeNYC

    Let's send more money to an african nation, I mean look how much they did with the hundreds of millions we gave to ethiopia and somalia.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • DeeNYC

      I'm being sarcastic btw. don't want the slow people to think donating money to africa actually helps anything.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
  25. rad666

    This article was ran about 5 months ago.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
  26. GetReal

    Chocolate is a mild but nasty drug that the whole world is addicted to. I don't buy it, I don't eat it, and now I have one more reason to be GLAD I don't.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply
  27. FauxNews

    We should stop trading with nations that don't provide minimum wage.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:39 am | Reply
  28. MyOpinion

    I think this will be the best time to invest in chocoloate. I'm an African, child slavery won't end, not for a trillon dollars. this is just a speculation to get attention from the u.n in order to oversee Africa while they pusue the new world order.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
  29. Total Non sense

    Once again the solution is extremly simple. outlaw any import of anything from any country with as much as a single child laborer. in other words. make it illegal to import cacao from the invory coast until *ALL* child labor has ended.

    It;s amazing to see how politicians and law makers refuse to see what it just in front of their nose, when a big pill of corporate cash is blocking their view.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • skeletor

      Geez I hope your solution for feeding those children you just sent out into the darkness is fueled by your power!
      See the world! You appear to be clueless.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  30. Nookleerman

    I love how CNN reports with the broadest brush, but leaves out all the important facts.

    1.) 10 years ago, the child labor estimates were nearly 800,000 children working in the cocoa industry. The fact that the number is now 100,000 is indicative of serious strides.

    2.) Almost half of those working were either kidnapped from neighboring countries or sold by their parents. That practice has been quickly brought to heel. While at the time it was illegal, no one was enforcing the law. They are now and the number of children held against their will is practically nil.

    3.) Another gem CNN fails to mention is there are something like 400,000 farms producing cocoa in the region, so 100,000 child laborers is one for every 4 farms. What do you think the odds are that these are children outside the families that own the farms? My guess is very small, but that's just conjecture. Working in the family business sucks, but it's a way of life, even here in America.

    I began investigating this story back around Halloween, when everyone was up in arms since it was a big candy holiday. While this was a very serious issue 10 years ago, those people we put in charge actually took a good action (for once, though I think they should have put the labels indicating "Child-labor free") and since then the problem has been steadily improving.

    You'll notice the sensationalist journalism being used by CNN

    "there are an estimated 100,000 children working the fields, many against their will," – so there are not 100,000 child slaves, like they attempt to imply, but some fraction of 100,000, whatever "many" means.

    There are more, but this post is already too long and no one is going to read it, so whatever.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • random

      I read it.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • moderate

      Before I read Nookleerman's comments, I added a post indicating that news organizations like to produce controversy, so may not provide all the facts. I also added that children on family farms, even in the USA (gasp...!) work the fields without pay.

      Some fact-checking needed to take the hyperbole out of this story....

      Point is, I agree with Nookleerman. Well-stated.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
  31. Question

    Is there any way to track which US distributors are purchasing from the farms that are known to use child labor?

    January 18, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
  32. MyOpinion

    I think this will be the best time to invest in chocoloate. I'm an African, child slavery won't end, not for a trillion dollars. This is just a speculation to get attention from the u.n in order to oversee Africa while they pursue the new world order.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
  33. lee

    why not try fixing our own countries problems before pushing our beliefs on others ? that is all that country has ever had just like they will never change it hasn,t worked in afganastan or any of the other countries we have tried to change

    January 18, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
  34. Action

    In the entire article I saw NO mention of any US companies that can be boycotted. Big business only reacts when you touch them in the pocket. Name the companies and Americans will boycott!!!!!

    January 18, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Don't buy or consume any chocolate that isn't marked Fair Trade. It's as simple as that.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • mike

      OMG Fair trade chocolate is expensive. Little box $18

      January 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  35. Peter

    This is all relative. When your average life expectancy is 56 years old (according to the CIA Factbook for Cote d'Ivoire) working as a teenager or a little younger is not the same as a kid in the US. We are applying our own values and beliefs on a different culture and society. It's not apples to apples. Kids in the West go to school, live off their parents, go out with friends. Kids in that part of the world don't. They contribute in any way possible. This is not child labor, this is labor in a society that is not comparable to our own. As for the slavery part, the kids should get something in return, so that is not justifiable. But, if they are getting fed in return for working, that would probably go further than financial payment for them.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:59 am | Reply
    • Reedfarm

      Bingo !

      January 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  36. Badoink

    Fu(k off, American liberals. Go tell some other part of the Third World how to live their lives to be 'American'. These people are working to feed themselves. JUST LIKE THE U.S. USED TO DO BEFORE WE GOT FAT AND LAZY!

    January 18, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • Retroman

      Americans used to make things, before the factories were shipped overseas to take advantage of cheap labor.

      January 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  37. Sam Houston

    Another clear example of the truthfulness of Jeremiah 10:23 and Ecclesiastes 8:9.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
  38. palintwit

    Every time I think about Alaska, I think about Sarah Palin. Everytime I think about Sarah Palin, I think about teabaggers. Every time I think about teabaggers, I think about assault weapons. Every time I think about assault weapons, I think about trailer trash. Every time I think about trailer trash, I think about Sarah Palin. Every time I think about Sarah Palin, I think about...

    January 18, 2012 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Good to have a hobby, I suppose...

      January 18, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
    • hadit

      palintwit, how can you think with your liberal head up your ass? I say Increase child slaves to 200,000 and drop chocolate prices in half.

      January 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  39. Sunflower

    there has ALWAYS been a slave market in Africa.... where do you think the American slaves came from? We didn't just go in there and capture them.. And dirty our hands??? Tribes kidnapped and raided other tribes. It was common. Even back in acient Egypt, slaves came from varying parts of Africa. Then they sold the captured slaves from warring tribes for profit and material gain. Human labor is viewed as a commodity.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • prwalker

      Because it exists doesn't make it right...

      January 18, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Sunflower, does that make it valid in your eyes?

      Let's turn it around: women and children were the property of their husbands for thousands and thousands of years. Emancipation is recent in legal terms and we as women still await parity in for form of wages. The term 'the rule of thumb' means that a man was legally allowed to beat his wife as long as the stick he used was no larger in diameter than his thumb.

      Does that make it right? Was it just that women were second class citizens? In many ways, women are still regarded so. Recently I was reading an article on breast and ovarian cancer and some young male nitwit was complaining about the lack of research on male issues. He, fool that he was, was unaware that for decades scientific research focused upon males alone. (Were you aware of this fact?) He also didn't know that men develop breast cancer.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  40. Mike

    The solution for the U.S. is simple: We need inspectors at every cocoa farm we import any chocolate from. If any type of forced labor or child labor is being used than their cocoa, and any of their customer's who use it, are not allowed to import into the U.S.
    We probably buy more chocolate per capita than any other country. If we stop importing from these animals they will be forced to change the way they do business.
    We need to know as consumers that the products we buy are not only safe for us, but safe for those who work to produce that product. Since the marketers are not honest we need our government to step in and force the issue.
    A protocol doesn't go far enough. It is just another law that others will refuse to follow because we have no backbone and enforce our laws. Just look at immigration in this country. Illegal immigration I might add.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Or you could buy Fair Trade chocolate, that's certified produced *without* any slave or child labour.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
  41. Ben James

    The main reason we get good so cheap in the US is because all our corporations (Wal-Mart etc.) use overseas slave labor to manufacture goods. What wee need is a GLOBAL MINIMUM WAGE!

    January 18, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
  42. weeknow

    Ever since the first Alien set a "Foot" in Africa they were White people .they started Shooting taken and Killing and lutting destruction Slave that's why i'm in America right this very moment.period so the moral is they started it all period!

    January 18, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • Reedfarm

      What ?

      January 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • hadit

      It's da whit mans falt . Apparently you didn't benefit from the free education you were given .(If you axk me) You would be better off with the compassionate black slave owners in Africa.

      January 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  43. jim harris

    where is the NAACP ?why arent they all over this

    January 18, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Seriously? You have heard that the Ivory Coast is in Africa...another country altogether, right?

      January 18, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
      • DuchessFeathers

        Actually, it's a Continent.

        And I won't give up my chocolate. I do purchase Fair Trade products.

        January 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • hadit

      There isn't any money in it . Who would they extort ?

      January 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
    • hadit

      Jim Harris ; There isn't any money in it . Extortion is only profitable in civilized Western societies.

      January 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  44. moderate

    I have no trouble believing that there is force labor involved in this. It is a desperately poor continent, and human life is pretty cheap. And there is a history of this sort of thing–not just selling to white slave traders 200 years ago...slavery has not been uncommon in Africa among the various groups there.

    However, news organizations try to make things controversial, so keep a partially open mind...

    Part of this may be children of farmers, which work for their parents on the family farm and are unpaid. That is an entirely different thing. I grew up on a family farm myself right here in the USA. All of us worked the family fields, and were not paid with money. Instead, we were fed, clothed, schooled, and had a roof over our heads.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
  45. Leaf on the Wind

    Child slavery is bad. No one would dispute that. But this article doesn't provide enough details for anyone to understand what actually happens in this and other impoverished parts of the world. We sit here typing our comments on computers and other gadgets produced in countries that also use child labor, forced or otherwise.

    The root cause is overpopulation, and the root cause of that is ignorance and religion. If a family cannot feed the children they already have, why are they producing more children? They need education and access to family planning products and services, but the world's religious organizations have been very successful in keeping that from happening. This needs to stop, and not just in Africa. Boycotting chocolate may make us feel like we're doing our part, but it's such a teensy little drop in the ocean.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • Spawn

      We've got India to thank for that. And the macho-man mentality that if you dont have at least 20 kids, your not much of a man.
      That coupled with certain religious groups that think that using any form of protection is evil, and then men who cant stop screwing their wives even after their poor woman has popped out more kids then she can bare, leads to a very bleak looking future indeed.
      However, in places like India where this is a problem, certain feminist groups are working to help educate woman and give them access to family planning and birth control. Maybe the old mindset will eventually die out with the old people. Maybe.

      January 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  46. humtake

    I think it would be a lot more effective to report on products that don't have any link to child slavery. I think it's becoming the minority...

    January 18, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  47. Aminu tijjani

    hello deer cnn,what the resercher say about the ivory cost cocco factory is not axceptable,they dont know that its the young chave that worked at the factory,

    January 18, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
  48. Beverly

    When you choose to defend "having what you want when you want it" even at the expense of a child's freedom then YOU are the one giving the traffickers permission to kidnap children. The less the demand, the less the incentive to commit this crime. Why can't people just start a NO CHOCOLATE TO FREE CHILDREN fundraising campaign. Collect monies that would have gone for those addictive treats. Then, send it to organizations that are doing good things to help better the lives of these african children. Just think, what an impact that would have on those poor little ones lives if EVERY chocoholic did that!

    January 18, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
  49. Spawn

    :O Finally, eating european chocolate made from hazelnuts has finally payed off! Lol, Im just kidding, I eat it just because it tastes better, and my dad who lives in Germany sends me some all the time. But seriously, lets all start switching to nutella and kinder chocolate!

    January 18, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  50. rukidding

    child labor is not the same thing as slavery- a lot of comments about them getting paid.... S L A V E R Y google it.

    January 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  51. 19random35

    If you're not bothered by slavery than yer a bad person. If the market for unethically harvested chocolate collapsed, because everyone demanded fair trade chocolate, then the companies engaged in this practice, out of nothing more than self-interest, would have to follow suit.

    I only buy fair trade coffee and chocolate, and organic foods. It's a choice each of us has to make. Our actions can have real consequences, whether we acknowledge our own part in things or not.

    January 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  52. Chupacabra

    I would argue that "maybe some parents sold their own children into this type of labor", although I don't have the facts. I don't understand why "we as Americans" believe the world thinks of/protects or cherish children like we do. This is part of being a third world country. It happened before and will continue to happen. CNN just needed to fill some air time. Hey, how about CNN correspondents go out to the fields in the United States where we have child "labor" being used here. I mean, it is naive to believe that fruits and vegetables that must be picked by hand are not being picked by children. I knew several of my friends that were "migrant" students that left school early to go to other states and work the fields with their parents. CBS did a segment on this years ago. Look it up, we have child labor in this country and yet, most don't care, chose to ignore it or are ignorant about this. However, many will think "As long as we are not paying $10 for a pound of tomatoes, right?"

    January 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  53. vinceParee

    Slavery has been an African tradition going back to the acient Egyptians and it has never stopped since then. So what is the crying about and acting as if we should be shocked or surprised... Slavery is a part of their customs and they are experts at it... European's onwas only involved in slavery for a brief time comapred to Africans.

    January 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  54. ionymous

    There's child labor and there's slavery. I think in some cultures child labor is tradition and acceptable. Slavery is never. This story mashes the two together, and it shouldn't.

    January 18, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  55. rnaybos

    Enslaved children forced to work on cocoa plantations is a problem. A human rights issue. Unfortunately, it looks like a tough task to stop it. Most of us probably can't do much about it!

    One thing that you could do that is easy is to buy chocolate from local producers that offer you information on where their chocolate comes from. Support these producers who can in turn support their farmers that practice ethical and sustainable farming. If we could make this "the norm" it could help wipe out unethical farming of cocoa.

    January 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  56. Neli

    Well, I don't smoke, I don't drink wine or beer, I don't eat ice cream....you see, if everybody would do like me, many companies simply would not exist (and many stocks would go down fast) ...and, chocolate I used to eat a lot years ago, right now I am not eating chocolate as often, maybe once or twice a year a small bar. So, because of my frugal habits child slavery would finish very soon, and many people would have leaner bodies....

    January 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  57. Rick

    Context matters. The chocolate plantations in question are in West Africa, not the Caribbean. To my understanding, most of the children working in the chocolate plantations in Ivory Coast were recruited by unscrupulous "labor contractors" in Burkina Faso. In other words, we are not talking about children who are facing a devil's dilemma of starvation or slavery. Rather, we are facing a situation in which criminals have lied to vulnerable children and adolescents in order to make a few bucks.

    January 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  58. Shawn

    Simply the way of the world. Has always been, and will always be. You have to remember these slaves are being enslaved by their own people, not the west. If their own people would dig themselves out of slavery and poverty and give their people a better life, they could. But they choose the way their society works, and they choose to allow slavery. Don't feel guilty over another culture's acceptance for slavery.

    The USA landed in a hostile land that had zero infrastructure, with little more than the shirts on their backs, and they carved that land into the world's super power. There is no excuse for any nation in the world to be poor, lacking justice or equality, or creating their fair share in the world. Their problems are their own.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      I guess you never heard how the whites in this country enslaved black people for about 300 years and how people were already living here when white took their land and killed them. You really should read a book about American history and not one that was written in the 1940s.

      January 18, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  59. qwedie

    More examples of black on black slavery. Africa has always been this way.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • Nat Turner

      I suppose you favor white on black slavery?

      January 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  60. Athena

    I'm boycotting chocolate. Forever, thanks to this revelation! I've permanently given up sodas, meat, anything made with white flour and sugar, dairy products (except yogurt and cottage cheese) and lost 100 pounds. My last vices – ice cream and chocolate!! Thanks for the incentive! If the world would stop consuming chocolate, then there would be no slave labor. We did it by boycotting soccer balls and Nike shoes, we can boycott chocolate. Power to the people!

    January 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  61. skeletor

    The kid in the story's picture looks old enough to have fathered a few kids and at least drive a car! If he were here putting my bags in the car at the store, what I should call the police and scream this child is a slave!

    January 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  62. anon

    I honestly don't understand why people keep blaming the CONSUMER on this. It's a problem with REGULATION. One of two things are necessary:

    1) the ivory coast countries enact (and enforce) sanctions on child labor (probably not likely)
    2) the US and other big consumer countries enact the proper trade sanctions with these countries until working standards improve (more likely, but probably not with this kind of congress)

    Whether or not you eat chocolate, shop at wal-mart, buy tobacco, own a computer, etc, will really not put a dent child labor at all. Whatever you give up, a new need will just resurface and children will just be exploited for a different purpose. Save your energy for the proper battle.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  63. maria

    how dare y'all say that. this is how selfish this fuC*%4 world wis

    January 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  64. CommonSense

    You people aren't seeing the big picture. Let's say we all boycotted chocolate. What would that do? It would cause the cocoa plantations to shut down. And where would all of the workers go? They would most likely starve to death. Ivory Coast would be effected, too. If they lose chocolate as an export, the economy will suffer. This would only cause more starvation and suffering in an already poor country.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • Reedfarm

      Exactly – when "child labor" has been shut down because of pressure from "well meaning" westerners, the girls turn to prositution and boys turn to crime. I guess that would be better ?

      January 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  65. maria

    This is how ugly/cruel this world is. No cares for anyone anymore. Have you ever wonder that one day it might be your child working there!

    January 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • Chupacabra

      No my child would never work there or in the fields of the united states. My ancestors did that. I am doing everything possible so that my son never has to do what I did growing up. Regardless of how heartless it sounds, many are correct in saying that "boycotting chocolate" will do nothing. We need to stop trying to make the rest of the world like the US. Mexico, China, Pakistan, India all have similar issues. Underpaid and overworked. Whether people get a wage or not, that is a form of slavery.

      What is funny to me, is that most that are posting here saying this is horrible, would not go live there and take up the fight against the gov't of that country. Support will come in the form of facebook, blogs or twitter, any form that does not require any real effort.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  66. Nat Turner

    This continent has been raped of everything...humans, diamonds, coffee, oil, chocolate, ivory, etc.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Mungle

      Dont forget to add their Women also!

      January 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  67. maria

    what else does the world want from them?!

    January 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  68. Mungle

    I am going to the 7-11 afterwork and purchasing one of those King size snickers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Before I take a bite, I will thank those little laborers for doing a great job.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • maria

      haha really funny!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • Mels

      @Mungle "I am going to 7-11...." How could you say something like that?! Those are people! They are children! Just like us! And whoever said that they thought USA was the only place that had slaves, I hope you live in a cave or are 6 years old, because that is the stupidest things I have ever heard. Slavery had been around centuries before "the New World" was discovered.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  69. Nate

    If CNN was so worried about freedom they would not impose such strict censorship on their commenting sections.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  70. Qui Gon Bong

    Too bad for people in the crap hole that is Africa. Not my problem if they want to exploit their own children to make a buck.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Nat Turner

      Spoken like a true tea-bagger.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  71. TomCatt

    China does it also, probably better. So... if our politicians are borrowing huge amounts of money from China, are they directly or indirectly employing children? I don't see much difference in a manufacturer that employs Chinese children to assemble products and our politicians borrowing over $800 trillion. It's disturbing.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • poobah

      Yes, I love how the pro-lifers in this country are all about shopping at Walmart for 'every day low prices' and buying products exclusively made in a country that forces abortion, arrests/jails/murders anyone seen carrying a Bible and leads the world in black market sales of human organs from those they've executed. Funny, ain't it? When Kerry was running for POTUS, people wouldn't buy Heinz ketchup, for Heaven's Sake, but, hey, if you can get a cheap deal at Walmart, you happily support a gov't that would have aborted your second child and locked you up for that little made-in-China Christmas ornament you just bought...

      January 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  72. poobah

    Ask yourself, "OK, if it were my 6 yr old child that had been kidnapped and smuggled off to work in these fields all day, would I care?" If you say 'no,' enjoy your Snickers~ hey as long as it's someone else's misery, why care? Or, if you have any integrity and believe you have a moral obligation to take the high road, find something else to eat. Most of America is obese, anyway~ a sure sign that they have no self discipline and are self centered. I'm sure the stock in Nestles won't suffer.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • Kay

      Well if the Swiss company, Nestle really cared they wouldn't buy chocolate from these farms or help cause child obesity in American children would they? So it seems that it's not just the fat Americans that are self centered.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  73. Mark Williams

    So, do you think that you human rights advocates there at CNN will eventually notice the millions of Latinos being bought, sold and rented at Home Depot parking lots across the country. Yeah, I didn't think so.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  74. Topmom

    Someone want to scan a copy of their candy bar wrapper and tell me where the "Fair Trade" markings are? Because the one I have here has nothing of the sort, anywhere on the packaging...

    January 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  75. Bermille

    This is what Gingrich wants for children in America.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • steve

      Got to have cocoa stupid idea really why not grow it else where. And by the way coffee beans harvest creates slavery too. We have approved of slavery we have created the demand of such goods with no regard of how we obtain them.

      January 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  76. ..a laurel and hardy handshake.....

    Say Ollie, from now on it's tapioca and cheesecake for me .
    .
    Me too, Stan, me too.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  77. Kumaran Nithyanandhan

    We cannot simply say that the children cannot work from day 1. In many of the poor countries, the kids contribute to the earnings of the family and stopping it suddenly will impact the family's survival. Say in a family with 5 kids, 2 kids may work and support the family and help the other 3 kids study. So the developed countries should help the poor countries economy to improve and slowly reduce the child labor.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  78. mbell002

    This story reminds me of rights to (BOS) censorship. Here.... Here's chocolate, CNN should be shut down. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate)

    January 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  79. Al

    I recently saw an explanation of why cocoa prices are so high and I could not believe the logic. It goes something like this -

    The farmers are being paid so little that it's not worth it for many of them to produce it. Thus supply is low and prices are high.

    I think a more accurate explanation goes as follows- Although farmers are being very little to produce chocolate, the multinationals that market, process and package it are charging exorbitant prices and thus are wildly profitable.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  80. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    Slave labor? What the...they must be republicans.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • sharky

      Except that Republicans were the ones that ended slavery, Democrats started it and fought to keep it. D'OH brush up on your history.

      January 18, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Reply
      • Robert R.only

        what history had to do with what is going on right now
        Republicans have advocate only for geed and fast
        buck at the expense of the poor and middle class

        January 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
      • Retroman

        Your comment is historically accurate, but misleading about R's and D's.

        Like so many other things, the brand names have been preserved, but the contents have changed considerably. (When first invented, Coca-Cola used to include amongst its ingredients, cocaine, which I gather was legal way back in the day. Then again, so was slavery).

        It was Lyndon Baines Johnson – a Southern Democrat – who insisted that Congress pass Civil Rights legislation in the 1960's. And yes, some Republicans were in favor and some Democrats opposed.

        January 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  81. WC

    We would have probably been better of if Dubya had invaded Liberia in order to safeguard the US supply of chocolate.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  82. Rick

    Ironic that I am a slave to chocolate produced by slaves.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  83. Howard Feinski

    Hey, what about planting some chocolate in W NY to put the out-of-work illegals back to work? Africa doesn't have to hog it all.

    January 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  84. pete

    where have all the white people gone?

    January 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  85. ceiling fan

    Which products are sold in the vending machines and cafeterias of CNN's buildings???
    Is each employee required to sign a "purity" pledge?

    January 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  86. bmo

    it's amazing how ignorant and self centered some of these comments are. i bet if some american or european children were subjected to this there would be a revolution. racism, ignorance, privilege are comfort are a dangerous combination. half of the overweight and lazy ridiculous comments that oppose human rights are about to see what it's like to on the sad side of a global economy let's see who's eating chocolate then? don't make me pay any more and I won't stand for anything, let me be fat, dumb and prejudice. way to go stupid lemmings!! whoo hoo!

    January 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  87. bmo

    @shawn – you are the biggest nutcake here. Europeans landed here and killed the people who were already here. DId you finish first grade, or do you have any real understanding of history. The West has raped the world due to gunpowder and through muscle has robbed the world of its resources. I'm not saying some locals aren't complicit but comparatively it's a wash. Wake up and read. Again, stupid and out of touch with reality.

    January 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  88. Tr1Xen

    I suddenly feel like a cup of hot chocolate. Unbabafufu, get me that cocoa!!

    January 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  89. Alex

    I'd MUCH rather see child slaves than animal slaves. I'm serious.

    January 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Reply
  90. yahmez

    They aren't as cute as the Oompa-Loompas.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  91. Relictus

    This article only makes the chocolate taste better. Made by child slaves? Yummy!

    January 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Reply
    • ddblah

      How long have you been off your med?

      January 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Reply
  92. anti-jtc

    jtc...i have a question you might be able to help me answer: are you a just a jack-off, or are you the biggest jack-off in the world???? give me a clue.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  93. c

    Who cares? All those tears make it sweeter.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  94. rob2tall

    Did anyone note the rather large guy with the machete standing next to the boy-he looks quite angry and is probably one of the enforcers. I have friends from the Ivory Coast-they say that guards walk around the plantation with whips,machetes,guns-making sure the kids work hard.They are slaves and a mafia lives there that controls the traffic
    of boys and cocoa beans

    January 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Reply
    • Retroman

      I noticed that guy as well. Good point about enforcers.

      January 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  95. John

    Chocolate Children?

    Sounds delicious!

    January 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  96. kude

    When will people realize that children work in some countries? In Africa, there is NOTHING. people work when they can, where they can. Stopping that is hurting them. To tell you the truth, Africa was forced into technology too fast. They are just not ready for it. And we keep forcing it onto them. people survived a hundred thousand years living like them. They don't need change, we need to stop forcing it.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  97. Spence

    What a complete load of nonsense. Chocolate has nothing to do with the way people in this 4th world country treat their children or each other for that matter. Making comparisons between a western country and some African country is meaningless. If they don't want to sell the products and trade with other countries, then they don't have to. It's the same with the fraud of diamonds. If you don't want to have people financing war with diamonds, then stop buying diamonds. They will still get the money they need to buy weapons that they can use to kill each other. It's what people in 3rd and 4th world countries do.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • Retroman

      You make a nice comparison between chocolate and diamonds, but actually, it is not "their" children that are being mistreated, it is "someone else's children."

      Of course no matter what "world' they live in, poor, desperate people will do what they can to survive, but it is a mistake to believe that this is some sort of family business where the kids are helped out Mom & Dad with their earnings. Nobnady makes money except the criminal gangs who abduct the kids and the corrupt farmers who exploit their labor.

      January 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  98. cpc65

    Back to the chocolate mines with you lot!

    January 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  99. Chocolate maker

    This has gone on for a very long time. The only way to know for sure whether or not the chocolate you are eating is from the ivory coast is to stop eating mass produced chocolates. The largest processor of chocolate in the world is Callebaut followed closely by ADM and it's subsidy's like Mars.

    Small, independent chocolate makers have shown time and again it IS possible to produce excellent quality chocolates with sustainable non-slave labor cocoa. Ban Hershey's. Ban Mars, Ban any chocolate made by ADM. Go for the independents like Lillie Belle Farms, Theo, Tcho, Patrick, Rogue, Amano, and a plethora of other US made Non slave labor chocolates.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
    • Retroman

      Thank you. Theo Chocolate is first rate and unique in sourcing their own fair trade beans, process them in their own facotry, and market under their own brand.

      Here is a link: http://www.theochocolate.com/

      January 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Reply
      • Chocolate maker

        my favorite

        http://www.lilliebellefarms.com

        Second favorite:

        https://www.amanochocolate.com/

        Third:

        http://www.patric-chocolate.com/

        January 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  100. Keith B Rosenberg

    And what of the human cost of illegal drugs? Where is the outrage there?

    January 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
    • Chocolate maker

      If drugs were legal this would not be an issue.

      January 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  101. CanalNeoNazi

    I don't do chocolate.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  102. tim

    its up to the people in those countries to rise against. we did it, why can't they.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  103. Gman57

    Well First off, can we get by the stop imposing your US views on other countries. You have enough crap in your own country to be the one out their bangging your drum about what is and isn't right for another country. Why don't you just try and leave your desk and step outside and make your own country a better place. Go help out in a senior citizen or homeless person. But trying to say what is right for another country is why the hell people dis like Americans. When you figure out yourself how to stop enslaving Americans with y our welfare state then you can worry about others.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  104. corntrader19

    I love chocolate and will continue to eat it. I realize a long time ago that there is nothing I can do about a child working to make chocolate available. It wasn't that long ago when many of my relatives, here in the South, had to bring in crops and help pick cotton to put food on the table. There are kids that still bring in crops but that doesn't mean people will stop eating salads because of it. The people they should really go after is the ones that are in the clothing industry. They are the real evil ones. Disney is a big buyer of clothes made by children. Ironic isn't it?

    January 18, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Reply
    • Retroman

      While we continue to enjoy chocolate we can urge our retail stores to carry Fair Trade products. Fairly traded chocolate is usually more expensive than the mass-market stuff, but artisinal choc usually have less sugar and chemical stabilizers, so may be better for us.

      January 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  105. LOL

    so, chocolate bars really do come from chocolate people!

    January 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  106. Karen Solberg

    All it takes is one look at the photograph accompanying this article to
    realize change isn't happening fast enough, and the living conditions
    dictate what must be done.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  107. J

    It's pretty easy to avoid African chocolate these days, just buy South American. Ecuadorian chocolate is amazing.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  108. gstlab3

    I THINK I WOULD BUY AT LEAST A COUPLE OF MY OWN CHOCOLATE SLAVES FOR MY OWN PERSONAL USE.,

    AS I LOVE CHOCOLATE THAT MUCH I DO'NT CARE WHO HAS TO WORK WHERE OR FOR WHO I WILL PAY A HANDSOME SUM OF MONEY TO KEEP THE CHOCOLATE ON THE KITCHEN SHELVES.

    HAHAHA I MADE SOME FUNNIES THERE!!!!

    January 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  109. LOL

    as usual the comments section are far better than any of the reporting or actual stories by CNN. =)

    January 18, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  110. adam

    If its done outside the US its called slavery.... If its done within the US its ok and they are just called illegals.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Reply
    • gottahavevices

      ACTUALLY THE ILLEGALS GET PAID, WELFARE, FOOD STAMPS, FREE MEDICAL AND HOUSING WHY BECAUSE THEY CAN AND THEY WILL THE DIFFERENCE IN AFRICA IS THAT THIS IS THE ONLY CHOICE THEY HAVE, THEY HAVE BEEN EITHER BROUGHT BY FORCE TO BE THERE OR THEIR PARENTS/GUARDIANS PUT THEM THERE BECAUSE THEY DID NOT HAVE A CHOICE THE ILLEGALS THAT ARE COMING IN ARE COMING IN BECAUSE THEY CAN THEREFORE THEY WILL..AND THE TAX PAYERS WILL PAY FOR THEM THE CHILDREN WORKING IN THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE!! PLAIN AND SIMPLE NO CHOICES FOR THEM..

      January 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  111. Tony

    FAT WHITE AMERICANS STUFFING THEIR PIE HOLES, need I say more?

    January 18, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Reply
    • gottahavevices

      NOPE YOU SAID IT LOUD AND CLEAR! I AGREE TOO MANY FAT AMERICANS THINKING THEY ARE OWED AND IT IS THERE GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO HAVE ...GIVE IT UP AND SMELL THE CHOCOLATE THE CHILDREN ARE SUFFERING HERE, THERE AND ALL OVER THE PLANET..

      January 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  112. gstlab3

    your welcome.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  113. Beach828

    Round up the 30 million illegal aliens sucking life from the American system, send them to western Africa to work the cocoa fields.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • gstlab3

      I THINK YOU HAVE THE WRONG PEOPLE IN MIND THERE BUDDY.,

      WE NEED TO SEND THESE HYPHENATED AFRICAN AMERICANS BACK TO AFRICA.,
      WHY???
      BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL WAYS PUTTING AFRICA FIRST!!!!
      LET US HELP THEM PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTHS ARE.

      WE CAN THEN SEND THE MEXICANS BACK TO MEXICO TO FIX MEXICAN PROBLEMOS!!!

      January 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Reply
      • Beach828

        I am tired of both sitting around and bitcXing because they have it so rough! Send them on a one way ticket to africa and pisx on Mexico!!!

        January 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
      • gottahavevices

        I AGREE WE ALL NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE IN OUR BACK YARD AMERICA IS FULL OF SLAVERY, DRUGS, INJUSTICES, CONSUMERISM AND MORE BUT YET WE THINK THAT WE ARE SO MUCH BETTER THAN OTHERS AND THAT WE HAVE IT SO MUCH BETTER THAN OTHER PLACES. WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE HERE IN THIS COUNTRY BEFORE WE CAN PLACE JUSDGMENTS ON OTHERS ......IF THE MEXICANS TOOK CARE OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE THAN THEY WOULD NOT COME TO AMERICA ...

        January 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
      • Beach828

        Yes and it is time that the United States shuts down the gravy train of free! If you want to come to the USA – you first have to file for citizenship from your own country, complete background checks, medical, pay the price and then wait in line. The illegal aliens which are mostly from mexico will leave when our country shuts down the free social programs to illegals. No jobs, no housing, no food, no education, no translators, no license of any kind, and if Americans aid them they can be deported as well. In fact if Americans marry illegals they should be deported along with their illegal spouse, how many women would agree to leave with their illegal husbands. Do you think mexico will open their arms to the spouses of mexican nationals who are returning from the United States?

        January 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  114. gstlab3

    REALLY DO WE EVEN CARE ABOUT THIS???

    I WISH THOSE WHO LOVE AFRICA SO MUCH WOULD MOVE THERE AND PROVE IT!!!

    CHANGE FROM WITHIN RIGHT???

    IF IT WAS SO BAD MORE TRIBAL FIGHTING WOULD ENSUE AND THAT WOULD BE THE END OF CHEAP CHOCOLATE.

    HOW MANY CENTURIES BEHIND ARE WE STILL???

    HOW MANY CULTURES HAVE COME AND GONE AND WE STILL HAVE THIS STINE AGED CULTURE THERE??

    WHAT IS UP WITH THAT ANYWAYS???

    EVOLUTION GOT YOUR BRAIN IN A TWIST???

    YEAH IT SEEMS THAT EVOLUTION IT'S NOT HAPPENING ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT IN SOME WAY.

    COULD IT BE THE PEOPLE ARE BEYOND THEIR ABILITIES TO GOVERN THEMSELVES PEACEFULLY??

    January 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
    • Retroman

      gstlab3

      Tone it down a bit with the ALL CAPS, will you? Your shouting is giving us headaches.

      .

      January 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  115. Reason

    The story should end with "oh, and the OTHER human cost of chocolate" – and then show a bunch of OBESE Americans.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
    • gstlab3

      THAT IS FUNNY AS HELL THANK YOU.

      January 18, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Reply
      • Reason

        my pleasure.

        January 18, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • gottahavevices

      I AGREE :)

      January 18, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Reply
    • gottahavevices

      AMAZING HOW MANY FAT AMERICANS THERE ARE OUT THERE THEY ARE EVERYWHERE ITS AMAZING AND THEN THEY WONDER WHY THEY ARE UNHEALTHY........WAKE UP AND GET FIT!! BOTH MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY ....

      January 18, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  116. Kyon Smith

    Newt Gingrich would be proud of those kids. This is what he wants to do to America, remake slavery. The Irony is that the only real Republican got rid of slavery and all of the rest of the ones claiming to be one are trying to bring it back. The White people who live in those places that are RED states used to be Democrats. After losing they switched to Republican and stole the party. Northerners switched too and they are called Democrats, but the evil the slave-owners had passed on to their descent. They may call themselves by another name. but they aren't Real Republicans to me.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  117. anticom

    at least there is warm and they don't need money to buy oil to heat the house. some of our American families can't afford heating oil as oil price is too high, thank you Obama.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Reply
    • Retroman

      Last I heard, the White House does not control OPEC or the commodities market.

      January 18, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Reply
    • gottahavevices

      WOW OBAMA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR HEATING BILLS..WHOA HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

      January 18, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • weng

      The majority of oil consumed in the United States comes from the Middle East, which we clearly do not have control over. Second, do you honestly believe Obama controls the oil markets? Besides, America actually has some of the cheapest oil prices in the world. Third, Natural Gas, of which 50% of Americans get there heat from, is at an all time low in price, and America is one of the largest producers of Natural Gas in the world. So... switch to NG and you will save money and most likely be buying American. A double plus.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  118. JT

    The only way to prevent these atrocities is to pay the highest prices, not the lowest. This goes against human nature at its core so good luck with that. As long as we humans gravitate towards being as cheap as possible we can expect exploitation of our fellow humans.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Reply
    • NODAT1

      yep that type of logic is working for the diamond and gold mines no child labors in the diamond and gold mine no sir reeee not in Africa

      January 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  119. NorCalMojo

    Isn't free trade wonderful? All the benefits of exploitation and none of the guilt.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  120. D

    What's the difference between Obama and the falling U.S. dollar?
    ...the dollar was once worth something..........

    January 18, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Reply
    • gottahavevices

      I WISH IT WAS THAT EASYTO BLAME OBAMA FOR ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS BUT ITS NOT WAKE UP AND GET SMART BECAUSE YOUR COMMENTS ARE REALLY STUPID!!

      January 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • D

      stop laughing first because you know you did

      January 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  121. Beach828

    Yes and it is time that the United States shuts down the gravy train of free! If you want to come to the USA – you first have to file for citizenship from your own country, complete background checks, medical, pay the price and then wait in line. The illegal aliens which are mostly from mexico will leave when our country shuts down the free social programs to illegals. No jobs, no housing, no food, no education, no translators, no license of any kind, and if Americans aid them they can be deported as well. In fact if Americans marry illegals they should be deported along with their illegal spouse, how many women would agree to leave with their illegal husbands. Do you think mexico will open their arms to the spouses of mexican nationals who are returning from the United States??

    January 18, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  122. Allison

    Are they really forced against their will or are we once again imposing our own morality onto someone else? The same children who we say shouldn't be working, we turn our backs on when they are hungry. If I was a hungry child, I would want to work. Real change may be necessary but that is NOT what this is about.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  123. rad666

    You think any African leaders gives a $ h i t?

    January 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  124. treblemaker

    I would like to raise a fair question. How much do you think the kids should get paid?

    January 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  125. Ipploit

    chocolate is yummy, I am glad there are people to pick coco beans for us

    January 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  126. willie

    This has been going on for a long time – just ask the Oompa Loompas....

    January 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  127. somucfun

    It is about time major chocolate producers in the world pledge that their products are "child slavery" free and this will go a long way to take care of the problems. Corporate social responsibility must take precedent over profits. I am sure many consumers will prefer to pay slightly more for chocolate products that are not tainted with child slavery!

    January 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  128. oneSTARman

    I Think its Quite Simple Really – If YOU Wouldn't Mind having YOUR Children Toiling as SLAVES in Cocoa Plantations then it shouldn't bother you at all when you are eating the Chocolate.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  129. jim

    For those who think nothing should be done or could be done about children working instead of getting an actual academic education – don't worry, change won't involve you. But for those who are happy that children in more developed countries are no longer working 12 hours per day in sweatshops from the age of 10, continue to believe that humanity can mature and develop a stronger set of moral rules. Positive change can happen – just ask my Pennsylvania grandfather who started in the coal mines at 14 yo.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  130. NODAT1

    so it wrong for children to work the cocoa farms but it ok for children to mine for diamonds

    January 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  131. joana

    The cocoa plant cannot grow in Europe, so all those saying to boycott and only buy European chocolate don't know what they're talking about. Instead boycott African produced cocoa and buy Venezuelan grown!

    January 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  132. Gardengirl

    This makes me so sad. I read a story of some slaves working in cocoa and they had not ever tasted chocolate even once. They were paid nothing. Modern day slavery exists. I wondered how Americans tolerated having slavery in our country in the past and here is the answer in the comment section. There are people here who could care less if *children* are literally *slaves*. That's why this can exist in 2012.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  133. Gardengirl

    We should push companies like Hersheys to certify their products are slave free.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Reply
    • NODAT1

      thats right make Hershey and other US owned chocolate company's certify that they are slave free , drive up the operating cost and force them to close down or move overseas and at the same time allow chocolate to be imported from European chocolate company's who can sell at a lower price because they don't give a rat A^^^*** about the children labors or Africans way to go you are trying to force yet another us company overseas thankyou

      January 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  134. RN

    Cocoa (aka Chocolate) naturally contains Lead, Cadmium, Caffeine which is classified as an addictive drug, Aminophylline, Theobromine and Theophylline which are drugs used for asthmatics.

    And You guys actually BUY this junk?!

    January 18, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  135. nl20051405

    So food industry should use more machines to produce most dishes to meet human needs. And Children living around Ivory Coast can be taken away to a different position for more chocolate products so long as there are some ex-premier enjoys such candy as the way to release after a hard-day's effort.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  136. across12

    Of course this system was in place for a long long time because nobody cares, everybody is enjoying their chocolate, but the reality of getting this chocolate is cruel. Keep looking the other way and put on extra pounds cause you cannot do anything about it anyway.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  137. Richard

    This is a crime and should be dealt with as soon as possible. The Harken-Engle protocol should have been written and enforced to have ended this problem 10 years ago.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  138. weng

    I am so happy to see CNN bring attention to this issue on child slavery in the cocoa industry. There have been a small group of industry leaders, such as Equal Exchange, Global Exchange and Oxfam working to educate consumers on where their products are coming from and how they are produced. What people need to ultimately understand is YOU are responsible for child slave labor. You may not like it, and you may not even realize it, but ultimately this exploitation continues to exist because consumers continue to purchase products that are cheaper over slightly more expensive products that are produced ethically. This applies to chocolate, coffee, tea, bananas, electronics etc... The market (if you buy stuff, that's you) generally only considers price and quality of the product when deciding on what product to purchase. A good step in the right direction is for all of us to start asking about where are products come from and start voting our values with are dollars. Consumers have the ultimate power and the ultimate responsibility.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  139. yj

    Choco is very tasty. And knowing that this delicious thing passed through those procedures, not tasty anymore.
    But it won't be easy to stop eating chocolates for slaves making chocolate. Besides, we don't know whether this chocolate i'm holding went through those procedures. And i've never heard there's chocolate made leagally. Valentine's day is comming, and those childerens will be working right now.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  140. mike

    All this Fair Trade chocolate talk made me look it up to see prices.....Expensive stuff. Little box with 12 pieces going for almost $18 dollars and one box has 8 pieces for $18.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Reply
    • geeworker

      This only effects the middle and poor the rich will be able to fly to Europe where they dont care about child labor in African

      January 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Reply
    • weng

      Try Equal Exchange chocolate. 3.5oz bar for $4.25 seems pretty reasonable. Especially when you consider it is real chocolate. Look at the ingredients of the chocolate you buy and ask questions.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Reply
      • mike

        THats still a little pricey but not nearly as bad. Only thing is I get the impression from their store that in the background there is a church involved some way.

        January 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
      • mike

        Looked closer at their site and it's indeed associated with multiple churches that span multiple faiths.

        January 18, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • weng

      They sell to a number of different channels, including faith groups. You can get their chocolate in many natural foods stores too, like Whole Foods.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  141. geeworker

    ah my master plan is working and almost complete
    First plant the seed of higher understanding and tell my girlfriend that I refuse to have anything to do with any company that supports child labor then !!!!!!!!

    Establish that child labor is used in the diamond and gold mine !!!!! Done
    Establish that child labor is used in the chocolate process Done
    the flower industry still working on this one I somehow need to convince mainstream media that child labor is used to pick the flowers or something ... give me a week
    come this February 14 it will just be a card after all she doesn't want to support child labor

    January 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  142. Rags

    The cocoa cartel!

    January 18, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Reply
  143. Jeepers

    dammit. if you tell me not to buy diamonds, ok. but chocolate...well...i can't make any promises.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  144. TruthTeller

    Africans enslave africans in 2012. Just remember that when the race baiters want to put down those of european descent.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Reply
    • janus

      amen!
      in fact, i am glad it is black kids being abused to bring me my chocolate!
      i am sick and tired of being blamed for all non-white peoples probs!

      January 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Reply
    • Agrav8td

      Thank you!!!!
      That's where black people of the US would be today if they weren't here, STILL slaves!
      Most of them have no clue.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  145. janus

    i dont care how many kids are illegally used to get my chocolate!!!!
    i love chocolate!!!!
    if a few 1000 or 10000 kids die every year getting chocolate to me...so be it!
    life is tough, then u die

    January 18, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  146. Lyvm

    I find it quite interesting and true that certain parts of the world have different living situations that they are indeed used to and are a part of, however at the end of the day children pretty much do what they're told to do, and unless they decide full heartedly that working in cocoa fields is what they want to do for the rest of their lives, then I say: A child has many rights (such as an education); a job is a Choice.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:35 am | Reply
  147. virginia

    issad,buttrue

    January 19, 2012 at 2:59 am | Reply
  148. godsplat

    Oh, the sweet taste of chocolate
    Melting on the tongue
    Bringing smiles to children’s faces
    All its joy and all its graces
    Making old folks feels so young
    On special holidays, it’s so much fun

    Oh, the sweet taste of chocolate
    Melting in the sun
    Brought to us by slavery
    It’s so rich and savory
    Our favorite treat, its number one
    From the sweat, blood and tears
    Of Africans young

    January 19, 2012 at 3:00 am | Reply
  149. stanley

    How can a corporation be regulated by a government that is funded and controlled by corporations?

    January 19, 2012 at 5:36 am | Reply
  150. Luz

    What a bunch of idiots, whomever signed off on this! I'm in the Sourcing world, meaning, I procure or buy raw materials for large companies. In all contracts we have a stipulation stating we will not buy any product from any vendors using child labor. PERIOD. If anyone violates this, our contract becomes null and void. How is it possible that we, morally and ethically, allow child labor for X many more years. This is RIDICULOUS! The U.S. needs to say, "this ends now, and if we find one child on a field or doing any type of child labor, we will end doing business with you!" It's that simple. Within the contracts we have to list out that we will be doing random audits, at our leisure, so that we can "spot check" that these things are going on. It is both sad and ludicrous that the U.S. would be so stupid as to allow this to continue for X many years, whereby contract extensions are happening. Shame on us. We need some "more" educated folks to put together, implement and enforce this child labor free initiative, than the yahoos who previously put this together.

    January 19, 2012 at 6:29 am | Reply
    • Jute

      Right Luz. Let's just stop buying chocolate too and all those families with small farms in IC that have a few trees they harvest as a family have no income too. You need to do a little research before spouting off such nonsense.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:13 am | Reply
    • Kyle

      @Luz
      Two things;
      Firstly if America wants to end child slavary over there, we need to just fly over there with helicopters and moniter it all. Just march over there and do something about it by force or otherwise.
      Secondly, we shouldn't be interfering with other peoples customs (reffering to jtc's comment, 5th one from the top). Child labor may be wrong to America but in other places its everyday life.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:49 am | Reply
  151. Jute

    Traditionally chocolate, “cocoa” harvesting is front and center just before Valentine’s Day. Stop buying chocolate like some suggest and the families of small farmers that rely on that income will lose it. Small farms means they have a few trees folks.

    Sadly there are no easy resolutions to the slavery issue because of the political and tribal corruption and crime in the Ivory Coast and other growing regions. Unless we want topple another corrupt government and do some nation building this issue will not go away anytime soon.

    January 19, 2012 at 7:18 am | Reply
  152. Willy

    Wait I am confused. You mean Oompa loompa's dont make all the chocolate

    January 19, 2012 at 8:22 am | Reply
  153. Peter H.

    Enough with the touchy feely crap stories... My God, whats next? it doesn't affect the people of the US, who gives a rats .... oh yeah, Liberals who want their decision to be law... Lets leave other countries and places alone for once... We are not the worlds saviors and we should end most humanitarian missions as well... Survival of the fittest...

    January 19, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
    • TanyaK

      We have a choice as to what we purchase. I don't think anyone is recommending we march into the Ivory Coast and go it alone and end the child slavery issue. But you have an easy choice not to purchase from companies that use child slave labor in the cocoa industry.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
      • jebb

        you got me confused with someone who gives a rats patootie!
        maybe those people should stop having 1- or 20 kids???????
        dont put the onus of ur old age on ur kids!
        most of these azzbackwards countries have so many kids so that they can look after the parents when they are old
        have 1 kid or 2
        EOS
        anymore is ur fault

        January 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  154. Joanna

    Slave labor is wrong and knowing about it and continuing to support it is wrong. Divine Chocolate has been successful in producing fair trade chocolate and the farmers in the coop are owners in the business.If this model works for them, it can be repeated and our big chocolate industry in this country certainly has the power to do something about it. Greed is what feeds the slavery. Here's the link to the website:

    http://www.divinechocolateusa.com/default.aspx

    "‘ ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’’"–Jesus

    January 19, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
  155. lol

    oompa loompas?

    January 19, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
  156. sayitaintso

    slavery in africa???? whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa? where is scary barry on all this?

    i thought only usa crackas ever owned slaves? is this really true? if so, i think somebody been lyin to me!!!!!!!

    January 19, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
  157. Graham_D

    Where is the NAACP and Jessie Jackson. Oh thats right, they only care about complaining about white people.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
  158. Ella

    I love chocolate. Having said that, a few years ago my family and I made the choice to buy only slave free chocolate. For the most part, I did really well by abstaining from mainstream products. Eating guilt free chocolate was in itself rewarding for me. Once the chocolate industry decides that the cost of chocolate should not include a child's life and demands that the cocoa landlords be regulated by strict laws prohibiting trafficking in human trade we will all be better people for it. Whether one eats chocolate or not, this story goes beyond where we spend our money or what we put into our mouths. It goes to the heart of what we believe about ourselves as civilized human beings, many of whom have children of our own and who would never in a million years dream a life for them like the lives these children have had.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
  159. citizen

    How selective the liberals are with their outrage.
    Slavery for chocolate is bad.
    Slavery for mojitoes on the beach in Cuba is..well.... okay.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  160. Katie

    Children are not ment to be slave's, NO ONE is ment to be slave's the contry that allows this to happen has more than just issues they are disturbed and may God have mercy on there soul

    January 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • Cyle

      It's a good thing the 10 commandments has a provision for providing a day off for slaves.
      Otherwise god would look like he disapproves of such things

      January 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  161. kukulkan

    How about paying US kids $1 a day to work and see how that goes over. Then tell them that they have to work from sun up to sundown. Would that be worth getting your car cleaned or your oranges cheaper?

    January 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  162. Cyle

    Everyone in the industrialized world wants cheaper stuff. $20 shirt, $1 candy bar, $500 iPad. The only way the manufacturers can afford to make the products at the price point we are willing to pay is to use the cheapest labor. That either involves slavery or sub-poverty level wages in 3rd world countries where we don't have to watch.

    It's a simple choice.
    1) Buy your own farm, raise your own food, make your own clothes, learn to craft all the little things you need in life to either subsist or trade for other goods that your neighbor can make
    2) Make money within the system provided by industry and world trade, buy the products made by the poor indigenous peoples of "3rd world countries" who will never benefit from the 80% profit margin made by their masters

    People with money and power have always benefited from the blood and sweat of those without. We either have to accept that as "human nature", or do without our luxuries.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  163. Don

    just stop making that Whitmans and Russell Stover crap.

    January 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  164. chocolate slavery

    Here's in depth information regarding chocolate slavery and why fair trade chocolate is a simplistic and incomplete solution to the crisis. Consumers will ultimately create change with responsible purchasing of chocolate

    http://web.archive.org/web/20101120203551/http://chocolatework.com/chocolate-slavery.htm

    January 19, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  165. Bridget Hahn

    There is email campaign happening for Valentines Day about a loop hole in the law. All we need to do is email our congressman and our senators to close the loop hole, the letter and links to do this really fast are all ready to go.
    http://www.slavefreechocolate.org

    January 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Reply
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  167. G

    What blows my mind is that after how many days after 911 our politicians had nothing more to do/ think about than cocoa from another country.

    January 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
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