January 19th, 2012
12:03 PM ET

Child slavery and chocolate: All too easy to find

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

By David McKenzie and Brent Swails, CNN

Daloa, Ivory Coast (CNN) - Chocolate’s billion-dollar industry starts with workers like Abdul. He squats with a gang of a dozen harvesters on an Ivory Coast farm.

Abdul holds the yellow cocoa pod lengthwise and gives it two quick cracks, snapping it open to reveal milky white cocoa beans. He dumps the beans on a growing pile.

Abdul is 10 years old, a three-year veteran of the job.

He has never tasted chocolate.

During the course of an investigation for CNN’s Freedom Project initiative - an investigation that went deep into the cocoa fields of Ivory Coast - a team of CNN journalists found that child labor, trafficking and slavery are rife in an industry that produces some of the world’s best-known brands.

It was not supposed to be this way.

After a series of news reports surfaced in 2001 about gross violations in the cocoa industry, lawmakers in the United States put immense pressure on the industry to change.

“We felt like the public ought to know about it, and we ought to take some action to try to stop it,” said Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who, together with Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, spearheaded the response. “How many people in America know that all this chocolate they are eating - candies and all of those wonderful chocolates - is being produced by terrible child labor?”

More about the Harkin-Engel Protocol

But after intense lobbying by the cocoa industry, lawmakers weren’t able to push through a law. What they got was a voluntary protocol, signed by the heads of the chocolate industry, to stop the worst forms of child labor “as a matter of urgency.” One of the key goals was to certify the cocoa trade as child-labor free.

“It was meant to achieve the end of child slave labor in cocoa fields,” Engel said.

It didn’t.

UNICEF estimates that nearly a half-million children work on farms across Ivory Coast, which produces nearly 40% of the world’s supply of cocoa. The agency says hundreds of thousands of children, many of them trafficked across borders, are engaged in the worst forms of child labor.

A recent study by Tulane University says the industry’s efforts to stop child labor are “uneven” and “incomplete” and that 97% of Ivory Coast’s farmers had not been reached. But the industry’s main representative in the country disagrees with the assessment.

“I think the situation has improved exponentially,” said Rabola Kagohi, country director for the International Cocoa Initiative, the chocolate industry’s answer to fighting child labor and trafficking. “Today, the message is physically getting through.”

Kagohi works out of a basement office with one other permanent employee.

“There are some results,” he said. “I wish that you had spoken to some planters.”

None of the farmers CNN spoke to in the heart of the cocoa production region said they had ever been reached by the International Cocoa Initiative, the government or chocolate companies about child trafficking.

Children such as Abdul don’t know anything about protocols or certification. All they know is work.

When Abdul’s mother died, a stranger brought him across the border to the farm. Abdul says all he’s given is a little food, the torn clothes on his back, and an occasional tip from the farmer. Abdul is a modern child slave.

And he is not the only youngster working in his group.

Yacou insisted he is 16, but his face looks far younger.

“My mother brought me from Burkina Faso when my father died,” he said.

Scars crisscross Yacou’s legs from a machete. He can’t clear grass in the cocoa fields without cutting himself. During harvest season, he works day after day hacking the cocoa pods.

The emotional scars run much deeper.

“I wish I could go to school. I want to read and write,” he said. But Yacou hasn’t spent a single day in school, and he has no idea how to leave the farm.

“It makes me angry,” Engel said. As far as he’s concerned, the chocolate companies haven't done enough.

“They are working with us, and we are glad that they are working with us. But they could do better.”

Read the chocolate industry responses

One of the major players in the Ivory Coast cocoa trade is, not surprisingly, the Ivorian government. Although the country has cornered a vast chunk of a lucrative market, it is considered one of the world’s poorest by any measure.

But the government leadership blames politics and war for the problems in the cocoa industry.

“Thirty years of political instability caused a lot of damage to our economy generally, and to the agricultural sector particularly, and more specifically to the cocoa industry,” said Ivory Coast’s minister of agriculture, Sangafowa Coulibaly. “Unfortunately, these years have been lost.”

After an attempted coup in 2002, the country was split in half and kept from all-out civil war by the United Nations. There was protracted violence after the last disputed presidential elections, when then-President Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede.

With the new government of Alassane Ouattara in charge, the government says it can now put much-needed reforms in place.

“Things can only get better,” Coulibaly said. “The main reason is that today, the political crisis is behind us, the armed conflict is behind us.”

But many observers believe that a new government won’t make it a priority to stop slavery in the cocoa fields.

And with peace, traffickers are free to do their work again. U.N. officials told CNN that the Ivory Coast conflict actually helped slow down trafficking because people were too afraid to move across borders.

Contrary to the promises of action, CNN’s investigation could only find promises. And those promises are empty to children like Abdul and Yacou.

- Inside the investigation: A horrible ‘normal’
More about the human cost of chocolate
How can you help as a consumer?
The chocolate industry response
All stories from "Chocolate's Child Slaves"


soundoff (712 Responses)
  1. Ryan

    These injustices need to be brought the American media – Internet, television, radio, etc. – immediately. I honestly just recently found out about these atrocities, but growing up inundated media, I was never informed that we even had slaves. Sure, I had seen the movie Blood Diamond, but I never knew that this modern-day slavery extended to such common household products such as cotton shirts.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • CC

      I just can't understand how this is not widespread breaking news. If slavery, whether it be within or outside of the US, is being used by American companies, (HERSHEY'S and M&M MARS, I've read specifically) the vast majority of American people should know it, laws should be set to change it; but unfortunately this story will never make it past a one time release on the late night news, and never been heard of again. People have "more important" things to worry about like Lady Gaga and Britney Spears.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Reply
      • fretlessbass

        This is actually the second time I've seen it in the news in last 6 months.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
      • Ken

        This is widespread news. It is on CNN.com. How much more coverage can there be???

        January 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
      • baatman74

        OK, let's see a little logic here, not 'feel good.' What do we do, go there with our own workers, try rto hire enough adults there, or let these kids do something usfull and make a little money in that god forsaken land? Truth: I was an endentured servent, my mom married a man twice her age when I was 5 and my dad died. She had to have a place for us, she bargened the work of me and my two brothers to work his farm, we did, we became good workers withe the old work ethic, I'm glad for it. If there had been do-gooders in 1950, I would have been in foster care and who knows, jail, dead? Get a life slave-hunters!

        January 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
      • MazeAndBlue

        Exactly...

        January 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
      • Nik J

        You can make a difference. Know what you buy and spread what you know. Here is a site that helps. It also factors in other things in their chocolate ratings. Personally the slavery one is most important to me.

        http://www.betterworldshopper.com/chocolate_data.html

        January 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • MazeAndBlue

        Where is the outrage.... Our poor young children caught up in this situation. Please help us!!!

        January 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
      • Nan

        so what you're saying is, you'll stop consuming chocolate?

        January 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
      • BC

        Nan: if it gets a child out of slavery and into a classroom, then hell yes I'll give up chocolate. Anyone with half a heart would.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • dingle989

        someone got hit in the boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings boingloings

        January 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
      • Maya

        People always cared ONLY about them selves! Problems of others unfortunatly do not worrie us.

        January 20, 2012 at 5:27 am |
      • Random

        Ha ha! They are complaining about a 16-year-old working. At sixteen I worked full time for food to eat and any essential supplies. So, my day started at school at 07:30hrs and ended at 22:30hrs. This was after going to a school that did not assist in preparing me to work in a post industrial revolution job. This is because ADHD students before 1990 did not have a right to equal education. I spent my 4 hours free a week in the library trying to keep up academically with the rest of my pears in the neighborhood. To get to work and the library I ran because I could not afford the buss or a bicycle. I average 16 miles running a day. The U.S. is no better. (Pleas excuse any grammatical or spelling errors)

        January 20, 2012 at 6:55 am |
      • Debra

        MANY slaves and slave laborers still exist in this world......Search the world slavery with cotton and coffee.....It's very shocking to learn of these things still exist but it is EVERYWHERE.....

        January 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
      • Darlene Wigston

        You would think the public would fight to rectify this horrific situation wouldn't you. But they won't. I have been trying to spread the word both by word of mouth and on my Facebook page. The result? Two people have taken the issue seriously and I have had ALOT of excuses given to me. Things from "I only buy the occasional chocolate bar so it doesn't matter" (yeah, ok. A nickel in the hands of slave traders is still a nickel too much! Would you feel that way if it was YOUR child?) to "There are alot of atrocities in the world. You can't fight them all" (implying that just because you can't fight them all means that you shouldn't fight any) to "It's the other side of the world so who cares" (again, would you feel this way if it was YOUR child?). It's stupid how many people care more about eating their precious chocolate than suffering children. Such a selfish philosophy!

        February 6, 2012 at 12:16 am |
      • Darlene Wigston

        Let these kids make money?!?! Hello! We are talking about SLAVE labour here! No money is being made by the workers. NONE. ZERO. They are SLAVES, not employees!

        February 6, 2012 at 12:20 am |
      • Peter

        Darline, you are so ignorant, so many people have written here to say that the CNN film and reports about slave child labour in the Cote Ivoire is a scam. THERE ARE NO CHILD SLAVE LABORERS working on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast!
        If you do not believe me, go there and see for yourself!

        February 6, 2012 at 3:20 am |
      • Darlene Wigston

        Peter, I am not ignorant. Check things out for YOURSELF. CNN is not the only place working to expose this atrocity. I HAVE done my research. Apparently you haven't. I don't see the reason for trying to insult someone who is simply trying to better the lives of innocent child victims, either.

        February 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
      • Darlene

        Sadly, you are right about people's priorities. Even my husband asked me to pick him up some coffee last week and commented "Don't get me that Fair Trade stuff either, because I just don't like it". Since when is someone's life and/or freedom less important than whether or not you like your coffee? I refused to buy any that wasn't fair trade. Fortunately we did find a solution that kept us both happy - he likes Tim Horton's coffee and while it's not certified fair trade they follow the principles of fair trade when they buy their beans. So I still wan't financing slavery by buying it.

        They also love their money more than they love people, it seems. A couple of weeks ago I bought some Fair Trade cocoa and sugar on-line because I can't find it in stores locally. My husband just about crapped himself when he found out I paid $7. each for the items. I didn't dare tell him I also paid $9 for shipping. To me it's well worth it if it saves just one child from slavery and keeps money out of the hands of slave traders. But some people just value their money more than they do other people's children. I wonder if they would change their minds if it was THEIR child being kidnapped and sold?

        April 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • PK

      At least our children will get a paycheck when they clean their school's toilets, if we elect Gingrich!

      January 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
      • TEXAS

        you should not make fun of this situation...however...you are correct in our statement.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
      • Johan S

        Jeeze, what the hell is wrong with doing janitorial work? Wear gloves, there's actually far less of a disease risk from it than if you're a doctor! But who tells their kid not to be a doctor cause its dirty? Somebody has to do it. It's an honest job, I'll tell you a sewer worker is 100x cleaner than a Wall Street crook. I work from home stress free nowadays with an average income per year for the last decade cozily in the six figures .. but in part of the 90s when I was a kid I swept floors work at my church .. for free! Voluntarily. I've also worked retail. If you teach kids that certain jobs are beneath them, your wealth will last at most 3 or 4 generations. And you guys are the same ones complaining about Mexicans coming to "steal" jobs from you.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
      • monica mimier

        maybe this is partly the purpose of this piece showing up now!

        January 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
      • reality

        And than you will still like criticize China for child labor, right ?

        January 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
      • Random

        Children area forced to go to school in a failed educational system. They area charged with tasks for no pay at all. When was the last time a teacher tipped a student? Children have no incentive they can understand and are punished for unachievement by longer workdays (detention). If they received a fee for achievement, would they not perform better?

        January 20, 2012 at 7:13 am |
      • BunnyBunny

        I read that Arizona Republicans are proposing ending free school lunches for poor kids, so children in Arizona will be hungry while they clean up after the wealthier kids.

        January 21, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • gager

      This isn't slavery this is survival. I can remember picking cotton and apples at an age younger than ten to put food on the table.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Reply
      • voiceofreason

        on your family farm? Stop trying to dilute someone else's struggle because you think you have struggled. Get a life.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
      • prep

        I could'nt agree more, Here in the US we see it as slavery but this is survival for these kids and now that we stuck our nose in it you will have starving kids with no food, Is that what the whisle blower wanted cause that's what he got, Let's see who else we can interfear with and bother instead of minding our own.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
      • bill

        The rest of the world needs get with the program, and do what we do in America, let our children roam the streets with nothing to do, and terrorize neighborhoods. That's the liberal way of doing things.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
      • Anchorite

        Wow, bill, you are actually advocating child slavery instead of sending kids to school because you think they're all criminals anyway. Well in that case I'm proud to be a liberal just to disagree with you. A few hundred thousand American soldiers gave their lives to disagree with you from 1860 to 1865, too.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
      • Ancient Curse

        Wow, are you people actually defending what's happening over there?? "Well, they work for free on a farm all day, are given very little to eat and tattered clothes to wear, and are kept from any form of education, but hey! It could be worse!"

        Use your heads. Seriously.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
      • neal kelley

        like you had rages for clothes... give me a break.. it is what it is.. simply and plain child exploitation....

        January 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
      • Rich

        What some of you guys fail to understand is that life is incredibly different than life here. Both of those children mentioned in this article would be dead today if not for the cocoa fields they work in. There is no social safety net to fall on in places like the Ivory Coast, and the choice is work for food and the occasional tip, or die "free."

        I know it sounds cold, but change like that demands time. Once upon a time (not all that long ago actually) it was commonplace for kids 12 and younger to be working in factories here in the US to help support their families. It is good that times have changed and that this is no longer necessary or even legal, however the change took time and without that child labor the US may not enjoy the same high-powered economy, and the advantages that come with it, that we had the last few decades.

        With proper time, good leadership, and reform this can be ended. But if those kids were all set free they would likely starve, their nation collapse and be enthralled in yet more civil war leaving many more would die and suffer.

        Finally, all of you criticizing the others for posting their opinions, what have you done to better the world or help these kids with their struggles? Besides make a quick condemning statement from your comfortable chair many thousands of miles away.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
      • TERMOYL

        @Rich- Where have you been the last few decades? The eighties were great economic times indeed...for yuppies and the rich. The nineties were pretty good. Have you not noticed our economy within the last decade. Get a grip on reality please.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
      • BC

        Rich, my grandmother worked in an Alabama cotton gin in the early 20th century. At the age of six, she saw one of her friends, about her age, literally torn apart when accidentally backing up into a piece of equipment. No one advocates simply tossing the enslaved children out. We are protesting, and protesting like hell, against the enslavement of children. If that concept needs further explanation, then you have a d*mn cold heart, and I hope to God that is not the case for either you or other readers. Otherwise, I will give up chocolate from any supplier engaged in this insidious practice. Yes, we are writing from a comfortable chair thousands of miles away in the West. Nevertheless, that distance should not breed complacency. Anyone defending this defenseless barbarism doesn't deserve a response.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
      • Godabed

        To say this isn't slavery you're either ignorant of what actually happened during and after slavery, or you're purposely watering down the truth. Indentured slavery is a fight for survival but it also puts you in a situation where you can't really live without it. It's been an accepted practice in American even up until today, mostly for the people benefiting from it.

        And don't twist the situation to make it seem that because these people are put in this situation that as a positive consequence they learn to be responsible, hard workers. They are also less educated, and tend to be exposed to conditions that are sub-human standards. All for someone who is completely irresponsible to profit off us.

        You make me sick and are clearly part of the problem.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • Ankh of Power

        Are you serious? Are you suggesting that working on a family run farm is similar to working for a regular employer, or in this particular situation, something worse?

        January 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
      • Rich

        @TERMOYL,

        I was born in the mid-80s to a lower middle class family that time has not been overly kind too. Despite this and everyone's rhetoric regarding how terrible times are, and without a formal college education, I was able to rise to upper middle class. Time's are tough currently for many, sure, but you cannot say there was plenty of economic prosperity in the 80s and 90s, or even that there is not room for it now. Try to better yourself, be loyal to the company that you work for, and continually strive to be better and you will work your way up towards a better life, if that is what you want.

        @ BC

        I am in no way advocating for child labor or slavery of any kind. I am simply stating that the way of life over there is not the same as it is here. If you remove the childs from the fields they are working, you will be effectively throwing them in to the streets. Those countries do not have the funds to support social welfare programs such as CPS, Welfare, Unemployment, foster homes/care, SSI, or the hundres of other programs we have, and as such these children will not receive the support they need to survive.

        However, as the economic situation there continues to improve, and the infrastructure continues to improve the country will be able to launch the programs to help these children. Once the funds are in place and allocated and there alternatives for them you can pull them from dangerous working conditions and provide them a safe place to learn, grow, and live. In the mean time, as terrible as a situation as it is, these children have no other choice. And boycotting chocolate will never change that.

        January 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
      • BC

        Rich, I'm glad you share our view concerning enslavement. Though developing nations do not possess the wherewithal to supply an adequate safety net, slavery is not the only option. I have to disagree with boycotting chocolate that originates from slave labor. Market incentives (or disincentives in this case) could be coordinated with foreign policy initiatives and non-profits to offer assistance.

        Like you, I grew up in a lower Middle Class environment, worked hard, and now earn an upper income. However, our situation in the West does not parallel the horrors faced by children consigned to lives of slavery. I personally think it's worth the effort to locate distributors who do not depend on slave labor, even if a bit more expensive.

        January 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
      • Rich

        BC,

        My story regarding my "rise" from lower to upper middle class was not intended to draw a parallel between my life and those in the Ivory Coast. It was in response to another commentor's post regarding the economic situation in the US and his/her perceived lack of oppurtunity for lower-middle class/poor/underprivelidged people. As stated numerous times in each of my preceeding posts, I fully understand the differences between their situation and ours, and appreciate the luck I had to be born in a modernized, western civilization.

        In regards to foreign policy initiatives, free-market pressures, and non-profits I have only one point of contention. Neither of these solutions, even in conjuntion with each other, are viable long-term solutions. Financial support for non-profits wanes and waxes dependant upon their donors economic situations, foreign policy initiatives are generally based on ever changing domestic support, and free-market pressure will only force a company to act as far as it must to improve it's perception to the public and please a majority (albeit a very large majority) of their consumer base.

        While these solutions may lead to significant short to mid term improvements, none of these will be sufficient over the long-haul. The most important thing is for the people of that nation to stand together and push for reform designed to improve long term economic situation of the country. While I recognize that everyone will need assistance from time to time, all people need to learn to be self-sufficient, and the same is true of ones communities and nations. One important things to focus on would be improving infrastructure and utilities such as running water/sewage, roadways, and electricity. The improvements will allow for better quality of living, longer lifespans, and more education oppurtunities. The efficiencies gained will create more space in the budget for social safety net programs that can protect these kids in the future.

        January 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
      • worldmakeover

        My mind agrees but my heart disagrees. My logical mind keeps thinking that in a way we are preventing crime by providing these poor kids a good way to earn money. I am sure their parents cannot afford education for their kids but instead have them put food on the table. When such news articles condemn child labor, they fail to understand that the alternative (going to school with no food on the table) is far worse. But my heart aches looking at the selfishness of humankind; we fail to balance good and greed, and we need a little of both in todays world. Wouldnt it be nice if these kids worked and studied in the same factory (probably get a bonus if you got good grades :-))

        January 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
      • LuLu

        I have to agree with Rich on this one. This is the Ivory Coast, not the US! While I think every child should go to school and have a chance at a better life, it's just not that way everywhere else. Heck, those countries may not even have public schools or only for kids up to a certain age. If a parent is dead, the other parent may not be able to afford to send the child to school. If you feel strongly about it, join the Peace Corp and teach these kids!

        January 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
      • MArcos

        ESTO ES UN ABUSO.... de los intemediarios...........de las empresas finales.... seguro con su presión a la reducción d e costos......que hace el gobierno?...tontos

        January 21, 2012 at 6:55 am |
      • INTERRUPTING NINJA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        WAAAAEEEEEAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        January 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • Joe Greenia

        You were paid a wage for your work. A poor wage perhaps, but something. See the difference?

        January 22, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • rad666

      Ryan – These injustices need to be brought the American media --- Why? Africa has 53 nations and should have leaders that care.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
      • gager

        Leaders that care don't create wealth.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
      • Ken

        This is the American media. It is already here.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
      • Nan

        where's Bono?

        January 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
      • Eric

        "where's Bono"
        Why do reactionaries complain about people who try to do good things and act like it's not enough?

        January 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
      • Kayla Walters

        I totally agree!

        February 7, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
      • remshah

        its funny that most of you want america to stop child labour, when in fact its america that consumes most products made by child labour. plus this artical show the point of view of some unnfortunate children that want to go to school and have freedom to live freely, but what you dont know is that most of children that are doing child labour are doing the work with their own consent because not everyone in the world has food or parents to care of them. they are doing work as we do to earn a living but just in a young age. i am not saying that this is right but not buying the product they make will do them more damage than good. they will lose the meager amount of food they get and they die out of hunger as most children do in 3rd world countries.

        August 13, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
    • John

      Youre kidding right. Everything manufactured as some sort of "slave" labor. Your iPhone, shoes, clothing, food .... you think your fellow American works minimum wage in the hot sun picking grapes. It's been here all the time, people are just ignorant to the obvious till it effects them financially or emotionally.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
      • TX

        well put.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
      • changomango

        Dude those people "picking grapes" (it is hard work) make more than minimum wage PLUS unemployment during the off season PLUS food aide PLUS free medical assistance PLUS free housing (most of the time) PLUS free child care PLUS a litany of other government and private assistance, trust me, my family and I used to be migrant farm workers in the '70's, there are a lot more aid programs today!

        January 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
      • Alicia Pinkney

        America was built by slaves. All of sudden it's an outrage? We should change our name to The United States of Amnesia.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
      • Godabed

        The difference being that Americans, generally have rights that people in other countries don't. Say like Africa, and China, where those kinds of practices are allowed by the government. But that doesn't mean they don't exist in the US, they are just deemed illegal. They are very much here, for example looks at the indentured labor that took a hit in Alabama when they passed their immigration law. Indentured Mexico workers forth out of jobs by racial hatred.

        American law of the free home of the brave....

        January 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • changomango

      We should deport "our" Africans to Africa since they suffer so much injustice at the hands of a "racist" America.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
      • Chero

        As a member of the Cherokee Nation, I'm going to have to ask you to go on and get your bags packed as well. Thanks.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
      • neal kelley

        Why don't you leave and go back to Europe.. pack your racist bags.. and bounce!

        January 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
      • TERMOYL

        Or you could just ship yourself back to your ancestral homeland and toil away at some hard labor for the rest of your life... It would give some you meaning in your life, as opposed to posting intellectually deficient remarks about an issue like this.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
      • Tim

        Chero - how's your "nation" doing? Still drinking to excess, using White/Asian tech, and enjoying your exemption from American middle-class taxes? You must be so proud of your "nation's" accomplishments. BTW, who do you think was in North America before you? Perhaps others (such as other Indian tribes constantly fought with) should be asking YOU to leave. Go build another tax-free casino on your White/Asian-subsidized reservation. (And that word, "reservation" - your "people" embrace the concept. It's the 21st century - you should be ashamed.) Now, log-off your local watering hole's Internet service and go back to your own technology (a teepee). And for crying out loud - STOP USING THE WHITE MAN'S ENGLISH!

        January 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
      • TERMOYL

        @Tim- Whoa... So can you explain to us who were the truly indigenous people of North America? If not NATIVE Americans than who? Did you ever think that people don't need so much technology?

        January 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
      • tati

        Chero – get a grip you were weaker and you LOST the the battle for land. Happened all the time.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
      • Patrick

        @ Chero
        You were conquered, get over it.

        @ TERMOYL
        “indigenous” people of America were of Asian descent. Learn your science history.

        January 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
      • TellingTheTruth

        JUST PLAIN IGNORANT

        January 20, 2012 at 9:05 am |
      • Jenell

        The ascerbic comment suggesting we deport African-Americans and replies seem to indulge in an "us" vs. "them" psychology. Yes, people of Asian descent who became indigenous Americans, but emphatically, no, all Native Americans do not possess traits one reply suggests they do. In addition, we are all "cousins" genetically. The global reach of commerce has widened to the point we know more about all of our cousins and reach into their lives and livelihoods through this commerce. I would ask: Would you want your own child to suffer the machete wounds that seem to be part of this form of child labor? Would you want your own child to not have an education? I realize people do not automatically have the ability to put themselves in other people's shoes, but if it were you or your own family, would you really want this for them? The thing is, we are all family. And now we know it. What happens in one part of the world does affect us and we affect them. I'm surprised that conservative voices don't apply the principle of responsibility in such area as this. Aren't corporations responsible to consumers and workers, as well as to shareholders? What you see here is a phenomenon of that interrelatedness that some seem to want to deny. That some humans do care about other humans is a good thing. No, we don't want our own children to run rampant in the streets, etc. etc. We want them to be learn, to be engaged in the world, to grow as persons, to widen their own worlds and meet the world with their talents developed. We can want this for all people. Yes, we can. Empathy is not a weak liberal trait. It's a learned ability. Perhaps you need some harsh experience of your own to gain this ability to feel, think, and see with the experiences of others. But, sadly, harsh experience seems to also produce harsh minds and remnants of hostility stored within and expressed as harsh views toward others. Sigh. I'm a retired teacher and I care. About all of you and these children. One of my former students worked in Kenya and found this to be one of the most uplifting experiences of her young life. May you all be similarly uplifted!

        January 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • whatsitreally?

      These injustices have been brought to the American media, see? And what will happen now? The Americans will buy less chocolate and some of these kids will be left with no way to feed themselves? I know it is not fair these kids do not have the oppurtunities our kids have. I know it's not right for a child to go with out an education in todays world. But, their home and our home are 2 very different places. Before you decide to never buy any chocolate ever again, make sure there is an alternative for these children in place. No need to make a bad situation worse.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Reply
    • MazeAndBlue

      Absolutely on point please help our children....

      January 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Reply
      • BC

        Said simply and to the point, MazeAndBlue. Hopefully, the heartless trolls slobbering across this board will consider the subject matter with greater dignity and share your desire to remove children from slavery.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
      • Patrick

        @MazeAndBlue
        Help your own children. If you were stronger you would have your own workers rights. People have inhabited Africa longer than another other continent and look what you’ve built with it.

        January 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • ATLEAST

      What can I do? I'm not going to buy Hershey or Mars products any longer. I will research other companies that are linked and boycott them too. I will also inform my friends of this article and tell them what I have decided to boycott.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Anchorite

      I have not eaten chocolate or cocoa unless certified third party as fair trade in several years now since seeing this on the Independent's website. Amazingly, I'm not dead yet, and I have found sources of slavery-free chocolate http://vision.ucsd.edu/~kbranson/stopchocolateslavery/ And it's shocking how some heartless people on here are like, "Well I worked as a kid so this is fine." It's like Donald Rumsfeld saying sometimes he stands up all day at work so it can't be that bad to torture POW's with stress positions. Agricultural slavery is kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault, and if you die while in bondage, then it is also murder. It is robbing someone's entire life. I thought we answered this in 1865 but apparently some people think it's OK to live the good life by treating others like chattel.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
      • max

        did you make sure that your underwear and clothes are fair trade? all clothes sold in the malls and walmart, macy's Gap etc are cild labor extensive .. in india, Bangladesh, china. vietnamm.. etc..

        January 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • itsjustme

      You 'never knew", Ryan??? Amazing.... sweatshop-pery has existed for years and years and it's in every sector of the workworld, whether it's apparel, manufacturing, mining or farmwork.

      So what are you all going to do? stop buying clothes made overseas and everything else that comes from overseas, because of sweatshops and slavery? NO - the orders will be better than ever and there will still be tons of consumers lining up to buy the product. AS USUAL.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Erick

      Ryan, America doesn't give a crap and never has. Did you see this article on your local news? The answer is no one cares; just like in the history books. Look up how much slavery it takes to make the iPhone, Windows Phone 7, the motherboard, and more. This is where you can see the strain between America and other nations....our history of slavery. It doesn't even have to happen IN America and it's still going...that is the strange thing to me.

      What is good about this is it will start damaging the chocholate industry TODAY!!! They should know better than that....shame on them all who is profiting from chocholate.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • ErickBinger

      Well, this is a country where there is no Welfare, no Social Security, no Groupe homes! Totally different realities! These kids for the majority of them, work with their parents in these fields. They are migrants workers in the Ivory Coast! It could be true that some may be smuggled into the country, but most cocoa fields in the IC are family-owned small farms. This can't be large-scaled practices!

      January 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Reply
    • Peter H.

      My God, relax... Get off your soap box mr bleeding heart, then don't buy the product... Somebody's gotta do something... you sound like a crybaby dependent on the Government...

      January 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply
    • Eduao

      Acho um absurdo, um ramo da agricultura que fatura milhões explorar mão de obra escrava, e ainda de crianças, não sei como o chocolate ainda consegue ser doce.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • guest1

      What about a Valentines Day boycott. It's just around the corner. It is one of there biggest selling holidays. We only do it for one day. It will not cost jobs but it will send a message and we can promise to do it every year until they insure they no longer buy from people who use this kind of child labor. I think they will get the point if cost them one of there biggest holidays. I am putting this out there in the hopes its a spark that will start a fire if anyone wants to start this facebook page or webpage please do so

      January 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
      • Jenell

        Good idea! I'm adding it to my Facebook post on chocolate and child labor.

        January 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Chrome48

      Do you relize everything from these third world countries are built,farmed,harvested,killed ect.... by child labor. It's not americas fault these countries have no ablity to set laes and enforce them. It is not United States. When we police other countries (Iraq,Afghanistan ect...) these same people angry about this article get angry about that as well.

      January 20, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
    • me

      oops. better not say slave. Colords might sue .

      January 21, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • tom10

      Jesse Jackson will raise holy hell if Newt Gingrich suggests that young blacks be given jobs and responsibilities and learn how to work in their schools. Jesse Jackson is, of course, mute when it comes to atrocities in Africa. Such is the same for the media. Evil will tolerate any injustice and it despises truth.

      January 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
    • Eric

      I've seen this a few times, it's sick.
      This time I've noticed something. It's
      kinda interesting, I only noticed it the
      last time I saw it.
      The Government, of The Ivory Coast,
      sets the price of the coco.

      January 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Reply
    • Common man

      The only injustice is that these damn child workers are over paid. They are slow and small and require too much supervison..

      January 23, 2012 at 2:41 am | Reply
    • Peter

      What a load of utter nonsense and baloney from these two reporters who are only looking for sensational news items. I am surprised they have not yet been sued and CNN shame on you for not checking the facts these two idiots have reported/filed.
      I lived and worked on the cocoa farms in West Africa Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo , Nigeria for 30 years. I know the cocoa farms in these countries about as well as the farm owners do. Let us get this quite straight, what CNN is reporting is a blatant lie. There are NO CHILD COCOA SLAVES working on cocoa farms in Cote Ivoire, Ghana or anywhere else in West Africa. The children working on these farms are members of the farmers family or the tenants (crop sharing) family.
      I am so sorry that all of you who have commented here on this site have been mis-led. I lay out a challenge to David McKenzie and Brent Swails to meet with me in Cote Ivoire to find and talk to these so called coca slaves..
      Life on cocoa farms is a happy affair where all members of the farmers family muck in so to speak. That comment about one of the children injuring himself each time he uses a cutlass/machete nearly had me falling off my chair! Children on the coca farms are used to handling cutlass' almost as soon as they can walk.
      I could go on but please all you nice people, ignore this sensationalist load of twaddle. Enjoy your chocolate and Ii repeat, McKenzie and Swails will you accept my challenge? If you do, I want full coverage of a CNN team to record what happens and then you two can aplogise for scaring innocent people and then resign!

      January 23, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Spence

      The African continent is slave central and always has been. If you don't like it then don't buy anything from any African or Muslim country. Just let them starve to death.

      January 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Reply
    • Aiheaka

      No need to insult people. I think we all the same bottom line in life. We might communicate this in different ways but it doesn't mean one is stupid. Slavery needs to stop and I challenge everybody to do at least one thing that will help eradicate this problem. Ask yourself "What have I done to help?" I am currently writing a book on the atrocities taking place in the Sudan and once it is done a portion of it will go to the victims living in the camps.
      http://www.africanchildrenforsale.com

      January 31, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
      • Peter

        I find it incredible, that in our world of toady that there is no much naivety and propaganda and lies being spouted out by "The Press (for spectacular copy) and those simple folk who are just sucked in to the lies and deceits spouted out by the News agencies. What i do not comprehend is that so many contributors to this site know B all about Africa, B all about Cocoa, and, B all about how W.African cocoa farms work. Poor ignorant people!
        I have already written copiously about this so called slave nonsense/lies and have even thrown out the gauntlet to those two scheming reporters to meet with them in CI and show me where they found these so called cocoa slaves are. I have lived and worked in the cocoa areas for over 30 years and know the farmers and their children well.
        Of course they have not accepted the challenge as they know full well that their reports and footage are bent and twisted and it takes in suckers like you!

        February 1, 2012 at 5:45 am |
    • Dave

      So you did not read the news about Hershey laying off workers in Pennsylvania and moving production out of the country? This happened at least 5 years ago. just like with Dell/AT&T having call centers in India, Hershey's AND Nestle's now maintain their production facilities out of the USA.

      So where were WE during this dismantling of yet another industry in America? Resting on our laurels. The same thing happened to the garment industry. 25 year ago 95% of the clothes which you wore were made in the US. Now it is about 5%. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of jobs and talent were lost to that, yet we celebrated NAFTA because it would give us cheaper goods to buy.

      So think about this. Each time you buy something made overseas, chances are it involves child or slave labor.

      The only way to stop this is to stop buying those products and support locally operating businesses which maintain their workers here. Whether it be a small chain of stores, or just one mom & pop clothing store, or maybe that one daring small business with their own clothing line, you are supporting the basis our country was founded on.

      February 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  2. Bremen

    When ever they pick cocoa, they are slaves. When I eat chocolate, I am a slave. Chocolate is our true master.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • MalcolmXcrement

      And serve our dark master, we must!!!

      January 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  3. blackperson3

    i plan to buy chocolate today!

    January 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply
    • DeeNYC

      everyone should, if we don't these kids won't have any work at all. they're not slaves, they just have crappy pay.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
      • Nicole

        Are you serious? They are just paid crappy? He is 10 years old and unable to leave or go to school. He barely gets paid anything. You're a fool.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
      • TEXAS

        You are a true Butt-Head

        January 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
      • Nan

        In Brasil the children pick trash from the city dump. Should we boycott recycleables too?

        January 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  4. hot hat

    Yet another pleasure product I will eat with guilt and knowledge or a now revealed evil. I feel bad for the boy and others like him. Our cocoa venders should be screening for such things. But alas, the world is complicated and nobody wants to take the lead because it costs money, costs time, so that leaves non-profit groups to do the dirty work which will be slow, painful, and perhaps never bear fruit.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  5. MARY

    The sad reality is a boycott may hurt there children more

    January 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Reply
    • whatsitreally?

      I am thinking the same thing. There are not schools all over the place, there are very few resources for these kids and their families. Take the work away and what is left for them? No child should have to work to survive, understood. But, what other options do they have. If we take the work away, are we replacing it with school, food, and shelter?

      January 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
      • NIkki

        Here here!

        January 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
      • Thayer

        Good point. It really sucks but that is their reality. Unless it is replaced with school and paid meals then that's all they have. Life is not fair and never has been.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • neal kelley

      what needs to happen is there needs to be regulation and oversight.. to force these companies to that do business with these countries to comply...

      January 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
      • dabeargrowls

        You're kidding right? regulation and oversite. Look at our government! why do you think it sucks so much? Dem and Rep both! due to regulation and oversight...or so they say. Who's going to pay for that regulator? tax payers. So now we are slaves to the government for more of our tax money.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  6. Cyrus

    Newt Gingrich will use this story to put our poor kids to work.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Unfortunately Cyrus, you're most probably right. Since all these establishment, two-faced Republicans are pro big business, they're all for this kind of thing although they publically pretend to be appalled.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
      • N. B. F.

        Take a good long look at that story. That's America in twenty years if that idiot Obama is re-elected.

        January 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • kls817

      It's ignorant to badmouth Gingrich about this topic. He genuinely cares about the poor; he once proposed paying poor kids for each book they read. Education and work is the way out of poverty, not government handouts for doing nothing.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
      • TERMOYL

        HAHAHAHA... Oh yes, GreenGrinch cares about the poor... He also proposed and idea in the early nineties that welfare mothers be sterilized. Do honestly believe he was gonna pay poor kids to read books?? Oh yeah, and do you think he REALLY wants to work with the NAACP as well?

        January 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Spence

      The slave owners have always been Democrats. And continue to be by not helping people stand on their own feet.

      January 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  7. bobalu

    The term "chocolate child slaves" sounds derogatory. Can we call them African child slave?

    January 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • brathead

      You are an idiot. They are not calling the slaves "chocolate" becasue of their skin color. It is due to the fact that they are slaves of the cocoa industry. Why does everybody have to make issues in regards to race. You people try and read between the lines when ultimately there is nothing there!

      January 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
      • gdubya

        ^^this guy

        January 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
      • you missed the point

        Brathead, try following your own advice and read between the lines.
        _____________________
        sarcasm
        _____________________

        January 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
      • Whitney

        "You people" ? What is that supposed to mean?

        January 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • DeeNYC

      aweful, i feel terrible it made me laugh so hard.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  8. TeddyG

    Thanks Cargill

    January 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  9. Frank

    Am I to understand that chocolate's primary ingredient is finely crushed children's hopes and dreams? At least that explains why it's so delicious.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
    • mike

      you are sick, sick, sick

      January 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
    • TX

      No Mike...Frank is beyond sick.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • Brando

      Sick like Sean White?

      January 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • Frank

      I didn't mean it that way! That's terrible! What I meant was that it's very sad that children's hopes and dreams taste so darn good. It's like dolphin fin soup, only with children.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Jimbob

      Awesome....

      January 25, 2012 at 4:13 am | Reply
  10. El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

    As populations increase, the value of reasources will continue to go up, while the value of human beings will go down.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  11. Jon

    I am very sad that anyone, especially children, are slaves of any sort. I pray The Lord will free and comfort the orphans and slaves. I am very sorry to hear this.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • Jesus

      And by praying you mean doing nothing yourself and hoping a 2,000 year old zombie named Jesus can help even though if you believe in him, you believe he already knows the future?

      January 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
      • Honeybadger1

        Let them eat chocolate.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • TX

      Jon....I will pray with you brother.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • Lindsey

      Jon, are you assuming that your god is going to listen to your prayer and alter his plans just because something makes you sad? I mean, if god knows all and has the power to do anything, then he must approve of child slavery.

      How about YOU actually doing something about this. Donate money, or go there and try to make a difference in the world. If you just assume that some invible sky god is going to fix everything, then nothing will ever get done.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
    • Nan

      The "Lord" has you as a slave

      January 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • TERMOYL

      WOW how surprising...another armchair "christian" ready and willing to...PRAY!!!
      And if nothing changes then it is just part of gods perfect plan which we can't understand but have to respect.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    • Johan S

      Yeah so God was totally aware of this and all the other messed up stuff that happens in the word that we never even find out about and let this happen but then since people will beg him not to .. he's gonna free the kid. Sounds like a swell being.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  12. Alex P.

    Are you willing to give up chocolate and diamonds now???? Didn't think so. You are what's wrong with the world.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
    • opinate

      Cz's baby are the way to go. Save tons of money.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  13. voiceofreason

    Wow, really? Putting the blame solely on the shoulders of the Ivorian government. Yes, they deserve blame but we as a country are blind to the evil practices of US corporations outside our borders that not only encourage but require these types of practices to happen. Nestle, Hershey, they are still seen as simply fun candy producers and the Ivorian government gets portrayed as corrupt. THEY ARE BOTH CORRUPT, WORKING FOR THE SAME GOALS.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • Cynthia

      In the early 80s, Nestle was found to have contaminated infant formula that was being passed off as safe to the people of this country. When the FDA forced them to remove all tainted formula, what did Nestle do? They sold it to the people of Africa.
      Some Corporations are truly bottomline oriented. If you invest with immoral companies and literally 'make a killing' is it then necessary to avert your eyes whenever it comes to your wallet?
      Children are kidnapped everyday in the world to fill a need. Somebody, somewhere, will see this as an opportunity for wealth when in reality, it is the robbing of a life.
      The children in this story are given just enough food to keep them harvesting chocolate. They are given nothing else but raggy clothes and dirty shelter. What kind of job is that? And, if they wanted to leave, then what? They would be hunted down and returned to slavery.
      Corporations who look the other way, grease the cogs that will keep the wheels turning. Instead of adding sweetness to the world, their products have infested us with a sickness.

      January 21, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
      • Jimbob

        Same could be said about what you feed your vehicle, but that's okay because you need that.

        January 25, 2012 at 4:12 am |
      • Reason

        In response to Jimbob: Are you claiming that you feed children to you vehicle, or make them push?

        August 11, 2014 at 11:55 am |
  14. Adam

    As tragic as the situation is, these kids starve if they don't have a job. West African nations simply don't have the infrastructure to take care of orphaned kids. Instead of boycotting, people should be adopting these kids instead.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • voiceofreason

      that's not a valid solution. we can stop this problem here within this country by boycotting the brands that lobbying our government to allow these practices to continue.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
    • whatsitreally?

      I hear you Adam. Boycotting sounds all well and good. But what are we replacing these jobs with? School? Shelter? Food? Clothing? If so, how? I feel the need to buy a ton of chocolate right now because I feel like that would help these kids more than boycotting it would. No work and what do they have? Give me a way to donate to their welfare, I would boycott the industry in a heartbeat, no problem. Until I know what will happen to them when they lose their jobs, I won't take their job away from them.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  15. Willy Wonka

    Kudo to the chocolate industry for putting tools in these kid's hands instead of AK-47s.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • fretlessbass

      Do you mean the CIA?

      January 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • Oompa Loompa

      Oompa Loompa, do-ba-dee-doo,
      I’ve got a business plan for you.
      Oompa Loompa, do-ba-dee-dee,
      Use kids to lower costs significantly.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
      • Loompa Oompa

        lmao someone didn't take their ritalin

        January 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • TERMOYL

      Oh don't worry, the AK 47s are not far away... They probably come out if any of these kids try to leave.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
      • Jung su yean

        Hello. My name is su-yean Jung from Iksan city,south Korea and I'm 12years old.
        I know you because I saw your video on CNN one weeks ago. I heard that you want to go school but you never go there. You earn no money and just work.
        And you work in cocofarm, but never have eaten chocolate.
        I'm sorry because you work there all day long and you don't live your parents.
        I want you to live with parents, and go to school and you will eat chocolate. Bye.

        June 1, 2012 at 5:23 am |
  16. Rabbit One

    in the same ways that consumers are able to get Organic or Fair Trade certifications displayed on products, maybe we ultimately need "child labor free" certifications that will then empower the consumers themselves to change the industry; that seems to be the only way to do it; otherwise, the producers will never receive the wake up call that child slavery is profitless both morally and financially

    January 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  17. Jesus

    The media needs to stop calling everything slavery today. These kids are not slaves. They are not in shackles, they are not auctioned off, they are not owned by anyone. I feel like whenever a kid does any work it is instantly called slavery. Just like the word racist, slavery has also totally lost its meaning in this age of political correctness.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

      I agree. It's not like there are other opportunities in this country. Much of Africa is in survival mode.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Reply
    • Aslan (The Jesus-Allegory Lion)

      yes, what he said

      January 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

      How come they don't call internships slavery?

      January 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply
    • N. B. F.

      You nailed it.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:01 am | Reply
    • Reason

      Here's something for you to consider, despite the explanations or excuses justifying child labor, there is no way around the fact that these environments are dangerous and have been know to kill and maim children every day while legalized. Even for those very rare individuals who are not "chained" to this sort of health endangering work, they are still being affected, physically and emotionally. Then there is the issue regarding money. Yes it is true that these children may claim that they are volunteering to do this because the family needs money to survive. But let's think about this for a moment, for every child working in these factories or on these farms, there is an unemployed adult, often times, a family member who could be employed in that child's place. If child labor restrictions were being properly upheld, not only would the burden of constant work be moved off the shoulders of these minors, but also the general flow of currency would increase, do to the fact that those big cocoa companies you've been criticizing would be forced to pay a full wage to an adult. All problems fixed.

      August 11, 2014 at 11:48 am | Reply
  18. Guest

    So, Will all you LIBS boycott chocolate? That's what I thought

    January 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Reply
    • voiceofreason

      wow, it's not about boycotting chocolate. It's about boycotting chocolate made by certain brands, ex. herseys, nestle.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Reply
    • GOP

      Yeah, bleeding heart libs won't boycott chocolate because of their weak spines. Luckily, I'm conservative so I'm actually glad to see the free market is working well. I'm going to buy a big chocolate bar, eat it, and throw the wrapper on the ground (external cost).

      January 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • kyle collins

      Yes. I will you Neo Con,(since you are calling names) Also, reposting to FB and writing to Congress and Senator.

      January 22, 2012 at 4:18 am | Reply
      • Jimbob

        What does reposting to facebook do? Make you look cool to your friends? That's about it.

        January 25, 2012 at 4:18 am |
  19. El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

    Can someone please clarify for me; can these children quit their jobs if they want to, because I couldn't find anything indicative in the article that they had to stay. It seems to me that we are equating child labor with slavery. If they can't quit, it's slavery; if they can, it's child labor.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Reply
    • voiceofreason

      if you quit, you starve and die. Is that really a choice?

      January 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

      Well, then it's not slavery, it's child labor. It's a matter of there not being any opportunities. Unfortunately, if there are no other job prospects, then you have to settle for what keeps you alive.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  20. Bermille

    Newt Gingrich's food stamp to work program.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • fretlessbass

      Don't worry PK, Cyrus, Bermille... Gingrich will never be elected. You can stop your spamming...

      January 19, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  21. Chris Honry

    Oh, man, I will NEVER EAT anything with Chocolate in it ever again! Because it's my fault, right, I'm American- I did not stop the other africans from taking advantage of their own people. LOL

    January 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • voiceofreason

      does everything have to be about you? How about looking out for someone else for once? And did you ever realize that these children have to suffer so that regular Americans and other overly fortunate people around can buy chocolate for $1 rather than the $5 it should cost if it was produced humanely?

      January 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  22. ted

    I will never buy 1oz of chocolate ever again........................

    January 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • whatsitreally?

      Ok. Then these kids will be left with absolutely nothing. Until there is an alternative in place, I say we buy it like crazy to enure the survival of these kids. Unless you know of a charity that will enure they are fed, clothed and have shelter with out these jobs.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  23. fred ca

    Hmmm...now a true human rights attorney would be filing civil suits againest diamond buyers, drug users and dealers and even chocolate buyers. But that is work and might require cajones. Never mind.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  24. DaveI

    I've lived more than 13 years in Africa...If there's one thing I learned from my years there...
    Western white people need to stay out of their culture and society. They are not like us and trying to impose
    our customs and ways has completely screwed up their culture. The educated smart Africans know how
    damaging our influence has been but they keep their mouths shut because they want the money.
    Let Africans run Africans own affairs and business. The left wing screwballs that go there under
    the many cottage industry charities and aid organizations only usually provide more upheaval to their system.
    The Africans do not fit into our cultural standards and never will and perpetuating our standards on them only adds to
    more chaos.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Reply
    • voiceofreason

      YES! i agree

      January 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • ak2k

      EVERY child deserves an education!

      January 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
      • DaveI

        EDUCATION come in many forms. There are MANY people there who have degrees but don't really know how to do ANYTHING useful (sounds familiar)...And there are many people there who have never attended school but prove to be very adept at business as they practiced it from a young age. Know your subject before making pronouncements from your ivory tower. The women usually do not attend school past the early years but they are often the main providers as the men if they are lucky just get very low paying jobs (even with their degrees) as the women there know how to do business from a young age.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • js

      Yes, and your plan to undo colonialism and industrialization is...?

      January 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
      • DaveI

        As I've stated...Get out of their business. Let them sort their countries and their problems themselves in their way. Their way may not seem to fit into our social standards but it is their countries and their people. Leave them alone.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • js

        The damage is done already, that would have been a good argument a couple of centuries ago

        January 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
      • DaveI

        Do you speak from some kind of first hand knowledge.
        The most we can do is to provide some financial support. Sending over our so-called "experts" should be limited to only
        people who have real needed talents like in electricity and sewage and other necessary infrastructures. Mostly these
        people are NOT provided by the U.S. but rather the Europeans. The U.S. "talent" is usually over-paid bureaucrats who most often mishandle whatever funds they are put in charge of. I speak from years of observation and experience.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Jen

      Completely agree. While I believe what's going on in many parts of Africa is very sad, do we want Africans coming to America saying we have to change and become Africans?

      January 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • Dean

      Using that same mentality I guess NORTH,CENTRAL, AND SOUTH AMERICA should be returned to the Indians Since they were the early inhabitants of that region. Want to take bets on whether that will happen any time soon.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  25. ak2k

    I'm not in any way trying to down-play the plague of child slavery....which I absolutely abhor. This was just my first reaction to the one-liner that described this article: "a three-year veteran of the job. He has never tasted chocolate".....well I've helped build BMWs for the last 6 years and I've never owned one!....just sayin

    January 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Reply
    • Suma

      I've helped Fannie Mae continue its business but never owned it! You are comparing (quite irresponsibly) apples with oranges. I would be surprised if a single reader of this article hasn't tasted chocolate, it's not all that luxury a food. And that opening line was quite painful to read...

      January 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
      • ak2k

        aw stop, I'm out of tissues

        January 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
      • ak2k

        Besides, you helped FANNIE MAE stay in business?! Talk about questionable ethics. sheesh!

        January 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  26. christie

    I can't believe how insensitive some of you poster are. It saddens me how these children are used.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  27. Cam Mer

    USA: You are making Abraham Linclon turn over in his grave. Thanks for moving your plantations offshore.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
    • Lowell the American realist

      Hey GENIUS<
      last time I checked, the people in Ivory Coast are FREE to do what they want. These children have parents right?
      Where are the parents?
      PROSECUTION RESTS.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
      • Derp

        Did you not read the part about the boy whos mother died and a stranger took him across the border to the cocoa farm?
        Seriously, read the articles before posting...

        January 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
      • DEE

        Lowell is a realist, not a reader. Where are the parents? DEAD, you idiot. And if capable parents are the prerequisite for a prosperous, happy existence, many of us are screwed.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  28. sean

    We need to import more from Peru, some of the best chocolate comes from Peru and is child-labor free!!!

    January 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • voiceofreason

      our corporations would only find a way to use child labor in Peru to drive the cost down and make it so American consumers can almost afford to eat way too much chocolate.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  29. Frank Bellamy

    "He has never tasted chocolate."

    Who cares?

    January 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  30. Chris

    Just ordered a 5lb box of high end chocolate!

    These kids are not slaves, they are working and can leave anytime. They may not have a job or be able to eat but that's not the american taxpayers problem or the american governments problem. It' africa's problem.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Reply
    • DEE

      Actually, it's a problem of humanity. Are you a member of the human race? If so, maybe you have a slight concern for the plight of HUMAN BEINGS regardless of their location or ethnicity. You people who lack basic sympathy and empathy for others are defined as sociopaths. Maybe if a fellow sociopath has a hard time, you will empathize with that.

      African problems, American problems, blah, blah, blah. With many of you unless the victim looks, speaks and acts like you, they don't count. If the same situation was happening to some white kid with blond hair and blue eyes, you guys would be an uproar.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  31. dreamer96

    This is sad..but it is happening all over the world in one way or another Foxconn in China work 35 hour shifts at 31 cents an hour..workers are so stressed out they are killing themselves doing the same little job 5,000 times a 35 hour shift...the company had to hang nets under the windows to catch leapers that can not take it anymore...some top 1% call China Capitalism the way it was meant to be...

    January 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Reply
    • ak2k

      yuck, that is truly disgusting.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  32. ughh

    i hate how we think we know any better – what's different about making a kid sit in a chair for 9 hours,180 days per year, eat crappy, unhealthy food while they learn from stressed out, unhappy system monkeys about stupid stuff that doesn't matter? i would much rather my kid be doing something like this than what they're expected to do here. why do you think so many people are fat and have cancer here? think this is the end of CNN for me...can't stand the drones they're trying to create. i bet those reporters met some wonderful people that have respect for family, community, faith and actually use their own brains to think, but we won't hear about that.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • oldboldgold

      In the transition from an agricultural to an industrial society and then to a computerized society, almost everything of value as a human being has been lost. I am a subsistence farmer now, it took me about 5 years to pay for my land and small house. I wish I had done it earlier. I have enough production to trade for meat now. Since baas hawg doesn't need many employees anymore and will need less in the future... time to look for something different for ourselves. As far as I can tell, the industrial revolution was an epic fail for human beings.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  33. Lowell the American realist

    Dear fellow American IDEALISTS
    The WORLD out there is not all sunshine and roses. Americans need to be concerned with AMERICA. It's not America's job to pass moral judgement on the rest of humanity.
    The REASON this Republic is dying is because our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES spend more time concerned with Africa, than what is going on in AMERICA.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • dreamer96

      No it's because our Congress members are more interested in getting rich themselves and doing what the top 1% want done than what is best for the country as a whole...Since the 1980's the rich have been getting richer and the workers have seen there wages flatten and benefits go away..we use to share the profits of a good year with the workers..not anymore..we use to use the 1/3 rule for profits...one third to the workers/ including managers maxed at 30 times the lowest workers, one third to the owners/stockholders, one third to the future of the company...keep for lean years or reinvesting to make the company better/stronger..

      January 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  34. Jobber

    The kids have a job and get paid have a a purpose, better than them out killing and robbing everybody cause they have nothing to do,

    This happens everyday and in every country, stop whining and start working or go to america and get everything for free, the biggest plantation gov't back on earth

    January 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  35. wheresbeef

    This kind of inequality won't disappear unless all the national boarders are removed and all the humanity can move and live freely on the earth under one law system to ensure all the human being's freedom and labor cost are the same no matter where they are: again, an utopia exists only in a dream.
    Honestly, these kids are just doing some labor. I think it is still better than getting cancers from the industrial pollution from the production of commodities that are shipped to US because the workers cannot afford them.
    By cleaning a toilet, a US citizen can be paid enough to by chocolates for every meal.
    If a person do that same job in the poor regions of the world, I am not sure he can afford a few rolls of toilet paper for his family.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
    • oldboldgold

      The push for one world causes most of these problems. Think local. Eat local, buy local.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  36. Mbane18

    Not much different from the coffe industry. Companies like Starbucks claim fair trade coffe but the reality is only 1% of their coffe is actually fair trade.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  37. şemsi altaş

    I will one word say "unfortunetely"

    January 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  38. the_dude

    This is very poor journalism if you are looking at this objectively. The poor kid has to work and has never tasted chocolate. Well, I have never tasted beluga caviar or a truffle either. This kind of problem has no resolution unless a military power goes in and forces the local government to change. Just asking them to change will never happen because all it takes is for one chocolate company executive to write some big check to some corrupt govt official and BAM! nothing gets done.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
    • voiceofreason

      you're dumb

      January 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  39. beadlesaz

    The American consumer wants everything at the lowest possible price – those in under-developed nations provide the back-breaking labor to provide us with our comfortable life. We have no comprehension of true poverty – how many people die every day in this country due to starvation or diseases such as typhus, yellow fever or dengue fever?

    January 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • Virginia Joe

      Did you ever stop to consider that the majority of Americans buy the lowest price because thats all most of them can actually afford? When the CEO takes home 20 miliion a year plus benefits (stock options, perks , etc.) and the shareholders are paid dividends it doesn't leave much for the employees that actually made the products. I'm only referring to the ones who are still employed stateside, not the 6-15 million Americans whose jobs were sent to China and Mexico, etc. so the labor could be paid at a poverty level of something comparable to less than 500 a year under what we consider unacceptable working conditions (including child labor). Thank you Milton Friedman for developing an economic theory that could reverse a once great country to the late 1800's. The next American revolution will be driven by the treatment of labor within our borders and beyond our borders and the guilty and the innocent will pay the price for the greed of a few and the incompetance of all of our politicians.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  40. k

    The only shocking thing is that so many Americans think their gawd given right to cheap cr4p from other countries doesn't involve slave labour...then again...we wouldn't do such menial things anyway.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  41. CNN is MOFO

    Poorly written article. Is this a racist? Yeah.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  42. gitr

    Slavery is alive and well and American Corporations care more about profitting from it than they do about ending it. Its a hush hush issue within the corporate world. The big wigs know about it. Thats how they profit. Its the same thing as sending jobs to China or Vietnam. They don't get paid well and the conditions are aweful at work and home. Anyway you look at it...we're all a bunch a slaves. Thanks to the Federal Reserve Banking System and powerbrokers and corrupt governments. Wake up people.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  43. Fat American

    I'm glad the chocolate business is putting the African monkeys to some use, else, these monkeys would have fought and killed each other off.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • @ Infinite Ignorance

      You call them monkeys?! WTH!!! You know if it weren't for how Americans' degraded the Africans and force them to be slaves the country would be soo much better of today. Africa have the root of civilization and you call them monkeys?! Ignorant, racist, and a white surpremist!
      If they are monkeys, Americans are pigs, as indicated by your user name. Like animal farm...if you ever picked up a book, they will fall. Because of the ignorance, racist people like you...and they think they can manipulate everyone.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
      • Montel

        It's ignorant and racist for you to assume that this moron is WHITE!!! There are other groups of people out there besides Caucasians that are prejudiced against people who are different from them. Why not assume he is a Mexican supremacist?

        January 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
      • Infinite Ignorance

        @ montel

        What other kind of supremists have there been in the last century? In only America, KKK was formed, & the southerners even now are known for this... why assume I'm racist and ignorant, when clearly the more insulting comment was above mine & I was just replying to that, defending the Africans? If you know the racial history in the US, you wouldn't focus on that one part.
        &&& One last thing... you're the one turning this into a race debate... *sigh* why?!

        January 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
      • JohnG

        I don't condone anyone calling anyone anything in such a manner as to debase their statue on the evolutionary scale....

        That said, get your facts straight, Slavery was not an American Invention. It was a part of African heritage and history long before Europeans showed up on their shores. I'm with you in finding disgust with such actions, but, it is always better to have a true understanding on what your going to argue before you do it.

        January 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
      • Montel

        Actually, I had nothing to say about race issues until you starting spewing "White supremacist!!!" garbage. And just so you get your facts straight, racism has existed before and independently of the United states AND Caucasians. As a multiracial individual, and I know many good and bad people, and none of these individuals' personal qualities stem from race or ethnicity. No one is without faults. American history may not be flawless, but neither is the history of any other country.

        January 20, 2012 at 10:37 am |
      • Montel

        FYI, I'm from the south and I personally do not know any racist individuals. Man, you truly do love to spew stereotypes. What a HYPOCRITE!!!

        January 20, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • TX

      I hope you don't have any children....one of you is enough.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
      • JohnG

        TX, they are a child which one can hope will fail Procreation 101...

        January 19, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • ethyl

      dear fat american: do not blame these " monkeys" for your being fat. You just need to cut your chocolate intake.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:22 am | Reply
  44. rad666

    Africa has 53 nations and should have leaders that care.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • JohnG

      True, and they should also kick start caring by throwing out all foreign interests. Organize and then open up to whom they wish, when then like and how they decide to.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  45. Mr. Hershey

    Chocolate harvesting chocolate.

    What's the problem?

    January 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • voiceofreason

      go f*** yourself

      January 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
      • Mr. Hershey

        That would make me a self "fudge" packer...

        January 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  46. Laurence Ringo

    You hit the nail on the head,C.C.I'm afraid our nation has fallen quite a ways from the moral and ethical force we use to be;now,we've become a toothless tiger fighting wars in all the wrong places for all the wrong reasons.Our economy is faltering so badly,in a sense we can't help but turn inward to a degree;that,coupled with"compassion fatigue"regarding all the other miseries the world is afflicted with,and its no wonder stories like this one are greeted with a yawn of indifference,while we'll hang on the edge of our seats waiting to see how vulgar Ricky Gervaise will be at the Golden Globes!(At which the women nominees wear dresses costly thousands of dollars,and then only once!).So...there it is.It seems we're all on a slow,downward spiral of which there is no end in sight.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  47. Levi Nwasoria

    Look, these kids will be fine, I understand the situation. The only ingredient that is missing is access to school, not the work in the cocoa farms. If people want to help these kids, the best way is to build schools close to where they work in the farms. After school, they can go to work and believe it or not majority of them will combine the benefits of the two – school and farm work to improve their future prospects.

    I realize what I am saying may sound harsh from the comforts of America, but it is not. Even African children that live in cities are involved in one type of work or the other after school, that’s the culture. See the emphasis, after school. Africans have very strong work ethic that starts from the farm when they are young. Most African countries are down because of colonialism, slave trade and the after effect of colonialism or neo-colonialism, read corruption. However, this too will change; as one African essayist once wrote, “No Condition is Permanent”. If you are a friend of Africa, look for ways and join others of like mind to build schools for the children of the cocoa farms. They will graduate from the cocoa farms and the schools to be strong members of their community, country and the world. Don’t cry for Africa, do something practical if you care. Don’t join the chorus of “how terrible it is”, Africans have gone beyond this sentiment and no longer care about the crocodile tears that are supposedly shed on their behalf. Cheers!

    January 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • R0W

      This is the approach that certification agencies (i.e. Rugmark) have taken in south Asia, where child labor and child slavery are common in rug manufacture. The children need income to support themselves and their families, so the companies are not required to fire child workers in order to achieve certification. Instead they must provide 1. safe working conditions, 2. fair wages (taking into account the prices the rugs sell for), and 3. the opportunity to go to school, including building local schools if necessary and also giving the child workers the time necessary for them to attend school (i.e. six hour workdays).

      There is no reason why a similar certification program could not operate in the chocolate industry.

      January 20, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
  48. Rabbit One

    This is where we are seeing furthermore the importance of individual nations purchasing larger amounts of their own products and hiring their own people justly and adequately; for example, a developing nation catering to foreign demands and foreign retailers/producers results in this kind of unfair trade/unfair employment. I am not against the global economy and international dealings, but when we sacrifice so many of the healthy transactions of local communities (which are like family transactions) we in fact sell out and treat each other like slaves.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  49. knghtshingrmour

    Does this mean children of American farmers are also considered slaves if they pitch in with chores? Would it be better to let these kids starve rather than give them a job? Africa seems to always get nike shirts and coke cola so they should be able to get a snickers bar.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  50. gitr

    Same as it ever was.....same as it ever was....you may ask yourself.....well how did I get here?

    January 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  51. Ed in Reno,NV

    Put Newt Gingrich in charge and one day that 10 year old won't just be working in the fields, he'll be able to buy a candy bar...provided that he is not lazy and looking for a hand out like the rest of his family.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  52. Hypocrites

    Sure...Ban these kids from working and let's them starve to death...After all, starving to death is much more enjoyable than being a slave

    January 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Reply
    • James

      You are joking...right?

      January 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
      • Ken

        Well, no he probably is not joking. What will be your answer when they are barred from working? Leave quick so you dont have to see them starve?

        January 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • TX

        No Ken....you are the joke if you agree with that statement.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
      • Ken

        Ok, at 10 years old, these kids should be in school and not working.

        January 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  53. James

    There has been slavery in Africa since the beginning of recorded history. It still is not right and needs to be eliminated. These people have been enslaved by their own and sold until it seems normal for some of them – its not! The ancestors of these people are the ones that sold slaves to the European captains that then brought them to the Americas to start that horrible human crime here. It is time we put an end once and for all to this human travesty.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  54. Ken

    I like this one. Instead of blaming the male gender, it puts women in the crosshairs of the "demand" for slaves. HA

    January 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • Ken

      Women probalby eat the vast majority of chocolate for thier "emotional and physical needs".

      January 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • Kayla Walters

      go staright to the fiery depths of the earth!

      February 7, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  55. Jobber

    Let Africans govern Africans
    We America's want to help everybody and just make a mess of everything
    And keep doing it in every country that we buy as friends
    We can't even take care of america's own kids let alone another country or the world
    we can't change them so stop trying and take care of your own house first
    The world laughs at us and we keep coming back for more
    Like the aps say, we stupid

    January 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • Kayla Walters

      I totally agree! U r so right :)

      February 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  56. Ryan

    I hope that during my lifetime the whole world will unite under one Empire. So these countries will stop there evil ways.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  57. Our World

    I noticed that the article did not identify the companies involved. These would be the points on which to place pressure - they're probably the only actors with enough weight to change practices. The price of chocolate will go up, but maybe these children will have schools and their parents will have jobs with a decent enough wage to support the kids.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  58. drtom2012

    I'm sure Newt Gingrich would just say children learning a valuable lesson on the work ethic and capitalism.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  59. Thomas Kendall

    You're all missing the point. It is "slavery" when you have no other options and are being exploited. Even if child labor is "moral" in Africa, these kids should be paid for what their work is worth; not just "a little food, the torn clothes on his back, and an occasional tip from the farmer."

    January 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  60. Oleg

    CNN team is incredibly stupid. If these children would not be "employed", they most probably would starve – they have no parents, nobody to care about them. If you "fire" them from plantations, like CNN team wants, then what happens to the children ? This is another thoughtless left feel-good propaganda "news". The real solution is to help these countries to change their way of life. Trying to interfere in a survival situation resulted from a horrible lifestyle is a very western-like, stupid, naive thing.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • Possible solution

      You seem to imply the only alternative to child labor is starvation. What about better wages?

      January 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
      • Oleg

        Read the article. It demands to stop the child labor. The higher wages would be fine, but this is not what it is about. I am afraid that if we would interfere with requirements of higher wages, then everything would shift to shadow economy, and the children would have even less protection and even less wages. This is a very complex matter. We cannot stop even production and distribution of narcotics drug, how come we can be so naive that we can control the production of chocolate ?

        January 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  61. George Patton

    Judging by this report, it appears that all these countries are now ripe for Communism. Karl Marx had the right idea 150 years ago when this kind of thing went on in much of Europe. Child labor should not be permitted anywhere, even in countries friendly to the West which most are!!!

    January 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  62. hippie`

    Headline: luv the pun– way to go CNN!

    January 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  63. Mike

    It's not our problem, that these countries have different standards than us. Our large corporations simply buy cocoa from their suppliers. The suppliers are the ones to blame since they're hiring these kids.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  64. Mike

    Also, this kid doesn't have other work oppurtunities...and probably can't afford school. It's good that he's doing something to keep busy and eating/socializing a bit. Not all countries are to be held to our standard of living.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  65. Carlos

    Its a sad world, yesterday, today and still will be tomorrow.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    • opinate

      You got it!!! It was sad a 100 yrs ago, 1,000 yrs ago and 10,000 yrs ago.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  66. Jeff

    More evidence that government intervention can't solve much of anything that involves consumer demand. The U.S. government is powerless to solve this. And what if everyone stops eating chocolate? Are those children going to be better off? No. Does that make it right? No. I'm am a huge chocoholic and I'm not going to stop eating chocolate just because of this article or any other like it. The problems in Africa are because of Africa. You can take away the chocolate trade and those people are going to be just as miserable. They'll find some other way to exploit their children. It's sad but you and I and a bunch of NGOs will never solve it. Think of all of the money and effort over DECADES to try to help Africa and there is really nothing to show for it. They even thought that they had really created something with Zimbabwe, and then poof! In just a few days that country fell right back into corruption and poverty.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    • CA3b

      well said.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
    • 57Ford

      So True

      January 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • Oleg

      A good point.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • Zach

      Its not a question of what is being produced from child labor, its what should we do to stop it? The Nikes I'm wearing right now and the coffee I'm drinking are both a product of slave or child labor, but like many other Americans like yourself, I'm not going to stop buying the products. The company's aren't going to stop producing, but how do we make them change the way they are produced? It needs to stop being about the cheapest way to make something and rather about the way it is produced. Why does a CEO get to benefit from billions a year while a child who is making his chocolate has never even tasted it, let alone been compensated? This world sucks.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  67. 57Ford

    Child labor is used all over the world including the United States. Child labor in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. But slavery is.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  68. CA3b

    Yes, this is deplorable. But these problems are worldwide. In many societies, the women are slaves, too. They do ALL the work, get beaten by their husbands and fathers at will, have no money and have no choices regarding their lives. At the same time Western society can't invade all these countries and "make things right" otherwise we're being "culturally insensitive". It's not an easy fix.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  69. Reality

    Hmmm. Child slavery does suck. Perhaps we just shouldn't do business with those companies that use that practice. Since it isn't our country, it isn't really our business or place to do anything else.

    ...anything to get people all outraged about something....

    January 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  70. MsMaryE

    Our policymakers should be held accountable with their vote. They can put sanction on Iran, Iraq, and North Korea but to stop African slavery of children, he'll NO!

    January 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  71. I hear U

    as a slave to the 40+ hr work-week who can't pay my bills, own a new home or drive a new car I can see how it must be hard for others that don't even have OUR opportunities, how superficial of me eh? wake up ...WE'RE ALL slaves world wide, the only difference is our roads are paved ( but fast going back to ruble) I wish I had a banana tree!

    January 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  72. Blake

    And what exactly would these uneducated workers do if it were not for the work provided to them? Starve to death? And then we would be dealing with the issue of starvation instead of child labor. Wealth is scare. There will always be haves and have nots. The poor are always pulled up by the rich in time the economics situation will improve.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  73. Robert

    Has any noticed how the price of chocolate at WalMart has increased over 50% during the past year? And to now read this report makes me furious.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  74. Jessica

    Good. Now where's the article about the diamond industry? Isn't it odd how the two things our society associates with love come from child slavery?

    January 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  75. Guest1923789

    As long as there are lobbist then this will continue. Political and corporate greed rules America.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  76. AXE

    The country is poor what do you expect from kids under age working BECAUSE THEY NEED TO SURVIVE.it is not a sin to work has a kid if no one forced the child. I started working when I was 10 years old NO ONE FORCE TO WORK. I want to work not even my mother forced me to work.

    If they don't work will you able to feed this hungry children all over the world.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Guri Singh

      Alex,

      You are right. The child is perhaps doing what they are doing to survive.
      The leadership of Ivory coast is to blame.

      Having said that, we use Child labor in the US for corporate profits.
      Child Actors
      Child Athletes
      to name a few. yes, they are paid more than a living wage, so that makes it ok to exploit them.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  77. woodrow

    Capitalism has very serious problems with it. One of those problems is it seems to be embrace immorality. But I judge all these practices. I am that terrible liberal you fear so much. I would cast off these shackles and let your businesses collapse. Who needs them? No one does.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  78. I hear U

    CNN Freedom Project!? hey CNN you don't have to leave America to get your stories, Its rampant on our own city streets. this is just propaganda to influence Americans into justifying another war. Nice job but some of us are not fooled. Yes I believe it happens in other countries ....because it happens here.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  79. zywie

    Is there anything that isn't made by child slaves in some third world country?

    January 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  80. gitr

    Its sounds like bitterweet chocolate.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  81. maary

    This is the exploitation of the poor by the rich. This is what our corporations have done..They have gone to third world countries to exploit the poor..
    While they fight to put Americans in the position of being exploited, by buying politicians that fight to destroy prosperity in the United States..
    This is how the rich corporations get richer..
    Most of the things we use are made by poor people working for nothing.. some times I listen to the "spin" on how they are helping the people in these poor countries.. But the truth is , they are only exploiting them and their desire to earn some thing , anything.. many work for so little ..Its sad.. its tragic.. Its called "exploitation"...

    January 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  82. Guri Singh

    I am sorry to say this but here it goes:

    We humans (all over the world) are responsible for what Abdul and other kids like him go through. It is our greed that makes us take advantage of others. Yes, it is us consumers, who want that 50 cent chocolate bar, the same price we paid 10 or 20 years ago. Something is amiss. We cannot get a cheap chocolate bar and still want everyone to get fair price/wages.

    We, the consumers, need to change our behavior. Say NO to companies that don't use fair price and non-child labor cocao.

    A child is supposed to be in SCHOOL and not working for your chocolate.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • maary

      Do you really thing the corporations that exploit these children would pay them more if they charged more?
      The whole reason for going to these countries, is that they have nothing.. They can pay them pennies or as this chlld is paid.. In food...
      Sorry.. the greed of the rich would not allow for paying these people more.. But charging us more? Yes they would do that..~!:(

      January 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  83. sielingfan

    This just in: Countries that aren't America have a terrible standard of living. Let's help them out by not buying any more of their products, sending them deeper into poverty and repeating the cycle over and over again until they all starve to death in a manner that's humane enough to suit our tastes.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • maary

      YOu just proved my point...
      "Anything is better than nothing" ... way of looking at it..
      So it makes the greedy rich feel good.. And the consumer feel good.
      Though this childs life is still tragic.. I equate it to some one getting dog out of a bad situation.. where it sat in the rain on a chain.. Some one takes the dog to "help" it .. ties it to a chain but puts up a dog house~!~..
      They think they have improved that dogs life. yet the dog is still by anyones standards.. Miserable and abused.
      BUT... the owner can feel "good" cause the dog does have it better than it did.
      Same exact reasoning you just used...But for people of third world countries..Their lives are still miserable..Just not "as" miserable..
      Sick and twisted reasoning keeps this going on.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  84. CJ

    The Ivory Coast supplies 40% of the worlds Cocoa. I would think we as consumers have the power to demand that the Ivory Coast follows child labor laws or we will not buy their cocao.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply
    • Tato

      then these children would die or live in land fills eating rotting food...

      January 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  85. wallygator

    Are child slaves classified as people? Like corporations are.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  86. gitr

    We're all slaves to the Federal Reserve Banking System. Gotta make those interest payments on the debt. I just did my taxes and the government took $10,000 of my money before I got to hold it. IMAGINE no government. I was forced to pay for an illegal war in Iraq. Now your telling me my chocolate is tainted with the blood of child slaves and so is my iPhone....Wait I have to throw up.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  87. Sam

    Wealth will eventually trickle down to them...... ;-[ or not.....

    January 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
    • gitr

      NOT

      January 19, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  88. sww

    And this is solely America's fault why? Are we the only country in the world that eats chocolate? Let me see, I am a starving, homeless 10 year old kid in a poor country with barely a functioning government let alone any social services. A farmer is willing to let me work on his farm in exchange for food, clothing, shelter and protection. I know what my choice would be.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
    • Jacques

      I agree with you 100% SWW. It is up to Africans themselves to look for their own interest. People have been exploiting one another since the ancient time. It will not stop today or tomorrow. Just wait and see when all the Chinese, and Asian people start to like Chocolate. As you know they are getting wealthier. Then Africa has to shut down schools.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  89. Brickell Princess

    Hershey's is the most bitter chocolate you will ever taste!

    January 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • wumboligist

      is it just me or are bolth of you lifeless

      January 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  90. JonDie

    Ironically, being a child slave in a chocolate farm is a better live than being a "free" child who sifts through burning garbage to recycle and resell toxic rare earth metals...so that we Americans can enjoy OUR I Phones and other electronic devices.

    In fact, being a child slave in a chocolate farm is better than be a "free" person who risks his life every day to supply US with diamonds so OUR wives and girlfriends will love us.

    And it's better than living in the Nigerian oil patch where Nigeria's corrupt leaders destroy the environment and enrich themselves for OUR benefit...while the Nigerian people starve.

    Anyone, Capitalism/Religion is about making money...so matter what the cost and no matter who is hurt.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  91. Tato

    No comments have ever made me feel so bad for the general American public as these. "ZOMG it's slavery", what's really sad is that now the two children in this article have lost their jobs and will starve. The area they live in isn't compatible with them going to school and living like Americans. What do you want people to do? Fly them to a first-world country? Their problems go far beyond their work. Also to everyone acting shocked by this, pleeease stay in mid-western US.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  92. wumboligist

    everyboddy is wrong you just need to buy toast and forgett about eveything

    January 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • Ken

      Then, there will be child slavery in the wheat fields. Oh wait, there already is. KS farm kids are working for thier parents to raise wheat.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  93. Just Me

    SHAME ON YOU WILLY WONKA!!! SlAVE DRIVING A$$H0LE!

    January 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  94. gitr

    Look, somebody bell call the easter bunny and tell him to boycott and all those kids that come to my door on Oct 31 looking for this chocolate.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  95. gitr

    Thanks Hersheys....Thanks Mars & Mars. PIGS

    January 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  96. Jean Valjean

    I've stopped buying chocolate, and encourage everyone to do the same. Without demand, these kids will not have to work.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
    • sww

      the they will not have food....

      January 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • Ken

      You go girl!!

      January 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • indepvot

      And the kids and their families will starve, it's the only alternative.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  97. gitr

    Somebody get those peoples addresses so we can send them some Chocolate to taste. I cant take it anymore.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  98. Ian

    oh great now the libs are going after Chocolate
    by the time they are finished the world be in another stone age

    January 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  99. sww

    We are the slaves. I commute 60 miles each way to work in a cubicle to pay my bills so i can carry a cell phone that will give me brain cancer, live in a house that will give me lung cancer from radon gas and eat food that makes me fat so I get heart disease, diabetes and will have a stroke. all so i can run up piles of dept to get more education so I can get a better paying job to pay more bills and have to commute even farther. Who has it better off?

    January 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  100. Lindsey

    Just forcing the growers to not use child labor will only make the lives worse for those children. What should happen is that the major companies that knowingly used products that they knew to be harvested by children in a slave like condition should be required to build schools and provide housing for those children they exploited.

    Otherwise, those children will starve to death or be forced to find an even worse alternative in order to feed themselves.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  101. gitr

    I think the CNN uses slaves to sell conservative political debates on TV.....see ad banner below.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  102. SARAH

    CHOCOLATE IS AN MAYAN OR AZTEC FOOD...!! COCOA IS AN AMERICAN PLANT....THE SPANIARDS DISCOVERED IT AS WELL AS TOMATOES, TOBACCO, CORN, ETC....WHY IN THE WORLD WE GIVE SO MUCH NEWS AND IMPORTANCE TO THOSE AFRICAN NATIONS TRYING TO GROW AN AMERICAN FOOD?

    January 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  103. Reasonably

    Lobbyists lobbied and won. This is the way our government works. If you don't like it – change it.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  104. Guest

    Here we go again! Another sob story these bleeding heart people show so we will open our wallets to give more handouts that wont go right to THEIR hands, but to THEIR Government instead. We have OUR OWN PROBLEMS HERE IN AMERICA AS IT IS!!!

    January 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  105. Just Me

    If aliens ever came to liberate earth white people will be in BIG trouble.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      WHITE POWER!

      January 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
    • Just Me

      HUMAN POWER!

      January 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
      • Guest

        SHUT UP YOU STUPID ACTIVISTS!

        January 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
      • Just Me

        SHUT UP YOU STUPID FASCIST RACIST

        January 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  106. 19random35

    The problem is that the people have no ownership over their country's resources. Multinational corporations own them, and shareholders are thus complicit. It's about puppet regimes and kickbacks. That's why the dictators and their cronies live in luxury while the people starve.

    The same thing is going on with fruit from Central South America and with many goods from Southeast Asia. Too many people are just ignorant of history or don't care as long as their own life is comfortable.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  107. gitr

    CNN has millions to spare....they should put their money where thier mouth and stop trying to profit off other peoples backs. Send the kids some chocolate and give him some pants and books.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  108. Brian

    Create a no fly zone over the Cocoa fields. Arm the kids so they can fight back. Use predator drones to hunt for hidden chocolate factories and wipe em out.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  109. bob

    Keep up the good work kids, I love my Chocolate

    January 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • zha zha

      God HATES you.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  110. Puckles

    I see a lot of spoiled brats running around this country that would do well if they were shipped to Africa and made to work like these kids are doing.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  111. 19random35

    There are fair trade certified options for many products like these. You can know that the farmer got paid a fair wage, and the products are virtually always of a higher and tastier quality.

    I feel the same way about organic and free range foods. I'd rather not have livestock live tortured, unnatural lives, just so I can save a few bucks. People waste money left and right on all sorts of garbage. I think most people could readjust their budget if they were really committed to doing their part to have a more humane world.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  112. Tyler

    So wait, Chocolate corporations have workers to pick cocoa beans and sometimes the children are there as well "helping their parents" -Quote from the video. I don't understand the tragedy in this. They have jobs and are paid. I'm sure its not a lot but hey a job is better than no job. In a poverty stricken country such as the Ivory Coast where coffee and cocoas beans control its economy, it should be expected for this kind of lifestyle to exist. Do a little bit of research on the Ivory Coast and its poverty rate and this story won't seem so bad. I love how CNN takes something positive and turns it into a negative story.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  113. The Flamingo Kid

    You won't be lovin it when God smites you, which is going to happen in the near future. You are EVIL.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  114. allergic to chocolate

    i'm allergic to chocolate. maybe its best.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  115. Virginia Joe

    Heres a crazy thought, if you have access to a printer and some sheets of small labels make labels that say "This chocolate was picked with child slave labor" and sneak a few (or many) labels on the underside of candy bars of the major offenders in stores. An interesting way to get the word out to the uninformed American public and maybe get the CEO's to stop looking the other way.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      Virginia, you are suggesting something that is absolute rubbish and would be a lie and you could get into trouble carrying out what you suggest. Please get this in to your head. THERE ARE NO CHILD COCOA SLAVES IN THE COTE d' IVOIRE or anywhere else in W.Africa. CNN should hang their heads in shame for running this libelous slave stuff on W.Africa cocoa farms. I find it hard to believe that so many people have been hood winked by these two idiot reporters looking for spectacular copy. I have lived and worked on the cocoa farms for 30 years and i should know what i am writing about.
      This slave children on the African cocoa farms stuff has been going on for over 10 years. It was started by the fair trade brigade to increase their sales of basically crappy chocolate and then the usual wooly socks, sandal brigade reporter types took it up because they thought they could get something running and make loads of money from it. The Chocolate manufacturers are unable to defend themselves as they would leave themselves open to a load of biased reporting and when a company attempts to defend the fact that their cocoa beans don't come from child slave labourers they are castigated by the wooly socks and biased reporters!!

      January 26, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply
      • Luis

        Always nice to see the chocolate industry sock puppets join the discussion.

        June 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
      • Darlene Wigston

        So true. What a horrible life when money is more important to you than human beings are! So sad.

        June 26, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  116. Stu Pidd

    These poor kids should not be allow to have job. They should be armed with an AK47 and employed to rape and pillage like the neighboring countries.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  117. allergic to chocolate

    is world bank, imf, involved in this in some way? seems like they are always around stuff like this.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  118. Smellie

    1st, your average Hershey bar very likely contains little or no cocoa (see HERE: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26788143/ns/today-food/t/chocoholics-sour-new-hersheys-formula/) because of the rising cost of this ingredient. Chocolate industry suppliers, manufacturers etc will never make more than a half hearted effort on their own to fix the slavery issue bc it will cut into profits. The planet is chock full (pun intended) of stories like this one. All that stuff you have in your house that was made in China, was made ther bc they treat workers like garbage, pay them as little as possible, and can replace them when they fail to produce, get sick, ot die with 100 more just like them. Sure, we 1st worlders can all stop consuming chocolate, but who's going to get that deal going? You? Analagous situation: We won't/can't slow down our fossil fuel consumption, except when it gets REALLY expensive. Then the adverse effect to the overall economy is well underway, most significantly the job losses. This means the slow realization that nobody is all that concerned anymore about protecting the environment, preserving air quality, or stopping the massive hemmorhage of American dollars to the middle east . It's all about what can we do to help the corporations hire more workers, lets not tax them, nor regulate them, land let's make organized labor as impotent as possible. Yes the Cocoa slaves have a terrible lot in life, and if you consume chocolate, you contribute to this, and if you boycott chocolate, you also contribute to this misery. If they can't find work on the cocoa plantations, where will these orphaned, unwanted children go?

    January 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  119. Zuit Suit

    The reality is that even if most Americans were informed of this they would still purchase these products. Why? Because as sad as it is, unless it is their child, most people simply do not care.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • collegeat39

      Very true. This will change my purchasing habits for sure. Corporations at their worst. It it is sad to see.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  120. Future Farmer?

    Personally, I am curious how hard it is to plant, grow and harvest Cocoa....after all, if a 10-year-old can do it, why not American farmers? Think of the jobs that could be created and the American families that could be helped if we staked a claim to a slice of the chocolate industry's mega-million pie. It also would give the chocoloate companies a home-grown alternative to this foreign slave labor. Heck, I'm tempted to do it myself, as I'm currently struggling to make ends meet.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • oldboldgold

      You would have to move to Hawaii. Even Florida isn't the best climate for cocoa beans. This is mostly grown along the equator.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  121. oldboldgold

    So Newt Gingrich wants to bust the child labor laws in the United States and said so in the debates to a round of applause. Keeping in mind that every human being on the planet should not need to attend university and there should be jobs for all, child labor is pretty bad. For that to go away, their parents have to make enough money to support them. The Republicans all advocated killing the minimum wage in the United States without a consideration for not being able to support your family even with two adult workers. This is a serious world wide issue. Children initially labored side by side with parents on their OWN PROPERTY. Now our labor goes to Baas Hawg. No improvement that I can see.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  122. allergic to chocolate

    then they wreck it even more wiht high fructose corn syrup.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  123. briteone

    Oh boohoo, the kids parents died and he now works on a farm that feeds him and shelters with the occasional payment given in exchange for labor. Sounds about right.. how is this slavery? He can leave if he wants to go starve to death or he can work to keep his place.

    Liberalism is a damned disease.. they can't even look at the world correctly without imagining a utopia where nobody works and welfare falls from the sky

    January 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  124. Semper fi

    Buy only FAIR TRADE Chocolate. Try to buy only FAIR TRADE food and products. Just try.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • Cherries

      There aren't any unless you grow it yourself.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  125. Eric

    Hey, I deliveried papers when I was ten yrs old and could not read and made very little money also

    January 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • Semper fi

      Then you went home to dinner and a bath got ready for bed after you did your homework. Got up put your nice school cloths on and went to school with a kiss from Mom. I sold papers too. No one forced me to do it for 12 hours a day either.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  126. Chocoholic no more

    There's an app for the iphone that will let you check out the grades for these chocolate companies (and other industries as well). Free2work is the name of the app. It's shocking how many chocolate companies out there have D- grades because of the way they treat their employees.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  127. Cherries

    I really have my doubts that this story will have any impact in the chocolate industry. Like many other industries that use children, they will continue to supply as long as we demand.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  128. Pest

    Their suffering melts in your mouth, not in your hands.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  129. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    Slave labor. These people must be republicans!!!!!!!!!

    January 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  130. Person

    "After a series of news reports surfaced in 2001 about gross violations in the cocoa industry, lawmakers in the United States put immense pressure on the industry to change. "

    And then these lawmakers got a few million from chocolate companies and suddenly forgot all about it.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • KeithTexas

      With luck Newt could send all our orphans over to help those poor black children so they didn't have to work so hard and the orphans wouldn’t be a burden on the American economy.

      The good Republican way, helping others help themselves.

      January 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  131. Semper fi

    FYI in case you think its hard to find FAIR TRADE ck the FAIR TRADE web site

    http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/products/retail_products/default.aspx

    January 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  132. 2cents4free

    "Abdul has never tasted chocolate"... and gets to skip the obesity and diabetes. Some have wealth some have health, it's the world we live in.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  133. jon

    Yeah, can't pass laws when companies have enough money (free speech) to persuade politicians to do otherwise.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  134. John

    I thought it was pretty common knowledge that Slavery started in Africa and it is still rampant in Africa today.... NO? In addition, China has big problems with child labor also. Specifially Apple is one company that knows all about child labor working 14-16 hour days in its production facilities and does nothing about it.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  135. ThinkAgain

    This story is another reason why the Internet needs to stay free – and why media consolidation is dangerous. We'd never hear about this if the Internet wasn't free and only one or two companies controlled the airwaves.

    This is why we need to re-elect President Obama: We know the Repubs are in the pocket of big business and if they gain the White House, they'll use their power to not only stack the Supreme Court, but give even greater power than the Citizens United ruling to corporations.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • DRC

      Yes, the DEM millionaires in Congress that were not millionaires prior to being in Congress are not part of the problem. Both parties are corrupt and take money, the only difference is you 'think' otherwise.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Reply
    • N. B. F.

      Obama is the WORST President ever.He is more interested in sending guns to Mexico and waging war on Americans than doing anything to help this country. I bet he has some chocolate to go along with the Kobe beef and caviar.Ask him when he come back from Hawaii, he's on one of his weekly vacations.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:32 am | Reply
  136. DRC

    So all of you people that are outraged, where exactly do you think your cheap products, useless gadgets and inexpensive food comes from? Some magical fairy is out there making it....We call this life...it is not fair and never has been. Then you think you help buy boycotting the products only to find out that is their ONLY way to make money so in reality you are sending them to an early grave.

    They are smiling in the picture, their life cannot be that bad, this is the only life they know...simply because they are not in designer clothes (made by slave labor), with iPads/iPhones/laptops (made my slave labor) whining about how unfair the United States is does not mean they are unhappy.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  137. #Boycotting Chocolate

    Child slavery is terrible. These third-world countries don't understand that by forcing their children to work, and keeping them out of school, the illiteracy rate can only get worse. So, by forcing their children into labor, the government has found only a short-term solution to a long-term problem

    January 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  138. Alex

    it's not government taking the rights of people, it's the business! how is this not clear at this point? children bought/sold/used for profit...regulate.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  139. Mark

    I cannot believe how incredibly stupid some of the comment posted here. Justifying your precious chocolate because you're saying that these kids are getting an opportunity to survive. That's garbage. Ivory coast farms are using child labor because it makes them rich. And for every child working on these farms there are two adults in the Ivory Coast that are unable to support their children because they cannot get jobs. Sure, they keep their slaves alive by feeding them and sheltering them in horrific conditions. Not much different than manufacturing keeping their machines oiled. This should be stopped. And, I am ashamed at the powerful governments of the world (the primary chocolate consuming countries) for not doing anything.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Oleg

      Mark, when you are buying that stuff that you are smoking – are you always checking that it is child-labor-free ? You want us to be responsible for everything what is going on around the globe ? Have you ever been abroad, do you know how the life is going over there ? Take off your pinky glasses and stop smoking that stuff.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • ES71

      Said a person who never went hungry other than by his own choice.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  140. no name

    Let me start with this: child exploitation is wrong. These children should have a better life. But some people don't fully understand the whole story. Companies like nestle and Hershey's don't employ any of these kids or adults. The plantation owner does. The plantation owners often form co-ops and then sell their products (in this case the raw materials for chocolate) through commodity exchanges or similar alternatives. Often the "dirty cocoa" (produced through child slaves) is mixed with the "clean cocoa" (produced more ethically) and is sold as a bundle. Maybe when Nestle buys 1,000 pounds of cocoa half, 1/4, or 3/4 of it will be "dirty cocoa". The big food companies are not directly going into Africa and enslaving people. That being said the companies should still check to see if the group/co-op/plantation owner that they buy the beans from are preforming ethical practices. (meaning no child labor) The companies can and should do more but the reforms need to implemented by the African nation's governments (although that is not likely to happen). It is not just an issue of scolding big companies but more importantly a local issue for those countries. We can help reduce/eliminate child labor by exposing corruption, running stories like these on the news, and by putting pressure on the African nations to do something. Maybe the countries will use police or a separate department to monitor child labor and arrest those people responsible.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • n.n.

      Nestle knows about this. They care about prize and quality only and leave the rest to their branding and public relations experts and legal department.
      If discussion about their dirty business starts to be come relevant they don't have problems to use STASI type methods. Look at the court case they face now in Switzerland right now see e.g.

      http://www.multiwatch.ch/de/p97001000.html

      and

      http://worldradio.ch/wrs/news/wrsnews/nestl-spying-trial-wraps-up.shtml?28744

      or the killing of trade unionists protesting against Nestles action in Philippines, Colombia or elsewhere where public opinion does not take note

      http://t.co/nYOBThjx

      January 28, 2012 at 6:20 am | Reply
  141. America

    Sorry kids I’m going to have to let you work out your own problems. If I get involved as the bleeding hearts suggest I’ll be called a warmongering imperial. Best of luck.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  142. SemperFiMF

    I try and tell my wife that chocolate is bad for her, but she keeps on bingeing...

    January 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • Burbank

      Probably due to hormones. Women can get a craving near the monthlies. If it's not a once a month craving, there are probably underlying emotional issues that is causing it and therapy can help.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
      • Sean

        That or she or she just likes chocolate and has no self discipline.

        January 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  143. Rob Peverini

    Yes, child slavery is wrong and bad; however, I bet you that they have a better understanding of life, whats fair, and the value of family, country, and money.... More so than 70 percent of the children in the United States.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Burbank

      If people don't overpopulate there are no child slaves. Education about not reproducing when they can't afford children is the key.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
      • Sean

        It doesn’t take an education to realize you have more kids than food.

        January 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  144. Burbank

    Not part of the problem, I'm not addicted to candy. Eat maybe 2-3 ounces of chocolate per year, max.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  145. Truamerikan

    That's too bad..Hey!! Where's my Snickers??

    January 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  146. Chelo Alvarez-Stehle

    Please visit our social impact video game on this topic: SOS_SLAVES: Changing the Trafficking Game: http://www.sosslaves.org and please befriend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sandsofsilence. Our game is in production and our first prototype is a Cocoa Farm scenario!

    January 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  147. Illeagle-j1

    Is this not just what one the GOPher, front runner is advocating for American Children??
    If it is good enough for the GOPher, to advocate, it should be good enough for all of the children of the world.
    SO CHILL DUDE!

    January 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  148. orlandojon

    I first saw this same story on 60 minutes over 20 years ago, nothing has changed. All the billions we pump into Africa changes nothing and is a waste of money

    January 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  149. 702nitro

    This isn't slavery if they are getting paid!
    It is their choice to work or to NOT work. It's simple as that.
    If they want hire wages then they should stop working and demand more, then everyone here in the US will pay more for chocalates and other luxurious that are derived from third world countries.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  150. 702nitro

    If cocoa were from europe everyone would be PO'ed due to higher prices.
    Call Hershey chocolates and demand that they pay them more and that WE PAY MORE.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  151. primate

    When it comes down to it, almost everything imported from outside the US and Canada has the potential for having involved blood or child labor. The solution is the buy domestic products only, even if that means giving up a candy bar.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • Fairplay99

      It does not have to be from outside our country, a very famous USA clothing company has a sweatshop factory on the island of Tinian (a USA protectorate) where Orientals (especially Filipino women) work a 12 month contract behind a chain link fence topped with concertina wire making shirts, etc for less than a dollar per hour. Other fly-by-night operations do the same thing within the borders of our country.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply
      • primate

        Thank you. More needs to be disclosed on this issue.

        January 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
      • JohnG

        Contracting to work is a far cry from Slavery don't you think?

        I would like to hear some solutions for the root causes pushing people into turning children over to farmers.

        Something a friend told me the other day which kind of shocked me "Conservatives are all for unborn children until Booties hit the ground" and it is seriously correct.

        Everyone can be and should be against Slavery, but don't stop there. Figure out what you can do to put an end to the root causes or your just puffing up for the opinions of others.

        January 19, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
      • JohnG

        BTW: what direction does the wire lean on top, Inside or Out? It makes a huge difference...

        January 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  152. CookieCat

    In those countries, this is more a way of life than a terrible situation. Child labor was present in the US even in the last century. In some US states, small children still work on farms, big deal! If kids in Africa could observe the majority of American kids, they would most likely cry over scenes of seeing overly obese youngsters isolating themselves from the world sitting on their computers playing videogames and coping with depression before they turn 13...
    Bring American values into every society and the world will be a much more messed up place.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  153. Fairplay99

    This is only one example of human abuse that occurs all over our planet. Our country is better than most, but the media should focus some of its attention to the horror of child hustling (both runaway girls and boys) that occurs in the largest cities such as Los Angeles, Denver, New York City. To be fair, the media has done so in the past, but as evidenced in the above commentaries, quickly forgotten by the general population. The people at the bottom of any social structure are all victims or potential victims of evil people.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  154. ACE

    MARTIN LUTHER KID DAY NEXT .. CHOC WELFARE / //CNN AND USA KEEP YOUR NOSE OVER HERE LET OTHER CONTRYS RUN IT THERE WAY // WE ALLREADY HAVE TO LIVE BLACK HERE IN THE STATES WE DONT NEED MORE BROUGHT OVER HERE BY STARS //STOP EATING CHOC HERE THEN ANOTHER SEC OF PEOPLE THAT WILL BLOW UP OUR BUILDINGS FOR STICKING OUR NOSE IN WHERE IT DONT BELONG // WORRIE ABOUT US HERE IN THE STATES WE HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE HERE THAT NEED HELP FIRST DUH / FIX THE USA FIRST OUR VETS NEED HELP WE HAVE HOMELESS THAT NEED HELP /DUH

    January 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  155. Just Me

    Why don't we as a nation try minding our own business for a change and STOP imposing our morals and culture on others? Yes, I believe slavery is wrong. I don't want children in other countries to starve, or be uneducated. But until our own house is in order, it seems to me we have no room to preach to others. Uneducated children? Have you looked at our inner city schools? Starving children? Again, the inner cities, or the Appalachains....or your next door neighbors. Victims of violence...everywhere. Lets fix our own problems, and THEN, ASK what we can do to help others, not impose our will on them.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  156. ACE

    let opara pay them /

    January 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • Fairplay99

      You could at least spell her name correctly. I interpret a thinly veiled message that is socially unacceptable as well.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  157. OH

    I wonder how come no one on suggested to these farm owners equipment upgrade....or donate equipment. upgrading their equipment i'm sure would help a whole lot...they are working harder not smarter. Education is very important.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  158. ACE

    just me said it the way i was trying to say it /oops

    January 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  159. KWESI

    Things are extremely difficult in Ivory Coast and it's surrounding neighbours hence people resort to this harsh conditions for their children. Most of this parents will sacrifice one of their children to work on the farm, take the money to help the others go to school. It's sad but that is the truth of the matter. We will stand here and blame the leaders and the parents and the chocolate industry but everybody has forgotten how Ivory Coast got to this point in the first place. It is the West's corrupt Interference, believe it or not from Pre-independence to the laws made before independence -which all favoured the colonial masters- to this day, the West has only looked for ways to bleed Africa dry. Then they use their medias to make the same African countries seem like the devil's abode. It is sad that Yacou and his friend has to go through all this hardship before they turn into adults. We all know what Yacou will turn out to be if there's war and he is handed a gun..a hardened rebel, with almost no conscience at all. We will all see him on CNN with an AK47 rifle, a machette dangling on his side, a talisman around his waste and a badana on his head. He will be refered to as one of the brutal and wicked rebel who just kill people. Everyone will forget what actually turned Yacou into such a character. IMF,WorldBank,Western Corporations, this are the real enemies. They caused this, they can fix it.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  160. Mr. Anderson

    I dont eat chocolate.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  161. ACE

    hey kids where going to help just not untill we fix our country first // ok thanks

    January 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  162. KWESI

    ...if they have the power to take out presidents, they can get poor farmers to stop enslaving this kids. Do not pay attention to this mediums, much as they may seem to have a good reason for this story are they saying they do not know the effect of the involvement of Western governments, banks, organisation and corporate bodies?

    January 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  163. Virginia Joe

    For those of you that are attempting to justify this as an acceptable practice , please enlighten me as to what kind of a person you are? Religious, Atheist, Satanic, Selfish, Bigot, Democrat, Republican, Wealthy, Poor, Middle Class? I'm really interested in trying to understand just what type of person could even consider the exploitation of any child anywhere as acceptable!

    January 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • ES71

      Regardless of your beliefs, what are you doing to change and improve the situation? Praying?
      Nobody support slavery but for these kids it is the only way to survive. That or crime and violence.
      Donate to an international charity if you want to help.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • HeroicSlug

      Atherist, middle class, libertarian.

      It's not justification, it's understanding that many countries are not America. They are not our responsibility. If we tried to give a dollar to every tearjerker out there with a story we'd be broke.

      All we can do is take care of ourselves as best we can, and airdrop the occasional aid package. Though I am against that too, with the exception of disaster relief.

      We're trillions of dollars in debt and much of the world hates us. Let's stop giving 'em crap and save the few billion dollars. Pay down the national debt or give NASA a real budget.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Reply
  164. Tom

    What gets me is how many of you out there are shocked slavery still exists! Jesus! Is this the first time you ever read or watched the news? Look at your clothes, your electronics, your child's toys. The final manufacture process may not have been through slavery, but your damned sure the raw materials came from an unpaid or lowly compensated hand. The world is not a fair place, this should not be a shock to anyone.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  165. Bobby

    I can tell most of you have never been to Africa. It is a much different country than the US. Children are born in mass, and thousands starve to death within the first year of life. Governments are corrupt and dangerous. Even aid that is sent there so often ends up in the wrong hands. Shelters built by volunteers from the West are often burned down by the government. The key to their future first is population control, and second is education. I have seen the kids starve. While we in the US are from the land of plenty, in poor Africa it is about survival. If kids can eat, they are very fortunate. Think the worst of the worst and multiply it by 10. You have Africa. While progress is slow, I can say it is better than it was 10 years ago, but perhaps centuries before things are right.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • CookieCat

      I second what you wrote.
      While Africa might be among the poorest, this is certainly not an isolated case; in fact, most likely over 50% of the world is like that. I don't like to use the word 'poor', because in my opinion 'poor' is relative. But I'd like to say that a big chunk of the world does not have fresh and running water (they wash and drink with contaminated waters), electricity (labor is manual and hard), food is scarce; but the biggest problem of all is definitely the number of children. Mother bear multiple children by different fathers who don't take responsibility and care of those kids, and the kids end up fending for themselves roaming around, begging, stealing, and if they are lucky, they get a job in the cocoa field...

      January 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • dinah

      @ Bobby, FYI Africa is not a country but a continent, as Kwesi mentioned this issue goes way back to pre-colonialism in the 1800's when the colonial masters came to take over our countries thinking they were doing us some good and turning poor Africans to be slaves on different plantations especially cocoa plantations, you need to go back and study the african history and slavery. Then you will understand why many people are bitter and boycott chocolate companies.

      January 20, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
  166. Chelo Alvarez-Stehle

    you can also donate to our transmedia project which includes the social impact videogame SOS_SLAVES and help us take it to completion: http://bit.ly/sos-slaves

    January 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  167. Mikey

    Well, I hope that they washed their hands before they picked my chocolate...

    January 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  168. Dara

    Im in 7th grade and have to do a report on a news article about current events in africa, and i DEFINETLY am using this one. This is just sick!

    January 19, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Reply
    • JohnG

      Dara, the sad truth is that this isn't even the worst happening inside the borders of the African Continent.

      Good luck with you project and also do the best you can do in everything you do.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  169. Thrice Chinedu

    Lets remember that the society we abuse today'll definitely take revenge on us tomorrow.
    Our children,our world.....quit child abuse today.

    January 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  170. JohnG

    whom of you all quit eating Chocolate ?

    January 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  171. Adriana

    Well if someone finally does find a way to end slavery there, what will the children do? Where will they go? Who's going to take care of them? Just curious...

    January 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
    • dinah

      Adriana, the Children will get a better life, go to school or get a better vocational job or if possible be entrepreneurs. Don't forget we leave in a system that runs, the trains do work, there is electricity, we have a social security system, there is non like that in most African countries and that is why if chocolate companies can agree and come together and boycott this countries that produce cocoa that is not slave free, this will push them to change their policies. But its all about the money isn't it?

      January 20, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
  172. Alex Dull

    This is what happens when republiCONS get their way.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  173. elgatoblanco

    I thought my hershey bar tasted like tears and crushed dreams.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  174. nemo

    You didn't eat your dinner...eat your...pork and beans..ill eat more chocolate than any man ever seen....YEAAAAA!!!!!Cuz I'm your back door man!!!!! Next they will tell us oprah owns these chocolate companies....or....obama backs it cuz it builds good moral character for youth to hold part time jobs....hey...I know....let's get rid of greedy rich people and government all together....IMAGINE!

    January 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  175. kasie

    To help the children like them, we can buy "fair trade chocolate".

    January 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  176. gstlab3

    yeah man.,
    I think I'm going to buy more chocolate because if I do'nt these poor little kids will either starve or they will be traded off for God knows what??

    These children could be your next terrorist going to war against the whatever infidel / invaders.., blah blah blah..,

    I would rather these children live than die too cold or too hot plus homeless, jobless and hungry trying to figure out how to manage paying for the home that is upside down and the bankruptcey caused by your job going over seas.

    January 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  177. Wookie

    This is such an upsetting article to read...Kids are being taught the atrocities and evils of slavery in their classrooms, and how we have managed to put an end to it. Yet, today in other countries there is still child labor and child abuse...We need to make this a bigger issue.

    January 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Reply
    • HeroicSlug

      Yeah, let's tell other countries what to do!

      And... stop acting like we run the whole world.

      Being a leftie is confusing.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Reply
  178. Crystal

    I believe child SLAVERY is wrong. I can't say for sure this is slavery. If they didn't let the kids work even if they are working in hard surroundings, at least they are getting fed. Yeah, they would have time to go to school, the few schools there are there but they would most likely be starving and there for most likely not learning much. They are doing what that country has to do, survive. It's better for them to work than become rebels with guns that are killing their own race and people. They are doing this for themselves and their families.

    As Americans we have it way easier, maybe too easy. However, there isn't much we can do right now. America is having enough issues being able to sustain itself!

    January 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  179. HeroicSlug

    Again with the tired old line, "Things aren't going well in Crapistan, and it's all your fault."

    I'm going downtown – in my gas guzzling ten year old Mustang – just to buy a candy bar. Right now.

    Take that, hippies.

    January 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  180. Al

    Health care: simple answer, give all Americans exactly what those who represent us have.

    January 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  181. jedada

    I just ate some fair trade chocolate. It was three times the cost of other chocolate. I cannot afford it; it was given to me. I cannot afford it because I lost my job and at 62 cannot find employment because of medical insurance costs to a company for someone my age. It seems eveything goes back to the 1%. Let Hershey and other mega-rich companies build schools, set some rules and behave humanely. Send the children to school to become literate and allow them to work so they can survive. Then hire them in your offices and give them scholarships to college and, always, pay them a living wage so they can have upward mobility. These companies have to be held accountable somehow. I will buy chocolate, but I will try to buy fair trade chocolate if I can, I will write to these companies and I will tell everyone I know to do the same. Shame on Hershey's and all the other companies that exploit these children and do nothing to help them have better lives.

    January 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  182. VRage13

    REALLY CNN? Why are every one of my comments in this section held up for the moderator to look at first to decide what others see? I have never violated the Terms of Service. All I pointed out in this particular comment is we need to clean our own house before we start bashing others.

    January 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
    • HeroicSlug

      The use a simple keyword flagging system.

      To defeat it, do as Mircosoft Sam says: "USE SPACE BAR."

      A space between the "offensive" word "re tard" makes it less offensive apparently.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  183. Lou

    isn't it offensive to call them "chocolate slaves". That's something Borat would say.

    January 19, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  184. Sitty

    This is sooo sad! Its 2012 and there are still forms of slavery that exist! SMDH

    January 19, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Reply
    • dinak

      This will come as a shock to the Congressional Black Caucus and NAACP, who do nothing but harp on what happend in U.S. history – when what they should be concentrating on is outrageous slavery that exists today in Africa and the Middle East.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  185. Name*editor

    Why not punish the chocolate companies who knowingly do business with child labor ?
    These are big multi-national companies that we would all recognize on our candy wrappers. We need to make them responsible with stiff penalties for violations using child labor. They purchase the chocolate and must be held legally and financially responsible for these deplorable conditions for children.

    January 20, 2012 at 12:24 am | Reply
    • TKSLIFETODAY

      TOTALLY AGREEEEE.
      DEFINILY "THE BEST SOLUTION"
      CONGRATS

      January 20, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply
  186. chocoking

    I grow my own cocoa beans. I live in cali and along with bananas and mangoes I grow cacao. American ingenuity at its best!n

    January 20, 2012 at 12:42 am | Reply
  187. Penny

    all of a sudden chocolate does not taste so good! this is so unacceptable. Schools across American should have students take this on as a wonderful project to write letters and social media campaign to help stop child slavery.

    January 20, 2012 at 1:12 am | Reply
  188. Neel

    The kids might have been 16, when I was working with orphans in India we were told some kids look younger because of malnutrition. For example, one 14 year old honestly looked like he was 7.

    January 20, 2012 at 1:38 am | Reply
  189. Dennis O'Hara

    Our christian assembly pastor shared this off the psodium. The group present were overwheled and moved to do something.

    January 20, 2012 at 2:28 am | Reply
  190. ethyl

    I am not in favor of child slavery. And i want you all to see the picture from this angle: When a family has no food on the table, it is normal for members to look for one. Father and mother work yet income is not enough. why? theres 8-10 mouth to feed. Then the 10 y/o ( who probably is a middle sibling ) is presented with 2 options: steal a chicken for dinner or work and earn some money on daily basis. I won't be surprise if at some point he will do both. Unfortunately, organized crime has no age requirement. If i am a parent in this given picture i will wake up my 10 y/o early in the morning and bring him to the farm and work with me and earn instead of leaving him at home and seeing him one day on the street with the rest of the gang members.

    January 20, 2012 at 4:09 am | Reply
  191. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Guri Singh wrote that a child is supposed to be in school.
    A child is supposed to be wherever his parents put him.
    If the parents of these children held a brainstorming session, they might plan a way to make a better life for their children.
    However, these parents may prefer to keep living just the way they are, and they may want to give their children that same lifestyle.
    Making chocolate isn't the life that I would want for myself or my children, but it has advantages: you don't have to learn to read and write, nobody is going to force you to learn cursive script, and you don't have to expend a lot of energy thinking.
    The actions that produce these chocolate-working children are just as enjoyable to their parents as the same actions are to those of us who live in American cities, and the parents have extra time for those actions because they are not concerned with becoming rich.

    January 20, 2012 at 5:28 am | Reply
  192. Hembalicious

    How do we help this kids after this form of slavery have been discovered? That should be the issue not insulting each other secondly in my country there is child slavery far worst also but the question is how do we help charity begins at home ill start in my little way just in case anyone feels the same way holla @ me lets make a change not worsen the situation please.. Thank you.

    January 20, 2012 at 5:39 am | Reply
    • Frank

      Ill like to help what can i do?

      January 20, 2012 at 6:38 am | Reply
    • R0W

      There is a workable approach that can be copied from the certification agencies (i.e. Rugmark) in south Asia, where child labor and child slavery are common in rug manufacture. The children need income to support themselves and their families, so the companies are not required to fire child workers in order to achieve certification. Instead they must provide 1. safe working conditions, 2. fair wages (taking into account the prices the rugs sell for), and 3. the opportunity to go to school, including building local schools if necessary and also giving the child workers the time necessary for them to attend school (i.e. six hour workdays).

      There is no reason why a similar certification program could not operate in the chocolate industry.

      January 20, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
  193. GC

    It is really bad. all the world needs to know where the chocolate come from and who they sacrifice to have it . Thanks

    January 20, 2012 at 6:01 am | Reply
  194. Hugh George Gazim

    Where is Tay Zonday when you need him?

    January 20, 2012 at 7:03 am | Reply
  195. Oldeye

    CNN has no better things to report than this old story.
    Slavery, of any kind, has been going on since the civilization began.
    Why the new interest? What are you fishing for?
    Greed is the root of all evils. We all know that.
    I have enough hard time trying to stay alive in this hard times.
    I have been slaving for my family and my country all my life.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:37 am | Reply
  196. Relictus

    Chocolate Slavery – it only makes the chocolate taste better

    January 20, 2012 at 7:42 am | Reply
  197. Grey

    So now both my chocolate and my iPhone are made by children...

    January 20, 2012 at 7:49 am | Reply
  198. cking

    Wonderful. Let's all buy "fair chocolate" now for 10x what it is worth like we do for coffee. A$zh@t libs.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:59 am | Reply
  199. crusty

    As Crust the Clown would say, "Made for children, by children.".

    January 20, 2012 at 8:00 am | Reply
  200. Vana Pamaranz

    I feel bad a bout these poor kids. It makes me wanna kill a person and throw them in a boiling chocolate.:-(

    January 20, 2012 at 8:53 am | Reply
  201. marsmotel

    Oh, cool....real life oompa loompa's. I wonder if they sing songs?

    January 20, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
  202. Chris

    I was actually eating peanut m&m's while reading this. Cheers to the child labor for picking those wonderful cocoa beans to make my peanut m&m's!. Keep up the good work!

    January 20, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
    • Andy

      If you're eating peanut M&Ms at 9:26 AM, you're probably fat. You're also heartless if you think this is funny.

      January 20, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
  203. Andy

    Newt would say "They OWN the job"!

    January 20, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
  204. et tu burtus

    if not you then who?
    if not now then when?

    January 20, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
  205. Loreta

    Has the director of this project ever stoped anyway in America, Europe apart from Africa and Asia to check how many children from 12-17 years are working in restuarants and other places to support their families? In the West its okay, in Africa it's forbidden. When a child in America starts work at 14yrs, its called gaining work experince, when a child in africa does, its called salvery and child labour. Clap for yourselves in your studio. Start cleaning your eyes before you can think of cleaning others. Matt 7:5 "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." thank you

    January 20, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
  206. Paul

    "But after intense lobbying by the cocoa industry, lawmakers weren’t able to push through a law."

    Translation: Congress was bought off.

    January 20, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
  207. Bill

    Sorry, but I like a piece of chocolate now and then, and I'm not going to check that everything I eat or drink or buy is made only in spotless US factories by adult middle class union workers.
    This political correctness is to the point of being ridiculous. Think I'll go out and find a nice blood diamond and a box of slave chocolate. Valentines day is just around the corner

    January 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      After I fill up with Iranian gasoline

      January 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  208. Jose

    Makes me want some chocolate, especially the mini bars.

    January 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  209. FAITH UWANDU

    CHILD LABOUR IS EVIL THE ONLY WAY TO END THIS IS TO SEND THE CHILDREN TO SCHOOL SO THEY CAN LEARN HOW TO READ AND WRITE..............

    January 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  210. poiuytre

    SO?

    January 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  211. Alec

    Only buy Fair Trade!

    January 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  212. lorky

    I did a search and came up with the Wikipedia on coco production and exportation on a global scale. It seems that 69% of all the worlds coco is exported from the ivory coast where child labor is rampant. I NEVER had a idea this was the case. Now every time I think about buying and consuming CoCo, I will think about these poor kids who have no voice and do want a better education. I do think the governments of the ivory coast need to step up to the plate and enforce child labor laws.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children_in_cocoa_production

    January 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  213. Nunya

    It might surprise many Americans as well as people in countries around the world, that many of the products they use and consume on a daily basis are created by children forced into slave labor.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  214. JR

    There is nothing wrong with children working (I did manual labor and farm work as a child) but abusing child workers is absolutely unacceptable.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Reply
    • ChicagoLoop

      I agree to an extent. My brothers, sisters and I had to work in bean fields and corn fields when we were in middle school – beginning at age 11. We worked a portion of our summer vacations and had the latter part of the summers off. We received pay for the work and used it toward our school clothes and books, and fun stuff as well. The working conditions and lack of pay for those kids in Africa is deplorable, not to mention the lack of an education opportunity and the reprehensible fact that they are forced to work against their will.

      January 20, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
    • nik green

      I did as well... and that was helping my family. How many of these unfortunate kids are doing so to help out on the family farm? Zero.

      January 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  215. kibalma Arthur

    I think the farmers should be arrested.
    How can they say that they don't care. That's the problem with Africa, the people are always selfish. People may think that the problem is "fair trade" but what's to stop the farmers from continuing slavery.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  216. KeithTexas

    The Republicans could send all our orphans over to help those poor black children so they didn't have to work so hard and the orphans wouldn’t be a burden on the American economy.

    The good Republican way, helping others help themselves.

    January 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  217. ChicagoLoop

    Here is an excellent link for the chocolate ratings for working conditions: http://www.betterworldshopper.com/chocolate_data.html

    Support those who support fair trade and equality!

    January 20, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  218. Relictus

    This only makes the chocolate taste better. It's a bonus selling point.

    January 21, 2012 at 12:33 am | Reply
  219. boon

    make people that 'run 'corporations personally risponsible not corporations,but it's those people that have the power [money] to stop change !change for the good comes always from the people,never from the top history has shown this again and again so stop buying chocolate en masse the only solution i know it 's the poor that suffer ,but the good thing is corporations will miss out on millions ,then they will change garanteed !

    January 21, 2012 at 3:23 am | Reply
  220. nik green

    A pure capitalist system, that is, when all regulatory standards are abandoned, will produce slavery, by default. A slightly moderated capitalist system, like that which exists in the US, results in a milder form of slavery – indentured servitude.

    January 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  221. Hit them in the pocket book!

    STOP BUYING CHOCOLATE!

    January 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  222. ChocolateMan

    I own a small American chocolate company. I made the decision several years ago not to purchase cacao beans from Africa. I didn’t like the quality of the beans or the politics on the African continent. Our beans come from Central America (except Venezuela, because of the politics and not wanting to support a government that wishes harm on the people of the United States. It’s a shame because the beans from Venezuela are great!) and Asia (Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia) from the tropic of Cancer to the tropic of Capricorn.

    Cacao farming in these regions is a subsistence existence. Buyers from the big companies return only about 3¢ to the dollar to the actual people doing the farming. We return 28¢ to 32¢ to the dollar. Through various organization that our fine chocolate industry group sponsors we help growers learn to cultivate other symbiotic crops to help them with the economics of growing quality cacao. The USDA also has sponsored programs to assist farmer in maximizing their profits (not though exploitation of their work force) by improving the quality of their crops allowing them to make more money per ton for fine cacao and other crops.

    There is a movement afoot to improve working conditions on all growing areas in the world, sustainability and legitimate organic and single source grown cacao. Much of it funded by the “big chocolate guys” and the US government. Extreme cases like those found in Ivory Coast and Venezuela are caused by corrupt governments who exploit and enslave their own citizens.

    A word about child labor. There are over 3-1/2 million substance farmers across the globe who grow cacao. The harvest time in the cacao growing fields are fairly short. While the sight of a ten year old cutting through a forest with a sharp blade is unseemly taking time to help one’s parents turn the beans during fermentation and drying is a necessity for poor subsistence farmers who can’t afford to hire casual labor. This reflects our own history in the 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th century in America where the custom of taking 3 months off from school was a necessity to help harvest the crops that fed this growing nation. While it’s not identical there are many familiarities.

    If you love your chocolate, buy from those who doing something to improve the lot of growers around the world and no group of people do it better than small artisan chocolate producers right here in the United States.

    January 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  223. anonymous

    time to boycott chocolate and cocoa products until this stops....

    January 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
    • Alan

      I agree!!

      January 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • ChocolateMan

      The Law of Unintended Consequences—boycotting chocolate only hurts the people you’re trying to help. While it might not seem fair to you it is their only source of income until all of the governmental corruption changes.

      January 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • reLee

      Such a small mind.

      January 21, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Reply
    • DANIEL01

      Do you know that 10% of the cocoapowder is use in cigarettes....... so don't smoke no more....flavoring agent
      Do you know a lot of cocoabutter is use in lipstick.......so don't buy lipstick.......flavoring agent.....
      Do you know a lot of cocoapowder is use in beer.......so don't drink bier
      There is a lot of medical use with cocoaproducts..
      There more than 880.000 small farmers living from cocoa in Africa, CNN HAVEN'T done is work.
      Cocoa en bananas tree are farming together.
      And the big player in Africa are not the chocolate company but the cocoatrader.
      Do you know, before opening a cocoabag for chocolate production, the b ag was sold at least 10 times (Hedging)

      January 31, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
  224. Alan

    This should not be a surprise to anyone! These are the same people who sold slaves to the slave traders 200 years ago and have never stopped. White people often get blamed for slavery but it was these same African tribes that have been capturing, marketing, and using slaves for hundreds of years. The West was just a boom time for them while it lasted. The slave trade is rife through North Africa in all the Muslim countries.

    January 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  225. jtc

    This is just media hype targeted at do-gooder activists in need of a cause. Stop hi-jacking words like "slave" to get attention for an article. Even though this wasn't expanded on, an astute reader will notice that both of the kids interviewed got into this life after their fathers died. Why doesn't CNN explore what the options are in that part of the world for kids in fatherless families? Here's why – because an article about kids of fatherless families having to work at a young age doesn't get as much attention as an article calling them "child slaves". As others have illustrated, under this liberal definition of the word, many farmers in US history would qualify. Stop trying to apply first-world standards to a third-world country.

    January 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      A slave is a person who must work, and can't go "home." The children are slaves. They get no education at all, and must work all day every day. It isn't hijacking a word; or do you care more about words than people?

      January 21, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
      • jtc

        Words such as "slave" are often chosen to hype or exaggerate an issue. Look more closely at the story. The kids left home "after their fathers died". This wasn't explained but odds are they left because they are now better off than if they stayed at home. Working kids is not uncommon in US history. We're looking at third-world living conditions from a first-world perspective which is pretty naive.

        January 22, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  226. boon

    abolition of slavery in the u.s.a.never happened !! ??

    January 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  227. reLee

    I don't care what it takes to get my Hershey's Bar. Fact is, if all you bleeding hearts were to take away these kids jobs, their hatred for America would only grow stronger.

    January 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  228. Elizabeth

    I can remember when UNICEF (international fund for children) were only allowed to have fund drives on Halloween. So, while children collected chocolate candy produced by slavery, at the same time a few children would collect coins for UNICEF (I was one of those). Then UNICEF was allowed to sell Christmas cards, and now ornaments. I would hope that people wake up; why can't UNICEF say something on those holiday cards? Few people exchange Christmas cards these days. I am glad that CNN has brought this problem to people's attention. Yes, there ought to be a law. America started "Sunday school" as the one day off that children in industries could learn to read. If a job is the only way to support a child, please give them some hope for their future; half a week off to study. I think we can afford this, otherwise, the third world will say, "Trick or treat!"

    January 21, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  229. mintrose

    if this article doesn't bring on a world wide boycott of chocolate, i don't know what will ... as for me ... i'm off chocolate ... until these children are properly clothed, fed, and schooled ... however long it takes ...

    January 22, 2012 at 2:01 am | Reply
    • TKSLIFETODAY

      THE PERFECT ILLUSION OF "HOW CAN I CHANGE THE WORLD".

      January 22, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  230. Kanageloa

    Not quite the type of slavery we had in America or the horrible slave trade in the Middle East or Asia but still a human rights violation by far. Africa well known for it's slave trade will continue to have this problem as long as poverty abounds and the outside world does nothing.

    January 22, 2012 at 2:07 am | Reply
  231. mmi16

    Trying to change the culture of a foreign country is well beyond the price of a candy bar.

    Most likely, considering the culture and the economic conditions, despite how horrible the conditions may be – they are better than death, which in all likelyhood is where these kids would be if they weren't economically producing slaves. There is no win win in this area of the world.

    January 22, 2012 at 2:15 am | Reply
    • TKSLIFETODAY

      CHILD OR ADULT SLAVERY IS WRONG.
      BUT I TOTALLY AGREE:
      "TRYING TO CHANGE THE CULTURE OF A FOREIGN COUNTRY IS WELL BEYOND THE PRICE OF A CANDY BAR"

      AND WE WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCE OF OUR ACTION.
      THINK ABOUT IT BEFORE YOU QUIT YOUR CHOCOLATE.

      January 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  232. kyle collins

    Please re post this to FB and to your Congressman and senators.

    January 22, 2012 at 4:16 am | Reply
  233. Tony Jackson

    I believe child slavery is wrong, but at the same time I am glad that these children get the opportunity to eat and live. We can't expect all children throughout the world to have the same easy life as an American child. That just isn't how our world works.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:19 am | Reply
  234. Unknown

    I completely agree on the fact that, these childrens must have a schooleducation, is so sad that their childhood is experienced by work,.
    But I also think that, the ivorian goverment should bee blamed for this! They deny the facts , and they give these farmers so many promises :/ without keepiing them.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:21 am | Reply
  235. WomenWakeUp

    Between your excessive excuses abotu drinking WINE and professing your love for CHOCOLATE you're perpetuating slavery--learn to live without giving in to your stupid cravings

    January 22, 2012 at 7:32 am | Reply
  236. Plug1

    If it were white children, being forced to be slaves some where than that would be a major problem with white America.
    Drugs only became a problem in white America when white kids started taking their parents prescription pills. Nancy Reagan's just say no to drugs campaign.......all of a sudden.

    January 22, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
    • Common man

      well if those 'other" kids worked harder at their jobs "white" kids would have more and cheeper choclate and would not need drugs...

      January 23, 2012 at 2:51 am | Reply
  237. MAK

    I grew up on a family farm and was working at that age, but I was working for family survival like Abdul. If the corporations would pay the workers better the children wouldn't need to work too. We could no longer afford to farm and since then I have found out that, almost all of the large corporations have skeletons in their closets. And as long media is also owned by the 1%. We will not be allowed to get our story across. I now work for a company that is tied to a large corporation that allows its employees to be treated like garbage. Yes they and so does the government. My local politician said I was doing the right thing by telling, but there was nothing the government could do about it.

    January 22, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
  238. INTERRUPTING NINJA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  239. NorCalMojo

    Slap sanctions on them or STFU.

    January 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  240. Mycenia

    To everyone pointing out how they "worked on the farm." Did you eat every day? Have shoes and proper clothing? How many of you were also given an education of some kind? Obviously, you know how to read and write. Do you think Abdul does? I agree that this is a form of survival. People have to realize that there is more to the world that the perceived "American way." Children have been going to work to support their families, including in this country, for centuries and more. What bothers me, and should be addressed, is that these children are hardly cared for at all. They aren't given any opportunity to move forward. Working for scraps and tips isn't the same as it was on your farm.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  241. McBoogerballs

    See how effective allowing the chocolate industry to regulate themselves was?? We don't need government regulation – this is a perfect example of how effective corporate self-regulation is!! I'm just so glad that the US government didn't pass any laws requiring and enforcing that huge chocolate companies not use child labor.. that would have been SO CRUEL to the mega-millionaire executives!! Its much more patriotic this way.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  242. floridamom

    Well this article should be right up Newt's ally. He believes in child labor as well. Hey Newt- is this where you got the idea that firing adults and replacing them with child labor for $2 an hour would be a great way to teach them work ethic? And save your buds some money? I am just surprised that your idea didn't include putting them to work on rehabing homes for Fannie and Freddie- I bet that will be coming soon. Free child labor for your special interests.... Vote Newt in 2012 if you want Obama for President.

    January 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  243. soulay

    If you didn't already know about the production inputs into chocolate (labor), and didn't know about the political/economic situation in ivory coast and to some degree ghana, and didn't know about the migration patterns and plantation systems, nor how locally managed production works (villages), and maybe just know little to nothing about west africa or africa at all, then maybe this would be news to you. To the rest of us this is almost insulting as a "news" story since the same practices and labor force have been in place for about half a century now and are in no way hidden or obscure.

    Furthermore, do these production factors amount to child slavery? and if so what are we really talking about, because if this (in large part) is slavery, most african children would probably then be considered slaves, producing cocoa in cote d'ivoire or elsewhere.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  244. soulay

    Also please educate yourselves about cote d'ivoire and what has happened there over the last 10 years, particularly in the last 6 months, before commenting.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  245. David

    It is hurting and humiliating to see how this kids suffer and on the other end how the other rest of the world is enjoying the love of the chocolate, you should know that apart from the love that chocolates brings in the heart, it is killing other souls in Africa.

    January 22, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Reply
    • Tony Jackson

      But I find my self asking.. Where would these children be if it wasn't for the chocolate? Dead? Starving? Perhaps just because we don't agree with child slavery, doesn't mean that these children have any other life other than their "slavery". We have to look at this situation from both side of the table. It isn't like we can just end slavery in the chocolate trade and these kid's will all suddenly and magically receive educations and great jobs. And by boycotting chocolate, we will in turn hurt these kids more than help. We've got to step back and think about it from all angles.

      January 23, 2012 at 2:46 am | Reply
  246. gstlab3

    I think I will support these chocolate slaves by purchasing more chocolate for they need a steady job and i need chocolate.,

    What is the problem with that??

    These people who cry slavery are full of it.

    Try looking at the Chinese or better yet do a story on the American income and property taxes and thew IRS!!!!

    That would give you a story to argue about and the truth is income and property taxes are the way the Communists and bankers took over our country.

    You want to talk about slavery and living in fear?!?!?!?

    Talk to me about the tax man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 23, 2012 at 12:09 am | Reply
    • Common man

      You are so right!

      NOW lets talk about why Yeti are not being employed as chocolate harvesters .. they have wicked strong arms and im sure are much more ammune to illness and whineing lthan those damn over paid so called child (commonly know as short people) workers...

      January 23, 2012 at 2:39 am | Reply
  247. FU

    Chocolate making chocolate...

    January 23, 2012 at 1:56 am | Reply
  248. Common man

    If child labor is used... shouldn't chocolate be cheeper?
    KIDS NEED JOBS TOO!!!

    January 23, 2012 at 2:34 am | Reply
  249. Mahesh

    I think insted of kicking in the stomac of these kids and there family in the name of advocacy please advocate for their pay rise and better future. there is no doubt that they are already in disadvantage situation than most of the kids in some western countries and no one can change these fact ,, with these type of media pressure these kids will loose their job and who will feed them ,, i don;t think save the children , Ausaid or undp or any other humanitariayan organisation will because they are busy on fighting for their own pay rise,, so please help these kids from loosing their daily food because of some devil advocate ,, Please involve these kids in any form of skills with equal respect and with more oppurtunity so they can stand on there own feet insted of being victim of these devil advocay,,,,

    January 23, 2012 at 5:45 am | Reply
  250. Jose

    See this is why Willi Wonka started using Oompa Paloompas instead.

    January 23, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply
  251. busymomof03

    Reblogged this on Busy Mom of Three.

    January 23, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
  252. Aaron C.

    Our world is so sad and greedy. We would save a few pennies on the backs of another mans' children. Yet we tell ourselves how great and self righteous we are as we eat our chocolate treats with no care how it got here !

    January 23, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  253. Lord Colostumus Baggington III

    this article has really put me in the mood for a Reeses peanut butter cup.

    January 24, 2012 at 1:18 am | Reply
  254. Dr Dan Boateng

    Hmm, So I was a child slave worker?
    My country of origin is Ghana, where I was born. I have now lived in Canada for more than half my life time. As a child, my father was a cocoa farmer and a store keeper. I went to school but at weekends and during vacation I worked helping out in the farm or in the store. My father had thought my younger brother would one day do farming like him and refused at first to put him through schooling. All these were quite “natural” way of life. My brother and I were quite proud and excited to be useful helping out – he was into these before he turned 8 years old and I am three years older.
    My father hired migrant workers from the north of the country and from the then Upper Volta (now Balkina Faso). Some of these were not much older than my brother and I, and had come down with parents or relatives. They too were put to work for pay. They would contract to work for 6 months or a full year and get paid at the end of the period. They typically purchased bicycles and returned to their home towns or country. They often returned after they have spent what they earned or if they wished to amass more wealth.
    So whether it is my brother and I who worked for our father or the migrant child workers who worked for pay, these things were quite normal and actually quite fulfilling for us. My brother and I became friends with these migrant workers who quickly learnt our language – we also learnt a bit of their languages and some were much more effective teaching us than others. We picked up a bit of Moosi, but not so much Gruma or the others.
    We should all rise up against forced human trafficking and forced unpaid labour of any kind. But we should be careful to read carefully into what we see when we find children working in cocoa farms. Those were some of the best exciting times of my childhood – and especially at the peak of the harvest, picking the cocoa pods and the big day of breaking them open and covering the beans to ferment a bit. A lot of fun in those days as friends and neighbours rotated helping one another. I think I learnt the habit of hard work from those days, and I was no child slave worker!!

    January 24, 2012 at 2:13 am | Reply
    • Peter

      Hello Dan, I am so glad that you enlightened all these people who have blogged here about the nonsense over cocoa slaves. I lived and worked in the cocoa areas for 30 years and was based in Ghana.
      Have you read what I have written about this fantasy of cocoa slaves who CNN and two the crummy reporters have dreamed up? I have challenged them to meet up with me in Cote Ivoire to show me where these so called cocoa slaves are supposedly doing their slave stuff!

      January 24, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
  255. merci

    pls help the children and help them to build a good apartment to live, there is a man that said if is raining water will be droping from the roof that he and his family we not be able to sleep pls the govt should do something about it........

    January 24, 2012 at 6:25 am | Reply
  256. CHE JOE

    The problem goes back to the US govenment. They send mind set journalist to come and make up what they want. Those farmers are poor and cannot afford the education fo their chikdren. The Abdouls are probably nephews who are have lost parents and are at the mercy of their uncles or foster parents. The raw material is exported cheap and chocolate is sold very expensive thefarmers can't afford. Just think of trading better and investing where you get the stuff.

    January 24, 2012 at 8:00 am | Reply
  257. Spence

    No problem. Stop buying chocolate and diamonds. On the other hand don't buy anything from the African continent at all. Or from any Muslim country. If we do not like there culture of slavery or murder then let them all starve to death. Now that is a message slave traiders and pirates will understand.

    January 25, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
  258. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc,Int'l Intst'r

    i hear a forced air furnace going wrong but there is no such furnace heating/air here in this building, it is steam radiator from hot water heating
    check around.
    theresa noelle younan ymma-iii i-pic interpole galactica

    January 25, 2012 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • Darlene Wigston

      What does this have to do with child slavery and the chocolate industry?

      March 25, 2012 at 4:30 am | Reply
  259. Dr.Redwan Mohammed Ahmed (DM)

    I am (Dr.Redwan 666...) Again..., Ps Do Your Best. Thank You.

    January 26, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
  260. Sid

    Clearly some people don't understand the severity of what defines "child slavery". These children who work in this case the cocoa fields or in clothing factories, they endure horrible working conditions like no benefits when compared to those of us living in developed countries. At the same time these kids earn less than minimum wage to support themselves and their family members. Some ppl have the audacity to say when they were 16 years old they were already working. Shame on you as the opportunities you would have received and conditions you would have worked in are completely different. Some ppl have to remember children in these developed countries are poor and in order to survive they are given only one opportunity and are abused as a result. The saddest thing about this is that they will never have the opportunity to go to school, to learn, to aspire and to inspire through the rewards of basic education as international corporations hav taken advantage of these children.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  261. Prabhat Misra, Assistant Director- Savings, District- Etawah, U.P., India

    touchy story................childrens rights= zero..................why world is silent???????

    January 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Reply
    • Darlene Wigston

      They are silent because they are doing exactly what Germans did in Nazi Germany - they are tellling themselves lies or just hiding from the truth so they can feel good about themselves and turning their backs on those who need their help. If you can lie to yourself enough then it doesn't hurt so much and you can stay in your complacent little world. But if you let reality sink in instead of making up excuses then you are on the hook to do something and that just might mess up your perfect little utopian world.

      March 22, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Reply
  262. me/mine

    Guess what . The world honestly does not care . They will do there tisk tisks and say how sorry this is . then munch down a bon bon or candy bar.

    January 28, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
  263. Spence

    If we buy chocolate then these kids will be able to eat food. If you don't they will have no work and will starve. What good is school if you starve to death?

    January 29, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
    • Darlene Wigston

      The problem with this "logic" is that they still die from the beatings sometimes. I would rather see them get help from a humanitarian agency or get a job where they are paid so they can both eat and live a normal life than see them forced into slavery and hopefully survive but maybe not. They are more likely to die in slavery than if they were on the streets.

      March 22, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  264. gj

    At least little Sambo has a job. Where's by chocolate bar?

    January 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • Darlene Wigston

      A job????? Not really. You get paid for a job. He's just being exploited.

      March 22, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Reply
  265. Buying more chocolate

    There doing something productive, leave the kids alone, hand me another chocolate bar please.....

    January 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Reply
    • Darlene Wigston

      They may be doing something productive for others, but they are not getting any benefit from it. No money, no self esteem, nothing good at all.. They are getting abused and exploited and having their lives ruined. How is that productive? Saying they are doing something productive is like condoning the American slave trade in the 1800s because they did something productive. Or the forced labour of the concentration camps in Hitler's time because it was doing something productive. OK they were being abused just as these kids are and they got no pay like these kids, but by your logic as long as everyone else benefits, so what? Well, to me that's still a crime against humanity!

      March 22, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
  266. Caiha

    People keep trying to make this a political issue between "wimpy" liberals and "manly" conservatives, but frankly that's a stupid approach. No matter what the economy is doing if you're supporting slave or child labor just to pay 10 cents less for a cup of hot chocolate, well, that's the very definition of psychotic behavior.

    January 30, 2012 at 3:58 am | Reply
    • Darlene Wigston

      I couldn't have said it better.

      March 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
  267. clear conscience

    Indeed this is a crime by our standards. Why are we all so self-riteous when all the sugar, vegetables and fruits we enjoy has similar conditions of harvest attached to it? While these may not be harvested by child slaves, do the pickers get a fair wage or benfits? If so, are you willing to pay $20 – $50/pound? Not as long as we can afford it.

    January 30, 2012 at 9:30 am | Reply
    • Darlene Wigston

      So because we are unaware of these things it makes us hypocrites when whe do something about the products we DO know about? Come on. Get off YOUR high horse and don't blame people for what they don't know about. Yes, I AM WILLING to pay more for products where people are treated fairly. I do it every time I buy fair trade coffee or chocolate. I make my willingness known when I refuse to buy products that aren't fair trade and every time I email a business about their lack of fair trade products. When I find out a product is made with slavery or unliveable wages I DO refuse to buy the non-fair trade version.

      March 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  268. Kit

    Well by golly CNN finally did it. They have gone through an incredible dry spell, but they have found yet another something to blame those evil Americans for, and spell out the guilt trip for them. What dolts.

    January 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
    • Darlene Wigston

      Who said anything about blaming Americans? They are simply educating Americans. The blame is on the farmers and slave traders. If Americans receive this education and do nothing then it is their fault, but not if they do it in ignorance.

      March 22, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  269. diggy

    well there might be child slaves actually in Africa but I seriuosly dobt it. I saw the CNN program and there was this guy who said he was 12 or somthing like that: he lied he is much older than that about 19 to 20: we should know that growing in hard conditions stunts ones growth for real i life in africa; these are children who most of the time have decided to work than to go to school; this happens every where in the world especially the United states: young adults who are eager to start a living on their own work in restaurants and hotels rather in africa these sector is not well develop if i have to compare so what is available to do is to work in these cocao farms:
    So relax every body talk the kids to go back to school and this thing will be over:

    February 2, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply
  270. Shannon

    I eat chocolates every day. At least, I would like to send my chocolates to these boys. CNN, please provide the address of the farm they work.

    February 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  271. Samantha Dutcher

    As a student studying Sociology and Legal Studies in Human Rights, I have a few things I need to correct as far as the comments posted. Child slavery is very much alive, not only in Africa, but in India, Indonesia, China, Russia, and every other developing country in the world. Would it surprise you to know that child slavery is alive in the US, even today? It's a fact. Just because these boys LOOK older than what they are, doesn't mean they aren't children. Exposure to environmental extremes, such as long hours in the heat and sun, and the stress that comes with working 12-16 hours a day is what causes these children to look older than what they really are. You also have to understand that even though they are getting paid, they don't get paid more than .75 to $1 per day, and that's barely enough to buy themselves a loaf of bread to eat. These children also face being beaten, whipped, and who knows what else every day. If you idiots are dumb enough to think these children have it made or they are doing something productive, then maybe you should take their place in the cocoa fields and endure what they have to endure every day. Or are you "too good" for that? I didn't know there were so many idiots in this world.

    February 4, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
    • smako

      That's why we have illegals getting into the US. Americans are too good to empty their own trash or mow their own lawns so they hire Mexicans and pay them dirt. The harder they work, the better money they make. I have a friend that started a landscape business, he said he wasn't going to hire any Mexicans. I saw him six months later with a book studying Spanish. I asked him why, he said "In the last six months I have had to fire 10 white people. They don't show up for work and when they do they do a half assed job, maybe three yards a day. Mexicans show up early and can knock out 10 yards a day."

      February 8, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
  272. smako

    Why doesn't CNN and the other networks tell the story of how child labor is used to harvest tobacco and coffee?

    February 8, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
  273. Andrew Mulligan

    I just read this article and perhaps everyone who thinks the way I previously did should read it too. Here is a piece from it and a link to the full article.

    RETHINKING CHILD LABOUR: Abolishing child labour leads to slavery

    Before we speak or take any action, we should consider the severe ramifications of abolishing a source of both income and labour that is not only prevalent, but has been part of the third world culture since time immemorial. Does anyone realize the importance of differentiating between “child slavery” and “child labour?” That the former is, in the majority of cases, a probable result of no access to the latter?

    Yes, children are precious and we must protect them. But we must be extremely careful how we do this in third world countries where children are commodities used to feed those who can no longer feed themselves, and the only way to truly protect them is to ensure that the rest of the family is cared for too. Abolishing child labour will lead to them being trafficked—that is a fact.

    http://www.themindfulword.org/2012/abolishing-child-labour-slavery

    February 8, 2012 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • Darlene Wigston

      Read the article again - they ARE being trafficked! That is how they are being sold as slaves. This isn't about child labour, where the child is paid, it is about child slavery. The child is not paid and is beaten into doing the work. And just because local politicians do nothing is no excuse for NO ONE to do anything! They need our help more than ever!

      February 10, 2012 at 1:30 am | Reply
  274. bill till

    Isn't everything relative? Is it slavery? See how easily the post-modern BS fades when it is inconvenient to a lib. WIll all libs the world over denounce all child labor the world over because it is all relative? the cultures of those communities have a long tradition of putting the kids into the fields. All of this has to do with the richness of the human experience, right?

    Be good post-modernists and support anything and everything everywhere unless it conflicts with your hypocritical post-modern lib sentiments (that will change with the blowing winds)...

    February 12, 2012 at 2:42 am | Reply
  275. Dhea Lasria Haro

    Stop child labor and trafficking!. I think they don't have enough age for do that work. They must spend their time with play maybe, or get education. If their age up to 14, I think they can.

    February 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
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    I just don't understand the "logic" of some of you people. You claim that this is just the way of life there and not the injustice to children that we North Americans see it as. Do you actually believe that makes it OK???? Remember, just 200 years ago slavery was the way of life here. It is equally as unjust today as it was back then! If no one had done anything back then it would still be going on today. Someone did something back then and we need to do something today! "Just their way of life" is no excuse!

    February 14, 2012 at 6:17 am | Reply
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    March 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
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  285. Songjiwon

    Dear Abdul and Yacuo
    Hello. My name is jiwon from Iksan city, South Korea and I'm fourteen years old.
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  286. EMSkim

    Hi! My name is Su hwan Kim who is from Iksan city, south korea and I'm thirteen years old.
    I want to give advice for your life.
    Never lose your happiness when you are in trouble you must fight with trouble.
    I saw the movie about you on CNN last week. Never dissapointed for your life.
    You can't go to school, earn money, butyou can breathe you can see the beautiful nature of Africa.
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  288. EMS Lee

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    I saw you work very hard on the coco farm so I feel sad. Because you work hard but you don't have money and parents. I want you to have money and someday you study in school.
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  293. 9jah

    Very IRRESPONSIBLE journalism by CNN. Yet again, a mischaracterization of Africa by outsiders using western media.

    African children work and are involved in family welfare. And proudly so. Middle class, poor, whatever. It is simply a more grown up world. It is in this context that MOST children work in cocoa fields. Food, the occasional tip and torn clothes does not a slave make. Kids are usually placed in these environments by an authority figure in their life – renumeration can range from food to pay to schooling or all of the above. The reason the child says he can't leave is because the authority figure in his life is telling him not to. When your father tells you you have to get a job at the mall, they're not enslaving you either.

    Now whatever the child is given is obviously a pittance typically, but the farmers are not exactly donald trump either. 500,000 children work on these farms. Where are you gonna send all those kids – back to the villages where they were idling around with no industry for their parents to feed them? Is CNN going to feed them? Are you?

    The easiest thing to do would be for all these fat folks to stop eating chocolate. But instead, you jump on the corporations who make no bones about their profit seeking and then on the unfortunate african farmer who is trying to survive. Africans can't assuage your guilt because your kids are playing video games, eating chocolate. You wanna eat, eat. You don't, then don't. But don't tell us how we should be providing for our families where development is stark.

    Don't mix up child labor with trafficking. Trafficking, you stop. Child labor, you put in more regulations BUT you allow these children to serve themselves and their families. I've used a machete in my mother's farm. We used cutlasses to cut grass in boarding school to learn discipline and, well, because not every school can afford lawn mowers. Some spoiled, naive Americans may feel that work kills, Africans don't.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
  294. Blinkers

    In the United States of America most states allow a work permit with parent or guardian signature at ages 16, yet, some states allow a marital union as young as 14 years of age, and service within the U.S. military with parent or guardian signature is 18 years of age.

    Considering how poor American children progress academically in school and for this reason are usually incarcerated by age 18 destine to be repeat offenders even though one parent is always home and receives public assistance, why complain about a child that is voluntarily staying out of trouble with an incentive to earn money the proper way (e.g., by working and not inspired to be a second or third generation family as a liability on the public welfare system attributed to the laziness and clear neglect of the parent or parents), a child that is not obese and is basically self-sufficient financially approximately eight years in advanced of the American child counterpart in all these things then demean the willingness of the child to progress by terming what most any other child learns when parent own an actual farm to be that of slavery?

    Really, does the child seem unhealthy, unhappy, mistreated or improperly clothed within the photo?

    A last note: According to the CIA World Fact Book children in Bosnia may be involuntarily drafted to serve a mandatory conscripted service at age fourteen and this is strictly enforced during times of declared war.
    Still want to say how bad the situation is that these children appear to be fine with a willingness to work for something in being self-efficient?

    This is not slavery, it is called showing responsibility!

    October 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Reply
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  300. Curious

    Could someone just quickly answer this... what do you think will happen to the children if the owners fire them, or they are liberated etc. etc. where will they go? how will they get money and food and clothes and education?
    please clarify these things for me.

    November 12, 2012 at 3:26 am | Reply
  301. Curious

    Could someone just quickly answer this... what do you think will happen to the children if the owners fire them, or they are liberated etc. etc. where will they go? how will they get money and food and clothes and education?
    please clarify these things for me, before I make any judgments

    November 12, 2012 at 3:28 am | Reply
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  306. Ivy

    Chocolate company & factory should and must responsible on this issue. Why they recruit child labor? If parents working in cocoa field unable to send them school, employer shall build up a community school for their employees' children. Besides, chocolate shouldn't be a high end products, i really don't understand why some super brand chocolate need become super brand. This is all about making money for rich people only. As Love, people to people, cocoa field should run as Community Fair Trade. Their children, and our children, are same human. As they provide us world's happiness sweet cocoa, we should treat them fair, made them happy, because this is a place which produce happiness sweets and candies to us, and every child, like u, had been a child before. Education to all adults and mind set is extremely important. Do any parent like to see their child work as poor labor?? Think again before you buy those not make sense super branded chocolate, as this shouldn't be a high end products which come from poverty place.

    March 21, 2013 at 1:59 am | Reply
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  326. Common man

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    January 23, 2012 at 2:46 am | Reply
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  328. Darlene Wigston

    Actually these children are NOT paid. That is why they are called slaves. They are kidnapped and sold. The kidnappers and slave traders get the money, not the children.

    March 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  329. Peter

    Darlene you appear to be incredibly dumb. You spout (write) nonsense. You are ignorant. Why don't you go to the Cote d' Ivoire and see things for yourself? If you do, you will then appreciate what a fool you are making of yourself! Get this in to your head, these children are not slaves. They are the farmers children or near relatives. It is there way of life to work on the farms. The children are happy and fed and play and do all the things that children in the West do.How do I know all this? Because I worked with these people and I knew their villages and homes and spent over 27 years working with them and talking with them and laughing with them. I have laid down a challenge to those 2 deceitful reporters who wrote all this the crap to meet up with me in West Africa to show me where they found these so called slave children. Of course, they have not accepted my challenge and, that tells a story in itself. They know that the story they told and filmed was a pack of lies

    March 23, 2012 at 6:02 am | Reply
  330. Darlene Wigston

    First of all, I am not dumb. I have an IQ of 130 (100 is average, 140 is genius). And I can prove it. Anyway, I have not been to the Cote D'Ivoire and I doubt you have either. If these reporters are lying why are they not being sued by the chocolate industry? And how did those scars from the beatings get there? I do know that the media lies and exaggerates so I can see where so many people are coming from, but in this case it would be financial suicide to do so. The chocolate industry is way too powerful and rich and could sue the reporters for everything they have. No doubt that the farms you describe do exist, and are likely the majority. But even the UN says that these child slaves exist. I would believe the UN over some guy I don't know any day.

    March 25, 2012 at 4:00 am | Reply
  331. Darlene Wigston

    Here are some links to back up what I was saying (Note that UNICEF is a division of the UN. Also note that the "Ivory Coast" is the English translation of "Cote D'Ivoire"):

    http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/abolishing-slavery-eradicating-human-trafficking.html

    http://www.afrol.com/News/civ006_child_slaves.htm

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/cotedivoire/1317006/The-child-slaves-of-the-Ivory-Coast-bought-and-sold-for-as-little-as-40.html

    http://www1.american.edu/ted/chocolate-slave.htm

    http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0429-04.htm

    http://abidjan.usembassy.gov/child_labor.html

    I know that not all of thse are dealing with the chocolate industry, but they still show that these slaves really are slaves, not underpaid employees. I could also have posted so many more, as what I viewed was only 1/20 of what the search turned up.

    March 25, 2012 at 4:18 am | Reply
  332. Peter

    Darlene, you are wrong wrong wrong! I spent 28 years working on cocoa in West Africa. I am an tropical agriculturist and I worked on cocoa, covering plant breeding programmes, propagating new hybrid clones, diseases and control of diseases on cocoa hybrids, quality of cocoa and cocoa fermenting techniques et al. I also advised farmers how to go about best agricultural practices. I know the Cote Ivoire extremely well. I know every damn road, tracks and the cocoa villages. I knew the farmers, their wives and their children. I knew the Chiefs and headmen. I speak their language, I could go on. And you write that I probably don't know the Ivory Coast. Ha bloody Ha. I could easily question your IQ you claim. Before you go spouting back at me get your facts right and please get it in to your head that these children are not slaves. If you still believe that the children who work on their parents and family farms are slaves I feel really sorry for you. Check the facts, go out to the Ivory Coast and see for yourself

    March 25, 2012 at 7:01 am | Reply
  333. Peter

    Darlene, I know your type, gullible and will believe any crap. OK remain ignorant then, your choice. You will be telling me next that no man has walked on the moon. I really do, and this quite honest, feel sorry for all those suckers who will believe anything they read, see or are told!
    Ah well, takes all types to make this word go round. Jjust keep on believing all that rubbish when you are told by quite a few people including myself, that there are NO child slaves working on the cocoa farms in West Africa and if you still do not accept that, you must be living in cloud cuckoo land!

    June 13, 2012 at 6:52 am | Reply
  334. Darlene Wigston

    OK maybe you were there. I only questioned whether you were or not because what you are saying is in stark contrast to what the UN and the Cote D'Ivoire government themselves admit to being true. And I will also give you the benefit of the doubt that you didn't see these things. But the facts remain that even their own government admits that the slavery DOES exist there, as does the UN. Also, your comments don't change the fact that I have taken more than 1 IQ test and they all agree that my IQ is definitely between 130 and 135 and when my friends found out none of them were surprised because of the way I talk and write.

    March 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  335. Darlene Wigston

    First of all, I DON'T believe everything I see read or hear. I do believe man walked on the moon. I don't believe whole heartedly all of the conspiracy theories out there, although I know some have merit. I've always been a skeptic in alot of areas. That's why I choose to do my own research rather than bury my head in the sand. I also think to myself, "Who has the most to gain by lying in this situation?" In this case the chocolate industry has the most to gain. Why would the government of the Ivory Coast admit to this if it wasn't true? They have nothing to gain and alot to lose. OK, CNN can gain because of a sensational story so I will give you that one. What could the UN gain by lying? Nothing. So two out of the 3 agencies who say it's true have nothing to gain and one has something to lose. Now for the chocolate industry. They have money to gain by lying. If people boycott non-fair trade (which, btw, was started to combat this problem that you claim doesn't exist) chocolate then the industry has BILLIONS to lose. Think clearly here, will you. If you refuse to do that then maybe you are a paid troller?

    June 26, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply

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