Slavery in cocoa fields: A horrible ‘normal’
January 19th, 2012
11:49 AM ET

Slavery in cocoa fields: A horrible ‘normal’

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

The Freedom Project wanted our team to answer one question: Ten years after all the major players in the chocolate industry promised to end trafficking and child labor in Ivory Coast, was that promise kept?

So that's how we found ourselves, four journalists and a driver, crammed into a silver SUV, driving toward Daloa with the faded luxury of Abidjan’s skyscrapers behind us. Market towns became bush and the traffic thinned as we chewed up the miles.

We started to talk about the shoot. It’s a discussion all journalists have on long road trips. And we had a lot of time to kill.

How are we going to find what we are looking for? Have we done all our homework? What if it rains all day? Did you bring mosquito repellent? Have you eaten the bush rats they sell on the side of the road?

We were both a bit nervous. Not about the bush rats, but about getting to the story.

We had done our homework. Everything we read from the government, the United Nations and chocolate companies stressed one thing: remoteness.

Chocolate companies specifically repeat how remote the thousands of cocoa farms are. They say it makes it extremely hard to end child labor and trafficking. They say it makes it hard to find trafficking victims. It is just, well, hard.

So we set out on the first day of our shoot not knowing what we would find. The tar roads turned to dirt roads and led to footpaths.

On the second farm we visited on our first day of shooting, we found trafficked children. Let's call them what they are: slaves. They said they had been brought from Burkina Faso, they couldn't leave their farm, and they weren't paid.

We've been on a lot of difficult shoots, but finding child slaves on our first day was not difficult.

And the question we then asked ourselves was, “Why was it so easy?” We didn't have the backing of the U.S. Congress, the billion-dollar chocolate industry or the Ivorian government. We were just four journalists and a car.

But all the farmers we met said no one had visited them to tell them to stop using child labor. (A recent Tulane report on the protocol says that 97% of farms haven’t been reached.)

Several government and industry campaigners tasked with ending child trafficking said they had recently visited the area on outreach. Well, not to the places we visited.

The trafficking taking place in Daloa is easy to find. It is a part of life in this region. It has become normal.

That word, normal, is a horrible way to describe child trafficking, but we were struck by how normal it had all become.

Abdul has been working in the fields for three years. He is 10. He was trafficked from neighboring farms. He can’t leave the farms, can’t go to school, and he isn’t paid. Abdul is a child slave.

His white T-shirt has more holes on the back than it does actual cotton fabric. His arms are abnormally developed for his age because of the hard labor.

But Abdul knows nothing else. This is just what life is like here. It is normal.

Sometimes when you get back from a shoot, or even when you are on it, it hits you how awful it is: the faces of fear and anguish. The words of pain.

Slavery in the cocoa fields is different.

The children we spoke to in Ivory Coast weren't upset. They weren’t chained or locked up.

These children know nothing else. They don’t know what freedom is – can’t even imagine it. They are resigned to their fate because, to them, this is just how it is here.

Slavery in the cocoa fields of Ivory Coast is normal. It’s routine. And it’s easy to find.

- 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 (325 Responses)
  1. magnus

    There is nothing sacred anymore. Executives are all the same. Greedy. Now it turns out we cant even enjoy a piece of chocolate because rich executives enslaves children. Now, watch all the rich executives hire publicists to lie to our faces that they had no idea that this was going on.

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

      We're well into the 'corporate era' of history. There's no telling how it will end, but I suspect it's going to be bloody once the world wakes up.

      January 20, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
      • Stanley Bing

        Riiight, after all, there wasn't slavery before capitalism, and there's certainly no slavery in nations like China or North Korea. Look, capitalism doesn't require slavery, stop dragging out the left's favorite whipping boy. Capitalism and chocolate companies would do just fine, thank you, if the IVORY COAST government simply enforced its own laws and ended slavery within their own borders.

        January 20, 2012 at 10:09 am |
      • Michael

        Stanley Bing, I would like to ask you, is the reason there is child slavery because excessive regulation and tax blocks companies like Nestle' and Walmart from manufacturing in the United States??

        I would tend to disagree with this opinion and say that companies like Nestle' and Walmart want to maximize profit in this modern anthropogenic capitalist system. Your right, those governments should enforce child slavery laws.
        However, the consumer(unknowing participant) and the corporations (Slave Owners) condone and use child slavery and human trafficking as to satisfy low prices for buyers and another source of profit for corporations to go unaccounted for by the United States government because we have no jurisdiction in Ivory Coast. By 2100 we will have killed off all sea life continuing down this path ladies and gentlemen

        January 20, 2012 at 11:26 am |
      • Jae

        Stanley. U r so right!! N korea and china does it everyday as well. Why cant WE RIGHT? This is BTW A BETTER COUNTRY THEN ALL OTHERS RIGHT? Just a question, when did u go to china and north korea to verify like these journalist did? But u agree this is slavery and its wrong right? And companies who receive goods from places like this should stop right? Too bad these people dont work as hard as CEO's to become RICH RIGHT?

        January 20, 2012 at 11:59 am |
      • @Bing

        There wasn't slavery before Capitalism? What? How did those pyramids get built in Egypt? Before the fall of Rome, it was full of ______. Have you ever read a history book in your life? Wake up! Capitalism is not the problem. Greed and people unwilling to do anything but whine and moan are the problem. So please, think before you post.

        January 21, 2012 at 8:35 am |
      • allergic to chocolate

        its not that good for you. oxalic acid depletes calcium.

        January 22, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • China soil is greasy

      Especially Chinese executives. Did you know that blood diamonds were replaced with cell phone minerals? Guess where they are made? China. Guess who is buying them up and selling ak-47s to kids on both sides of the conflicts to make sure they can swoop in and take the minerals: China.

      January 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
      • allergic to chocolate

        same crap, different day.

        January 21, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • 9ijaRefugeeinAustria

      Shame on u western people... who still think u can be stealing from Africa and not give back to africa. europe being the 1 cusmer of the chocolate , still reject African better life in europe in terms of immigration , why everything they use in developing there economy is from the same africa they all reject better settlement in Europe. God will open the eyes of Africa someday this will be a war that will be bloody.. SHAME ON U ALL GREEDY PEOPLE..

      January 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
      • God does not equal war

        I'm sorry you feel that way about the West. Some of it is well deserved, but a lot of us want the world to change. We in the West are also caught in a system we don't like, but we have yet to find a better way. Some day I hope people can learn to be a little less greedy. This will make the world a better place. I hope that Africans don't want to live like we do in the west. We have lots of stuff, but very few of us are really happy.

        January 21, 2012 at 8:41 am |
      • cheeseroll

        Oh give me a break, and quit with that anti-colonial rubbish, because IF Africa is being raped, its GREEDY AFRICAN LEADERS which allowed it to happen in the first place. Why don't you point the pitchfork at them too?

        And why just blame it on the West, when China is handing millions of small arms and associated ammunition to warlords in exchange for precious minerals? The guns which are then used to massacre African villages?

        Grow up. People like to whine about how early modern slavery was entirely the fault of the West, when it was the African warlords and tribal elders who sold slaves to the slavers in the first place.

        Idiot.

        January 21, 2012 at 9:50 am |
      • sranton

        The west has poured billions in aid to Africa. Africa is Africa's worst enemy.

        January 22, 2012 at 10:58 am |
      • Hakeem

        A sh1tload of my tax dollars go to Africa. Billions a year. We give them well more than what we get-which is by the way, close to nothing.

        January 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
      • Anya Khan

        FU you ungratful twit. Go back and get out of Austria. How utterly rediculous to survive on the graciousness of the west them blast it.

        January 25, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Roberto

      You nitwits don't seem to understand that these kids would starve otherwise because their parents don't care about them.

      January 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Reply
      • mike

        you mean they'd starve if they werent taken care of by their benevolent slave masters? you're right, we're all just a bunch of pinheads, and it's great that companies don't give a damn where their product comes from as long as it's produced as cheaply as possible. go take a ride and blast some bill o'reilly and veer off a cliff

        January 21, 2012 at 2:30 am |
      • mike

        and you're also really on to something. children live in poverty in 3rd world nations because their parents don't care about them. you should run for office.

        January 21, 2012 at 2:35 am |
      • Roberto

        At least Massa feeds them. Ttheir carellesscretin parents are too busy getting doped iup to care.

        January 21, 2012 at 9:11 am |
      • Ruperto

        Hey ROBERTO I wish you were one of those child slaves picking coca for a living, at least you would keep your
        $h!tforbrains comments to yourself, now do us all a favor and choke on some kisses you moron!

        January 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Roberto

      Yeah, pass the buck bozo, YOU are the cretin who is eating the stuff and being a some fat hog.
      Has nothing to do with corporations. Get a brain, PLEASE.

      January 21, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply
    • allergic to chocolate

      seems like world bank, imf, et friends are always around this kind of thing.

      January 21, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • Aaron

      You do all realize there is a simple solution to this right? Buy chocolate from manufacturer who have their chocolate certified as fair trade and free of child labor. There are many organizations who do this, and it is the same with coffee.
      As long as consumers continue to buy their chocolate from people like hershey's or nestle or any of the other big names, you are creating the market for the chocolate being produced by child labor.
      For once, stop going to walmart or other large chain stores. I buy my chocolate produced by local companies who source their materials from certified farms across the world, farms who pay fair wages. Is it more expensive?? Yes!
      But if money is what is stopping you from finding and buying chocolate that has been certified to not use child labor, then you are just as bad as the CEO's who continue to let it happen as long as you keep buying it.

      January 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • allergic to chocolate

      its not that good for you. oxalic acids interfere with calcium absorption.

      January 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Reply
      • allergic to chocolate

        some people say that if you eat chocolate with sugar, sugar exceretes calcium even faster than oxalic acid.

        January 22, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
      • Felicia

        Kim Gassiot / yeah! yeah! yeah!maren is beautiful (I mean the atuacl child and the name, too!). it is crazy, she doesn't look like a canadian! please hug her and kiss her and tell her all about the folks back in texas that love her and will pray for her and can't wait to meet her.suz, you are a rockstar! i can't believe how quick it all went!we love y'all so much!kenny, kim,jonah, sydney, and baby ian

        July 3, 2012 at 2:48 am |
    • PLJ

      Capitalism has lifted up hundreds of millions of Chinese from povery, and capitalism has lifted up much of Asia from poverty in only a few decades. Capitalism is about maximizing profits and rewarding those who provide what "the people" (consumers) want, for the well-being of consumers, businesses, and the entire world. It is virtually the only way to consistently increase standard of living and human development. It is the natural system that mimics nature and evolution. "Greed" within the right context (business) is good and benefits humanity.

      Capitalism is supposed to work within a legal framework that controls and punish abuses. Thugs operate in all political systems, as do abusers, and people with no conscience. The law is supposed to take care of those and stem inappropriate behavior, for the benefit of good business and consumers. Any system with failing legal systems is going to see abuses, capitalism or not.

      The main problem is that business is international, while legal systems are local. That's why companies dump garbage and poison, and abuse labor, in countries with insufficient control and legal systems. Capitalism – and for that matter any system – requires a functional legal framework.

      January 23, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
      • Marta

        I agree, but any law implementation ususally cost money and who is paying it? The poorests with no voice unless the sanctions are more harmfull than the legal provisions. Children protection costs money as well which their parents do not have and no one else wants to spend

        January 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • obie

      I will start a campaign to all my friends and everyone who would care to listen to stop eating chocolate until slavery in the cocoa feilds stops. That's not difficult to do! I wont consume any chocolate product anymore!

      January 24, 2012 at 8:09 am | Reply
    • Andrew

      It is not only the executives that are greedy.

      First and foremost, it is YOU, the consumer of chocolate bars!

      Only the consumer can change this. If you don't want child labour help lower the price of your chocolate bar you better go tell the chocolate manufacturers!

      December 28, 2012 at 4:17 am | Reply
      • CharlesWilliamMorganJr

        I have enjoyed chocolate even more since I read the article. I am thankful that these young boys have employment and a place to live and eat well. Otherwise they would starve in many cases. According to the story, slaves they are NOT!

        December 28, 2012 at 9:01 am |
      • CharlesWilliamMorganJr

        After reading more of the comments, I had to go out and purchase a large sack of dark chocolates! Delicious, and healthy also! No one is going to intimidate me in this matter, when those boys are getting employment, food, clothing, lodging and education, as opposed to dying of starvation if they had remained at home. Further, there appeared to be NO cruelty involved and their work is voluntary!

        December 29, 2012 at 5:47 am |
  2. brown

    The almighty profit is always king! No accountablity because these scoundrels buy everyone off!

    January 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  3. jtc

    Ask the kids where they are from and what life would be like for them if they were at home. I'm guessing you would hear that their family couldn't provide for them at home. It could be that their life as a "slave" is better than if they were at home. The fact is that there are many kids in US's history that didn't go to school so they could help out on the family farm. They couldn't leave. They didn't get paid. It was the only life they knew. I wouldn't call them slaves.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Maria

      best answer, your're right

      January 20, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Reply
    • N

      JTC where you born stupid? everyone should have freedom to choose. Why don't you go and take the place of the kids see how much you enjoy it?

      January 21, 2012 at 4:53 am | Reply
    • LBH

      I rarely write but I am disgusted by the CNN Freedom Project. JTC is absolutetly right. If you deny these children the possibility of at least this work, bad as it is, you may be denying them a chance to eat and live. What alternatives does CNN offer them once this work is stopped for these children? Is CNN going to take care of them of even care about them? I saw the $80,000 SUV with the well fed reporter going to this dirt poor farm where people are trying to at least enough to eat. It's shocking to see such wealth used to work to deny the poorest of the poor a chance to make enough to eat . It's well meant, I am sure, but CNN has no idea and I think is doing more harm than good.

      January 21, 2012 at 5:53 am | Reply
      • ptdealer

        live free or die

        January 21, 2012 at 9:07 am |
      • allergic to chocolate

        lifeanddebt DOT org/about DOT html

        January 21, 2012 at 11:06 am |
      • N

        They might not even realise what's being done to them is wrong, they may not have had the opportunity to do anything else! That is a violation of their HUMAN RIGHT! DAY AFTER DAY... YOU CAN CHOOSE WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE! THEY CAN'T THAT FREEDOM HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM.

        I'll respond the same as I did to JTC – maybe you should both go and replace two of the children there, see how much you like it.

        January 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
      • Andrea

        Oh MY GOSH. I just tried to climb into the screen. OH oh these look dinive. Good memories they stir too. My first job was at Sanders Ice Cream parlor. They served amazingly delicious ice cream puffs with rich dark chocolate there was not so much dark chocolate 45 years ago as there is today. A joy to serve them and a treat to eat them. Thanks for bringing that back. Food is good in so many ways.

        September 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • CharlesWilliamMorganJr

      JTC, you are 100% correct! Your brain is more functional than CNN!

      December 28, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply
  4. Rushidhruva

    How unfair and cruel !!! I hope some organization comes forward to help these kids,they are kids after all and I would definitely let my kids know how lucky they are .My 10 year old son has already planned to go to Somalia to do selfless service when he grows up,still a long time away.The kids will be in my prayers.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  5. gstlab3

    Well now you know this has been going on for ever.

    these children live in a stone age culture and we forget to remember this simple fact this is why ther is so much grief in the middle ast becasue we failed to recognoze thew stae of developement of their culture.

    these are primitive cultures and they are worlds apart from ours not that it is right.

    I would still buy chocolate because if you do'nt these children will go to another" industry" may be not so friendly to children.
    they might be sent to war in another place far away.
    They might all starve and fade away if the industry goes away all together now wont it?

    January 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Reply
    • Taylor Harvey

      It's not just the culture. And it's incredibly insulting to call their culture "primitive" or "stone age". If they had a quarter of the opportunities as you and I have, they surely would take them, but this, unfortunately, is just another example of the overexploitation of Africa by capitalism at large by the first world. Because of a problem dating back to the European colonial regimes, Africans have become satellites or peripheral workers to their own homeland, taking only a percentage of what they cultivate every day. Africa is not "primitive" because its culture is not advanced, but because of the continuous exploitation dating back hundreds of years ago. (for more information on what I am talking about look up Walter Rodney's "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa") I'm sorry, it is this mindset exhibited in your response which is the reason why nothing has been done. Unless we are willing to pay more than a dollar for chocolate, or protest this, nothing will change.

      p.s – our grief with the middle east also has nothing to do with our failure to recognize them as a "lesser" culture. If anything, it's that condescending viewpoint that is the problem.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:08 am | Reply
      • Stanley Bing

        Mindless, pure mindlessness. You seek to blame this on capitalism, as if another form of government or economy wouldn't have victims as well. Capitalism doesn't require that nations like the Ivory Coast allow this horrible behavior within their borders. I notice you don't bother the mention the nation involved and its failure to end slavery within their own borders. Oh, no, that wouldn't do, let's blame capitalism.

        Pathetic.

        January 20, 2012 at 10:05 am |
      • gstlab3

        IT IS NOT INSULTING TO USE THE TRUTH.

        IT IS INSULTING HOWEVER THAT THESE AFRICAN PEOPLE STILL HAVE'NT FIGURED OUT WHAT FREEDOM IS AND HOW TO CONSTRUCT A GOVERNING BODY THAT WILL ALLOW FOR THE PEOPLE TO PROSPER.

        THEY STILL KILL EACH OTHER IN TRIBAL WARFARE AND ENSLAVE THE CAPTURED.

        NAME IT FOR ME IF YOU CAN.,
        WHERE IS ONE AFRICAN NATION THAT HAS MODERNIZED WITHOUT WESTERN INTERVENTION AND AIDE???

        January 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
      • Rick

        What would happen if the Capitalist Corporation stopped exploiting all thesae poor children ?? Unfortunately they would probably all starve to death because their Gov't won't take care of them and then they would be put in refuge camps and then the Capilist Corps. would have to feed them for setting in the refuge camps until some terroist group came and turned them into slaves to be sucide bombers. Better to pay them a little some thing for their work and send in schools to educate them where they are than forcing the Corp. to stop buying their product.

        January 21, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
      • notconfused

        hate to say it but this is the result of the abuse of capitalism. No other argument or opinion will change the minds of the intelligent.

        January 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Daniel

      Now that's what I call flawed reasoning." I support the murder of ten year olds at gunpoint because if we don't kill them that way they might die in a more painful way."

      January 20, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
  6. dawn

    I agree with gstlab3
    It's the culture. They work for food and shelter. It is absolutely horrible but honestly I wouldn't call it slavery. It's a very poor society and no one can change it or enforce our standards on their way of living. It just wouldn't work. If you look at the depression era, kids did jobs that you couldn't imagine them doing today. My own grandfather was charged with lighting gas lanterns in the streets of Philadelphia at the age of 10. OMG, if you did that today you'd be in jail for child labor laws. Some societies are too hard on their kids and some are too soft!

    January 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  7. Samurai Shonan

    They are being paid with food and shelter but what a sad way for a kid to grow up. How do their quarters look? Do they have free time to bath and play games. Do they get fresh clothes, water, fruit, meat and vegetables. The story does not go deep enough.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  8. concerned

    What's missing in this article is all the names of Western chocolate companies that do business with these farms... which I have been told is all of them.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:22 am | Reply
    • allergic to chocolate

      i wonder if the same ones that contributed to pedophile sandusky's organization are on that list?

      January 21, 2012 at 10:56 am | Reply
  9. JVC

    Lets put the chocolate companies out of business so the fat cats won't make their huge salaries. Never mind that who news how many people will be out of work because of it just so we get the rich guy. And while we are at it, let's send a Trillion dollars over to that squalid, stone age country to study the idea. Surely China will loan it to us. I'm guessing Michelle Obama missed this spot while on her African trip. If none of that helps Barrack can maybe fly some drones over and bomb the traffickers. Let's try to make everyone in the world just like us. Better yet, let's take Obama track and reduce us to everyone's else's level. Go snivel about this while you eat your chocolate bar! Fools!

    January 20, 2012 at 6:42 am | Reply
  10. Ali DEMIRBAS

    Thank you CNN for drawing the world's attention to unknown types of slavery.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:27 am | Reply
    • KhmerNY

      It is sad to see these kids work like slaves. However, this is the failure of the GOV'T OF COTE D'IVOIRE. They should protect their people from expoitation. Secondly, people of Cote d'Ivoire should select their gov't wisely next time. There is NO 1 to BLAME! but the corrupted gov't of COTE D'IVOIRE....Now....Je veux manger une chocolate...au-revoir,

      January 20, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Anya Khan

      Mores the pity that they don't speak out on how almost EVERY industry in Africa is based on slavery.

      January 25, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
  11. bby

    God help those kids,it is very sad their parents cant look after them

    January 20, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
  12. Stanley Bing

    I find it amazing that the responders here want to blame chocolate companies and have nothing to say about the GOVERNMENT of the Ivory Coast. Who's suppose to enforce a nation's laws? First and foremeost, it's the NATION involved.

    January 20, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
  13. Nmbayas

    This can actually teach us something, they aren't given allowances. Mom and daddy don't pay for there credit card bills. Cell phones and spending money don't exist to them. Protesting, camping out on wall street with your burbury scarf and mug on hand won't work for them. These kids go to the fields everyday to work because their family needs to eat, they need food to survive. Workers who don't complain because their day is to long, the A.C. was off in my office today, or I had to walk to work ugh! omg! they don't complain period, no clothes, awful weather conditions, no shoes, aching muscles, bleeding feet, but they do it because its not about them its about their families and what they can do to help them. So the next time you fill your mouth talking about capitalism and CEO's, realize that these kids motivation for doing what they do is because they want to help their families, your motivation to go after the big boys is because what it seems unfair but you wouldn't do it for a minute. You wouldn't swap places for a second.

    January 20, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • AGrey

      Actually these kids do what they do because they are beaten if they don't. They are not supporting their families. Most of them don't have families, which is how they ended up being trafficked anyway, or they were sold by a guardian.

      Your logic is faulty. Your reasoning is people shouldn't complain when others have it worse. That people should be content in their misery because others have it worse. But people should complain when they are not content because it's the will of the people, and their discontent, which eventually forces society to adopt higher standards of living. You are also likely confusing discontent with ungreatfulness. A person can be greatful for what they have and discontent because of that which they don't have. But as far as all of the horrible things in life, it's mentalities like yours that help perpetuate it. I think you should ask yourself, why are you so opposed to bettering the world?

      January 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  14. Billy Bob

    Any one of you could have an impact to stop this slavery – STOP buying chocolate!
    I know I will.

    January 20, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • DeeNYC

      no you won't, maybe you won't today but you and everyone else will continue to buy and consume chocolate. How is it our problem these people can control what goes on in their country? Why should we feel guilt for it?

      January 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  15. JEN

    IT IS SAD THAT THE GOVERNMENT DON'T PUNISH THE ADULTS FOR USING KIDS TO WORK

    January 20, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • Victoria Panetti-Studer

      The adults are being exploited too and not being paid a fair wage for back breaking manual labor. The farmers barely can feed themselves and families. Shame on big chocolate companies for letting this go on for decades. Nestle, Kraft, Hersheys, shame on you. As a consumer I will not buy from these companies anymore, even if they finally do something now about it, Ill never support these big companies again.

      January 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
      • KhmerNY

        @Victoria Panetti,
        SHAME ON GOV'T OF COTE D'IVOIRE! They are fully responsible for their suffering people. FYI, company is there to make profits as much as they can. Therefore, they can compete with others and they can grow. It is the GOV'T OF COTE D'IVORE to take care of their people. I'm sure this corrupted gov't know, but they are too busy drinking champaigne, eating chocolate, and relaxing in their luxury house.

        January 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  16. DeeNYC

    The child's name is Abdul, that's says it all. Take a backwards tribal people, Africans.. and mix it with backwards tribal religion, muslim... and what do you get? chocolate slaves, no pun intended.

    January 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • james

      Yep–Been there myself in the 70's and 80's and nothing has changed–

      January 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
    • Hikerstud

      90% of all african slaves never made it to America yet we get all guilt and blame. England and USA finally put an end to the process. Muslims have always enslaved women, infidels, children. Their religion is about domination and oppression when you dig into the fundamentals it is faulty.

      January 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  17. james

    And nothing will change–What business is it of ours anyway. We can't solve the worlds problems anymore. No one cares what we think anymore anyway–

    January 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  18. Nicholas Darienzo

    What is wrong with you' you don't know how to make your own chocolate I mean come on it's not that hard that you have to get little kids to it for you.

    January 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  19. LJ

    I have been trying for several years to buy as fair trade as possible and educate myself on from where my products come. It is such a daunting undertaking. I am curious if anyone knows of any reputable and comprehensive-ish resources for trying to figure it all out?

    January 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  20. rosie

    It's interesting to see how many posters are ready to lay the blame for child slavery at the feet of the notorious "1 percent". That's like Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain blaming a left wing MSM for keeping their indiscretions in the headlines.

    The public consumes both chocolate and the news and both the chocolate industry and the news industry answer our beck and call. If we insist on ethically-sourced goods (be those goods chocolate, coffee, lingerie, or oil), we can have them. We just have to pay for them. Child labour is cheap and cheap is the order of the day not because te CEO is greedy but because we are.

    We're the ones who don't want a $10 chocolate bar.

    January 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • coop

      funny how there are no replies to this, because you're exactly right.

      January 21, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
      • Hakeem

        Agreed. And it wouldn't even be ten dollars...the price difference would probably only be a dollar a bar at most. Ridiculousness ahhh :/

        January 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • The Truth is Boring

      Correct, indeed. Sadly people are seldom drawn to a clear simple truth, because they can't argue with it.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:48 am | Reply
  21. hynzerelli

    I'm trying to figure out why CNN keeps pushing the agenda that capitalism & corporations are EVIL.Hey CNN the chocolate buyers are just that & if the "Chocolate" chocolate farmers got together & COOPERATED they could set a fair price but I guarantee they'll still use child slaves because they're greedy & human life means nothing to them & it's not the buyers fault or their problem. SO SAVE YOUR AGHAST SANCTIMONIOUS JUDGEMENTAL BS cuz no one cares.

    January 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  22. Likawent from Germany

    Dear David I wounder your concern. You did very good job. But the root cause of child labour in Africa is poverty. To go to school you have to be alive. To be alive you have to eat. To eat there is no one who provides you the food because your parents are not around or they are poor. So as an African and an experienced person who passed through this life all Africans have to unite to end poverty. That is the solution. Forget those selfish big chocolate industries.....

    January 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  23. Philip Ansah

    The chocolate companies should be personally involved in the fight and not leave it the governments in Ghana and Ivory Coast.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  24. elizliniperu

    This problem is so far from the sight of the people who actually consume the product. I believe that the change needs to start with awareness, such as this program. However, this problem will not go away if companies such as Nestle or Hersheys won´t even be honest with their statements.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  25. Philip Ansah(Ghana)

    Industry players must show deeper commitments by providing some schools and other support systems

    January 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  26. Uchechi Uche Dibiaezue

    The company owners and industry chiefs are not concerned about child labour. You cannot bite the hand that feeds you.They are not interested. The children work for free so the farmers can meet the production output but they do not necessary make enough profit. They are at the lower end of the food production chain. How much do the company owners pay for the cocoa ?how much profit do they make ? A lot. They get more than they expend which would not be the case if proper labour is used and cost of production is increased. Welcome to the world of Capitalism.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  27. SPK Wete

    its very sad to see that very few people are will to stop these NUTS kinda of activities. Problem is these BIG chocolate maker company are so greed and they using AFRICA to make themselves large while poor kids they dont know even how chocolate looks like UK

    January 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  28. Philip Ansah (Ghana)

    I am a Ghanaian and CNN please don't give up on this project. The Lives of these Innocent children are in your hands. Please help them.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  29. Assita K.

    I believe it is about time we consumer take responsibility for what we are buying. I believe that we just decide to close our eyes and keep on living our life- The saddest thing is that the majority of those kids in the Ivory Coast and neighbouring countries have ever tested chocolate.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  30. Chocolate child slave

    I think CNN is doing a good job on this project. But in the case of African countries, child labour cut across all facet of life. As an investigative journalist myself, sometimes one is thorn between allowing children from poor families from either going hungry, or staying out of school or allowing them to work on the farm to get daily bread and pay for primary education. For children caught in this cross fire, what do you suggest in the way forward. I see children in Ghana selling sachet water, at the first look I say this is so bad, but upon second look, when considers that this is what put food on his table, cloth him or pay his school fees, it begins to look like the best of two evils.
    Raymond Archer, Ghana

    January 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • rabzy

      Best stuff i have read here so far.

      February 1, 2012 at 4:03 am | Reply
      • EK KADIDDLEHOPPER

        After some internet and library research, I have concluded that the child slaves covered in the article are probably fortunate to be able to work and earn food, in many cases avoiding starvation. Some major public figures in the Ivory Coast went through the same process as children. It's their culture – let them deal with it! Often, schooling is not available to the slave children, and slave owners provide them some limited education in some situations.
        In consideration of my research, I have purchased extra chocolates, even though I did not need or want them. I will not be a part of a news organization-led boycott!

        February 1, 2012 at 8:32 am |
      • Aloosh

        I have eaten various etiropn bars on the market for well over 15 years. The ThinkThin Chunky Peanut Butter bars have the best taste, excellent texture and fill me up when I need it.I highly recommend them. I buy them by the box and if I could find a place where I could buy them by the case with a bigger discount, I would.-Julian

        March 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Barry

      I couldn't get the email link for the May Elders Shop Notes to dolawond the file properly and I was unable to get the file to dolawond from your web archive. Are you able to email me a copy of the PDF file? Thanks very much.Dana Young732 Ashley Lane NEThompson, ND 58278

      April 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  31. African Refugee in Austria ....Suffering..is my day by day air..

    Shame on u western people... who still think u can be stealing from Africa and not give back to africa. europe being the 1 cusmer of the chocolate , still reject African better life in europe in terms of immigration , why everything they use in developing there economy is from the same africa they all reject better settlement in Europe. God will open the eyes of Africa someday this will be a war that will be bloody.. SHAME ON U ALL GREEDY PEOPLE.. by the west if they have there way they will take any resource from Africa without giving back. Fair Trade to African People does not exist in there business. they take from us and keep us poor....

    January 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  32. Dr. Patti

    Once again, as someone who lives in Ghana, I ask all of you to consider: if there is no market for cocoa, what fills the gap for the economy of a poor country like Ghana or Ivory Coast? If no money come into the economy from the export of cocoa, what can Ghana export instead?

    The laws pertaining to child labor and child trafficking need to be enforced by all countries. But cutting off the market for cocoa does more to damage the country than you can imagine. There are only a few products that are made or grown here that the rest of the world values enough to buy, year in and year out, and thus contribute to the economic stability of the country.

    Buy chocolate made in Ghana, Golden Tree, or buy Divine chocolate made from fair trade cocoa from coop cocoa farms in Ghana. Do not boycott all chocolate. You think you are hurting a few multinational corporations, but you are actually hurting cocoa farmers.

    January 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  33. Christopher Ughovwa

    The whole of Africa is one slave enclave. The chocolate companies are not toblame, but the producing countries. You identified Abdul, showed his facem and named him. The question is does the Ivorian government have any record of Abdul? Two thousand and eleven years ago Jesus Christ was registered bv his government, yet today no African government knows the use of human database. Abdul is just an unknown statistic. How can the Ivorian government provide for Abdul's health, welfare education etc when they are not aware of his existence. This is the case with all African countries. Turn on your TV in Europe and you OXfarm etc telling you of Amina, Saidu etc suffering in Africa, asking for your pennies to save her. The governments of these countries are ignorantly unaware of the existence of these people, so no matter how much you trow at these countries you will not help these people. All you will do is punish Nstle etc, reduce chocolate consumption, leading to downsizing and unemployment leading to recession and more problems for Abdul. Get African goverments to watch the movie Eagle Eye and drive their imaginations,

    January 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  34. Assita Kone

    It is about time that as consumer we take our responsibility for our acts of buying- It seems so much easier to ignore the reality of those contributing to our well balance life quality- The children in coca farms in the ivory Coast and neighboring countries have unfortunately sometimes never even tested chocolate. We in the western world are the one coming up with all the stats about obesity because of our eating habits. The companies involved in the production must be obliged to contribute to the situation of those working in those farms – but WE must also act as responsible consumers.

    January 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  35. VRage13

    This is the same post being moderated yesterday. Do you have my name on some sort of censorship list. I did not violation the terms of service agreement at all. It is very clear CNN wants freedom of speech for itself but does not allow others to practice it.

    January 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  36. Victoria Panetti-Studer

    Pay the cocao farmers more for their product. The adults are being exploited too! Not only the child slaves. Pay the field workers more! If the price of chocolate goes up, so be it. It is a luxury to eat and not neccessity. Companies like Nestle, Hersheys, SHAME ON YOU for letting this go on for decades. They KNOW what was happeneing, it took the press to expose the crime of big corporations, again. Thanks CNN.

    January 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • Dana

      If it's Ok to hire illegals here at a lower rate then I like chocolate at a lower price thanks for playing vicki.

      January 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  37. eric

    this, unfortunately, is one of those problems that won't get major attention because the economics doesn't favor doing so.

    January 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  38. Dana

    OGM I must, I must only buy chocolate with the Not Blood Picked Cocoa beans label.

    January 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  39. joohee lee

    I am from Seoul. When I studied in Oxford, UK for my graduate program in 2002, I was participating this topic discussion (I should rather call a fervent debate) with many professors from Oxford, and visiting professors from USA and South Africa. The South African visiting professor was revealing the problem of the exploitation by Nestle company in Johanessburg. Yet, many British professors (including the deal of St. Peter's College, Oxford) and American professors (excluding the sole regionalist professor Alan Rugman then Oxford professor now Univ. of Indiana Emeritus professor) were claiming Pax Americana/Britania as well as the pros of globalization to justify the consequence as a minor "happening" only. It was really shameful to see how could the world's suppsedly the top intellectuals teach the future global leaders in their MBA program how to be an imperialistic masters to exploit the third world country's hopeless children. It is ironic to recall that it was the year 2002 when America was in the pick of its economic crisis so I could understand that they were giving up their humanity just for survival in an easy way.

    January 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Reply
  40. will wonka

    i like chocolate

    January 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  41. Amol Muzz

    Betcha the industry could not care any less. Poor children.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  42. kibalma Arthur

    hey, welcome to Africa, this is Africa. African problems do not need African solutions. Or else Africa will collapse.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  43. Buying more chocolate

    It keep them off the streets........

    January 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  44. mrs. mom

    So you as saying tip is a poor culture well lemme ask you this, if you were to go over there and see the men and women who as watching these slaves work, do you think they would it a shirt that has more holes than cotton fabric on them? and if they work for food and shelter doesn't it make you ask yourself whether or not they're getting the proper nutrition? it's horrible and i would and do consider that slavery!!! it's not right!

    January 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  45. mr774

    I understood why we can enjoy chocolate eating in a cheep cost.
    The reason stands on the child slave system.
    Chocolate cost doesn't include payment of child slaves.
    After all, is the reason from poorness of Africa?

    January 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  46. MR.CHARLIES

    Next time you eat a chocolate bar, or stir some chocolate syrup into your milk, just think about who is harvesting the cocoa so that big-wig companies like Hershey's and Nestle can make a profit off of candy that in reality cost less than 50 cents to manufacture. It is these greedy giants who prolong the slavery by doing nothing and acting as though the slavery does not exist; they simply look the other way.

    January 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  47. Christine Ann

    Here are some chocolate brands that are fair trade at http://vision.ucsd.edu/~kbranson/stopchocolateslavery/goodchocolateproducts.html.

    January 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Reply
  48. ma & pa

    We value freedom as a foundation block of life. But, in all sincerity, in that nation, in that economy, what else can these people do to earn food and shelter if we put the farmers out of business by not buying cocoa? What worse slavery might they be sold into? Is that not better than being used on the streets of dirty harsh cities or used in the wars if sectarian slaughter or worse? Who will provide for them free of charge and educate them for free? We absolutely hate slavery, but someplaces there are no easy anwers or quick fixes.

    January 21, 2012 at 1:04 am | Reply
    • Soma

      amazin vid.I think its all about when u realize ur time is spiasng ur doing the most important things for u.We all have to understand time is not endless and we dont need someone to tell us the end is near to make us starting our lives.

      March 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
      • Nagisa

        I love Beanie :) He looks so peaceful – a chrieeo loving cat is a happy cat! The photo of the old building is great – i love old buildings that have history behind them! So great that it's still standing, and has that arrow pointing toward OH/Portsmouth still painted on it. Great photos, good work! Good luck w/the remaining weeks! I'm really enjoying everyone's 365 projects. Now I wish I would have started one last weekend, too! :)

        October 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Christina

      Jane, cream puffs do seem like one of those old-time desserts that can bring back good meromies. One question: where was Sanders Ice Cream Parlor? I'm addicted to ice cream and always search out places that serve homemade ice cream when I travel. It's always nice hearing from you, Jane.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:25 am | Reply
  49. Gaston Lefarge

    There was a young kid on the coast
    Whose boast was that he could make most
    From the crews who keep shelling
    For the tales he keeps telling
    When he knows there's a cheque in the post

    January 21, 2012 at 2:05 am | Reply
  50. jack

    Is there anyone foolish enough to believe the promises of big business when keeping the promise would eat into there profits?Capitalism is a good economic system Unregulated capitalism is a curse. We need democratically elected governments to strictly regulate our capitalist economy so that it brings about the greatest good for all the people.

    January 21, 2012 at 2:10 am | Reply
  51. Lee

    Hello my name is Lee and and I'm 34, I'm an owner of Element moving and storage a dallas moving. the first time I write a comment in my life as this one. I'm not sure if it's a happy or a sad, I think I will go with happy. four journalist found and published to the world this horrible story about inesent kids thouse kids are slaves, I'm sorry but I can't imagin my son or my daughter to be a slave. I hope and believe that this story will help to all of us to ask where is this cocoa is coming from. We are against cocoa slaves!!! Lee

    January 21, 2012 at 2:23 am | Reply
  52. schmoo

    pics or it didn't happen

    January 21, 2012 at 4:13 am | Reply
  53. Letshelp

    What can we do to help? This is awful.

    January 21, 2012 at 5:55 am | Reply
  54. C.L.H.

    Will someone please help these children... Believe you me; if I had the money and resources, I would... My heart goes out to each and every last one of them...

    January 21, 2012 at 5:57 am | Reply
  55. LBH

    I rarely write but I am disgusted by the CNN Freedom Project. If you deny these children the possibility of at least this work, bad as it is, you may be denying them a chance to eat and live. What alternatives does CNN offer them once this work is stopped for these children? Is CNN going to take care of them of even care about them? I saw the $80,000 SUV with the well fed reporter going to this dirt poor farm where people are trying to at least earn enough to eat. It's shocking to see such wealth used to work to deny the poorest of the poor a chance to make enough to eat . It's well meant, I am sure, but CNN has no idea and I think is doing more harm than good.

    January 21, 2012 at 6:01 am | Reply
  56. Alex Ngera

    Those braging that the chocolates are well off being in the cocoa farms than at their parents' are just being economical with the truth.The truth of the matter is that these kids are victims of a conspiracy btn western chocolate companies and some rogue elements in ivory coast government to make a kill minimum labor cost.Africa will one day rise up to the challege en kick the hell out of the blood suckers.Long live African child ..

    January 21, 2012 at 6:16 am | Reply
  57. B Wendell

    I am truely disscussed with the world and It's unfairnss. Do these people even believe in God? I find it interesting that those that enjoy freedom ... Destroy it for others.Love is the only answer. The Love of Jesus. Do you have enough love to print this? Jesus Is Lord . The only answer to world problems B. Wendell

    January 21, 2012 at 6:31 am | Reply
  58. History Guy

    The Bible and the Qur'an both support slavery.

    If you're anti-slavery then you are anti-Bible and anti-Qur'an.

    January 21, 2012 at 7:50 am | Reply
    • allergic to chocolate

      patriarchy is before religions. you might be attributing one to the other.

      January 21, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
  59. Glen

    The post below makes me sick. Its all about him. Now he can't eat chocalate happily because of rich people. Waa waa waaa. Probably an Occupy Walstreet Loser.
    ------

    There is nothing sacred anymore. Executives are all the same. Greedy. Now it turns out we cant even enjoy a piece of chocolate because rich executives enslaves children. Now, watch all the rich executives hire publicists to lie to our faces that they had no idea that this was going on.
    brown

    January 21, 2012 at 8:53 am | Reply
  60. geert vandaele

    i regret this also but it is just as in central american country,s like guatemala ,where school vacation is also in december when school kids can help with the coffee harvest i also find this ashame like children are working in bangladesh to make our t shirt for just 5 eurocent.

    January 21, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
  61. dave

    Ok, so the better choice for these people is to either starve or work in cocaine fields for a cartel in which the atrocities are 10x greater. Every cries about how terrible things like this is and yet it is a viable financial alternative to have these people support themselves and get food on their stomachs. Instead, liberals would rather complain and take these jobs away so they wind up like Haitians eating dirt paddies instead because they have no work and nothing to do. Wake up America and stop crying about nonsense like this.

    January 21, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
  62. FastErThanLightninGFreDDy

    You would all clearly see that the cocoa is just a grain of sand in the game of slavery. .... CNN my choice for news since its conception would better serve our ciizens by listing every paysvale and age group involved in the manufactureof the items consumed or utilized in an American citizens daily life . And then it would be clear to all of you that are crying Slaves Slaves .. there is some form of slavery within a stones throw of you .. please understand that there's noone on earth picking anything all day and then going home to his wife kids pet and flatscreen. None. Andiftheyhave a family .. theyretoothless and limping in China 5 cents. In Poland 15 cents. In Ecuador 2 pennies an hour and a kick in the pants .. right here. Minimum wage at Walmart leaves you penniless before your paycheck ... Yes. Yes. It's wrong. .. I myself.... A sinner like .. would much rather someone paid me to house sit my own place ... But God wants me to use all my waking hours trying to make ends meet. cnn must've bumped their heads .. I absolutely despise Newt Gingrich and hope over hope he doesn't ever getnear the white house. Despite his knowledge and experience... And istiml I was astonished that my news choice which I take pride in would start by talking about his old battle axes claims he asked for an open marriage . It's not my business .. ialready he's had three wives. Icouldnt care less. But CNN actually helped Newt. Win by their absolute lack of judgement .. yin setting him up to sound good. Shame on you for .. stirring up a cup of cocoa outrage without giving your audience. Something else to compare it to. Shame on you for your opening question tuio Newt salamander. And shame o.n You for bring Erik Burberry outfront and forcing me to change channels for two hours ..as she is a bit hard to take guys.. the rapid speechand her flaring nostrils coupled with and her brain are not my cup of cocoa. Other than that Ilove everything else about your network .. . Because I refuse to believe that CNN owns hln. The station that pushes Nancy Grace into our households . I'd rather pick cocoa on all fours than tune into that menace and her idiotic cohorts .. CNN..... Istilllove you and willnever leave the situation room

    with nancygrace and her stupid COBOL

    January 21, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
  63. Kimberly

    Its not normal it horrible and very sad an miserable existence of course looking in from the outside you would call it normal and that is even worse as if they want to be slave not paid in terrible conditions how arrogant and rude. When these children grow and become violent dangers then will you call it normal and just everyday behavior I will because that is the results of slavery

    January 21, 2012 at 11:46 am | Reply
  64. luv chocolate more now

    Who cares? The "slaves" don't. And you know the journalists would way over play it if they did.

    And not our country not our business.

    Support the chocolate industry and their practices to the fullest. I do.

    January 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  65. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    Those owners must be republicans. Republicans LIKE slave labor.

    January 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  66. Kimberly

    They probably scared out of their minds and couldn't show there emotions quite frankly I'm very insulted they used the word nomal for slavery since when is that normal. Just crazy rude I not eating chocolate any dam more

    January 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
    • N

      Abnormal is what it is. They might not even realise what's being done to them is wrong, they may not have had the opportunity to do anything else! That a violation of their HUMAN RIGHT!

      January 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
      • TKSLIFETODAY

        TOTALLY AGREEEE.

        January 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  67. Patrick

    Is CNN going to feed all these kids working in the chocolate industry, how much CNN has financially contributed to these poor kids funds? At least they have a job and probably feed an entire family with whatever they are getting paid. Didn't you use child slavery in the US in the cotton fields? Who is now picking up citrus and vegetables in the US? Mexicans coming across the border and I am willing to bet that some of them are children under age…. Look into your own backyard instead of looking overseas, solve your own problems. Meanwhile I will continue to eat chocolate no matter who picks up the cocoa.... have some on me...

    January 21, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • N

      duh

      January 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
      • Patrick

        Cul...

        January 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  68. Sokman

    You cant judge those kids working by American standards. If they dont work, they (& probably others in their family) dont eat. People there dont have the lavish lifestyles we've grown accustomed to & take for granted. While you say we take advantage of the situation I say we are giving them a means to eat. I have no guilt about eating a chocolate bar while I read this blog.

    January 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • TKSLIFETODAY

      SLAREVY IS WRONG. ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
      BUT OUR IDEIA ABOUT IT HERE DOES NOT FIT THEIR REALITY THERE.

      January 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  69. Joseph McCarthy

    It appears that the Capitalist sysem doesn't quite work for everyone as this story shows. The Capitalists will use any means available to make as much money as they can, no matter who suffers from it! In other words, La Cote d'Ivoire appears quite ripe for a Communist Revolution and soon!

    January 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  70. leanne hall

    Well, right now right here people in SC is voting a presidential nominee (yes Nut Greedgrich!) who has just said we should relax our child labor laws and replace a janitor with 30 kids who would be obviously working just for cents (lol! mom janitor laid off, kid working for .30 cents/hr great idea to reactivate our economy!).
    If this sort of absurdity is being proposed and applauded in USA, the most sophisticated and civilized nation in the planet, what can we expect of Ivory Coast?

    January 21, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  71. Sokman

    I have my son take out the trash once a week, so does that make the trash company responsible for my lack of recycling?

    January 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  72. Christine

    Its simple STOP buying chocolate, anything that is made from other countries and maybe they would go out of buisness. All the companies that are having products shipped in are doing it because they can and get away with it. If all canadians only bought canadian products what a difference it would make but that will never happen. Corporate companies will always have the upper hand and the government will always give in its all about money. Greedy greedy corrupt politics is the name of the buisness and blame it on the economy the government will always control the human race in canada and US Did we really end Hitlers regime or did they carry out his ideas in different ways we are all slaves to our government. they control everything.

    January 21, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  73. kaimen

    It's up to the local government to clamp down on slavery, quit blaming consumers

    January 21, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  74. yaw kwayie berlin germany

    its a pity now that cnn after ten years of establishment have to discuss about the child slavery in cocoa business,the editor having been eating cooa since his life.Can he denied that its the first time he know about how chocolate is made and where the seeds come from? If he think he is doing good jounalism he can forget it. he is doing more harm than good to the peole of Africa because he is hurting the main existence of African families in the cocoa industry.
    If he have something better to write he must follow the steps of OPRAH WINFRiED orgarnise big entrepreneurs to help establish schools to educate the Afican child.
    This sort of journalism hurt the price of cocoa which is the main existence of inocence and responsible farmers in the industry. P lease be careful what you write it may sound reasonable but at last useless for who you want to help.

    January 21, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  75. Emelia

    *blaming. Sorry for that little error. Don't let it detract from the message.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:03 am | Reply
  76. brutyre

    I have a dream. I dream of a time when blacks around the world will take responsibility for their own well being – a time when toddlers are not raped in the Congo, children not enslaved in the Ivory Coast, when gangs disband and there are no drive-by shootings in American cities. Unfortunately, it is just a dream.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:07 am | Reply
    • izy

      Re:brutyre,

      stop the stupidity, dont take this article that talks about slavery and turn it into a hate speach about minorities and using MLK's I have a dream, very racist and its extremely insulting.

      January 22, 2012 at 1:21 am | Reply
      • brutyre

        Sometimes the truth hurts. Why can't sub-Sahara Africa take care of itself? Read Paul Theroux's Dark Star Safari or black writer Eddie L. Harris' Native Stranger for a feeling of the lack of basic order in Africa, or Harris' Still Life in Harlem for the same problem in the US. Also, get a grip about the presidential election. We're not electing a dictator. PS – it's not perfect to generalize about blacks as the vast majority are perfectly lovely people; yet somehow as a people they fail again and again to be able to organize and improve where they congregate, be it in communities or nations.

        January 22, 2012 at 1:47 am |
      • Joanna

        Good post.Thank you for taking the time to pbuilsh this information and facts incredibly helpful! I am nonetheless waiting for some fascinating thoughts out of your side in your subsequent post thanks.

        October 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  77. Emelia

    (Said message is still waiting for moderation, apparently...)

    January 22, 2012 at 1:12 am | Reply
  78. izy

    this is how america is going to be under Newt Gingrich. slavery for the lower class and different ethnic groups...

    January 22, 2012 at 1:18 am | Reply
  79. david diomande

    Check this artical out.

    January 22, 2012 at 2:04 am | Reply
  80. vladimir lucero

    i pity for those kids.ivory coast's government should do something to end such cruelty like that.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:22 am | Reply
  81. chongo

    whyaretheyalwaysdoingthistoblackpeople?maygodblessthemall.

    January 22, 2012 at 7:32 am | Reply
  82. The world will never change

    why all the bickering with eachother, calling names,and being just as nasty to one another,, at the end of the day, child slavery is WRONG nothing can justify it, even if they have no homes no food, they should not be used like that, the world is always doing wrong, it has beauty and it has wonderful people but also it can be painful and unfair and have evil people, it will never change, it has been this way throughout evolution from day one, its horrible and shouldnt be happening but it is,

    January 22, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
  83. B

    slavery has always been a social and economic problem. in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries african warlords sold their sunbjects to slavery; pirates shipping slaves to america was only half the issue. supposedly africans were prefered due to the color of their skin – they were identifiable. the ottoman empire was less discriminating – it made slaves out of everyone.
    under the obama administration a hidden slave state mentality emerged in america when the florida gulf petroleum disaster occured. some people just have a fondness for things that are black.
    chocolate is a basic nutrition and a very active world commodity. if child labor is to be used it must be done on a standardized basis – children must be properly compensated for their labor. children working in cocoa plantations are certainly better off than child miners who carried coal through tunnels in england in the nineteenth century. that coal was extensively used to fuel the military machines of the later world wars. its over now. but slavery still persists in africa as the result of war funding. the diamond trade is an example of such funding.
    slavery associated with the diamond trade can only be eliminated by eliminating the diamond trade itself. this also an environmental issue – tearing up the earth for diamonds.
    chocolate is a more reasonable commodity. if the african states can gear their economies to large scale agriculture and cultivation then both their economies and social disposition will improve.

    January 22, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
    • tedt

      And people say he's a loving God. If there is a god do you think he would let this happen. I believe in a supreme creator, but not a god in biblical terms. If there were a god it would not stand by and let this injustice happen

      January 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Reply
      • TKSLIFETODAY

        GOD IS NOT OUR BABYSITTER.
        WE MAKE MISTAKES BECAUSE OF OUR GREED AND PRIDE.
        GOD LET US FAIL BECAUSE "HE" KNOWS" WE WILL SUCCEED.
        A THOUSAND YEARS FOR US IS LESS THAN ONE SECOND BEYOND ETERNITY.
        WE ARE STILL TOO SPIRITUALY IMMATURE TO UNDERSTAND GOD'S MEANING.

        January 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
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      BRAVO

      January 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  84. jorge alberto

    Good article. I come from Colombia, where children are forced to drug trade and armed guerrilla movement. It is very difficult situation, especially where the re is a lot of money involved.

    January 22, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
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  86. pedro

    Like wiliwonka's chocolate factory. I always wondered where they got the umpa lumpas from.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  87. Aaron

    You do all realize there is a simple solution to this right? Buy chocolate from manufacturer who have their chocolate certified as fair trade and free of child labor. There are many organizations who do this, and it is the same with coffee.
    As long as consumers continue to buy their chocolate from people like hershey's or nestle or any of the other big names, you are creating the market for the chocolate being produced by child labor.
    For once, stop going to walmart or other large chain stores. I buy my chocolate produced by local companies who source their materials from certified farms across the world, farms who pay fair wages. Is it more expensive?? Yes!
    But if money is what is stopping you from finding and buying chocolate that has been certified to not use child labor, then you are just as bad as the CEO's who continue to let it happen as long as you keep buying it.

    January 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • kyle

      Thank you!

      January 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  88. tedt

    Does newt gingrich get his child labor from the cocoa growers.

    January 22, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  89. notconfused

    Anytime someone takes another persons freedom it is called slavery. Capitalism in it's most mature stage by definition is to let the rich get richer by putting all of the labor on the backs of the poor. Sounds like servitude to me. Not slavery but indentured servitude for life.

    January 22, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  90. David T

    Nothing changes, nothing changes, nothing changes, and nothing will ever change with all your stories.

    January 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  91. David T

    The writes should be embarassed to present these stories which never bring about change...you are just as responsable when going out to these remote places and doing nothing about it. CTV.ca they produce results!
    Learn from them.

    January 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  92. Philippe

    I know that African COTTON farmers cannot decide on the price of the cotton. Is it the same the chocolate Farmers? Can they decide on the selling price?
    Thank you for your extraordinary work against child slavery.

    Philippe, MAURITIUS

    January 22, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  93. Keith B Rosenberg

    Interesting that the VERY bloody trade in illegal drugs does not get much ethical interest. I wonder why?

    January 23, 2012 at 12:21 am | Reply
  94. ILHAN

    Congratulations, about one year ago France 2 has done another very good 45 minutes broadcast on this. If you want I have a copy. I advice you to contact Ministries in Côte d'Ivoire. The change should come from Ivory Cost and industries and not from the customers. It is good to sensitize people but it doesn't help to make them feel guilty. There are fair trade chocolates, especially produced by Max Havelaer, although not from Ivorian origin but mostly from Carribean. When you speak to Ivorian officials they consider the child work as cultural, and they say that it is good that children experience this, working with the family in the fields. Obviously this an excuse to explain and bear this situation. Generally, a great percentage of Ivorian people worked for a while in cocoa plants, some of them became Minister now, it is difficult for them to change the mentality (i.e. present Minister of Justice). If you ask people you will see that the percentage is very high which makes it if it was a part of Ivorian culture. This should be changed. Another reason is that, cocoa is bought from the farmers by "pisteurs" which means that the industry has no direct contact with the farmers. The latter buy from traders to whom "pisteurs" bring the cocoa. This arranges the industry so that they have an excuse. They know very well what is going on. The system should change. First, Government should build roads to access farms easily. This is one of the main reasons that farmers are depending on "pisteurs". Western countries can assist for building roads, but somebody should make it priority at the political level. Cargill has invested recently 1.3 billions FCAF (3.3 millions USD) to train farmers, give them new plantations etc. But this does not include eradicating child labor. The buying price should increase, it can't be done by spot help. Cargill invested 1 billion FCFA in 2008 too, so 1 million dollars per year is peanuts. If a farmer should hire 2 persons (adults) from outside to produce 5 tons then he has to sell his cocoa more expensive, but this is not possible beacause the price is fixed by London Stock Exchange. If the whole trade does not follow, it is not individually (for a family) possible to go out of this situation (vice). It is possible to heal the system, but it should come from inside with a project, a society project supported by traders, industry and there need to be political will. If you need more information please contact me.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:23 am | Reply
    • EK KADIDDLEHOPPER

      Your blog is interesting and insightful. However, I doubt that the London Stock Exchange has the power to fix the price of cocoa! Let us have some proof on this one!

      What stops chocolate manufacturers from going and buying direct from the growers??

      January 24, 2012 at 2:30 am | Reply
  95. loveismore

    HEY HERE IS A SUGGESTION: STOP BUYING THEIR PRODUCTS IF YOU THINK THIS IS MORALLY REPUGNANT. We are the supporters. We pay for their products and keep the business running. If you boycut, they'll go out of business, and the slaves will be free.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  96. Evil White Man

    Back to work, Koonta. I need my morning mocha.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  97. EK KADIDDLEHOPPER

    It is interesting that all of those slave owners, even in then picture above, are Black! There are those who would have us believe that slavery was invented by Whites! As mentioned in the blogs, the slaves of Eqypt, ancient Rome, China and many other locations were not Black!

    The on ly thing good about this is that those children are fed, apparently well, to enable them to work.

    January 24, 2012 at 2:20 am | Reply
  98. Paul Willson

    This is the west interfering in other nations again. Time for the west to clean it s own problems and stop pratting at others for their way of life , how they manage thieir crop collect or their politics

    February 1, 2012 at 12:30 am | Reply
  99. studdmuffins

    Hey, I'm an American with a birthright to cheap chocolate. Hands off the chocolate industry.

    February 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  100. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    Perhaps we could ship studdmuffins' children to Africa where they could learn how to pick Cocoa. If these were white blue-eyed, blond haired children i'm sure that Studdmuffins would feel differently. But these are black kids and we don't seem to have a problem with black slaves if hey are not in America.

    February 2, 2012 at 12:08 am | Reply
  101. Bob Jensen

    Velvety smooth dark cocoa delights
    Cause me to wonder what's wrong and what's right

    For the Ivory Coast has shattered my dreams
    of Wonka's smooth flowing chocolatey streams

    While thousands are slaves to that small cocoa bean
    Trafficking and slavery are truths never seen

    Young children, forced labor, to harvest this gold
    By monsters whose hearts are ever so cold

    The machete cuts deep but are only a part
    Of emotional scars that do break my heart

    Don't tell me that truffles are made in this way
    Don't tell me that children do suffer each day

    For deep in my heart I wish it were true
    We could end this injustice for me and for you

    February 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Reply
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      But I least they have some work. They have no alternative except to starve. Or are you going to take care of them?

      April 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Reply
      • CharlesWilliamMorganJr

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        April 13, 2013 at 11:29 am |
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        Glad somebody else sees it this weay. I think this bleeding heart approach does a great deal of har. It's well intentioned but misguided.

        What does make me angry is that these people are irresponsible in that they take a meanss of livelihood away with apparently no thought or concern as to what will happen to the kids affected. I guess they think "somed\body will take care", but there is nobody.

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