January 12th, 2012
10:17 AM ET

Chocolate's Child Slaves

Everyone loves chocolate. But for thousands of people, chocolate is the reason for their enslavement.

The chocolate bar you snack on likely starts at a plant in a West African cocoa plantation, and often the people who harvest it are children. Many are slaves to a system that produces something almost all of us consume and enjoy.

The CNN Freedom Project sent correspondent David McKenzie into the heart of the Ivory Coast - the world’s largest cocoa producer - to investigate what's happening to children working in the fields.

His work has resulted in a shocking, eye-opening documentary showing that despite all the promises the global chocolate industry made a decade ago, much of the trade remains unchanged. There are still child slaves harvesting cocoa, even though some have never even tasted chocolate and some don't even know what the word "chocolate" means.

In the documentary "Chocolate’s Child Slaves," CNN discovers a human trafficking network and farmers using child labor for an industry offering low prices and little more than broken promises. Watch an excerpt above about Abdul, 10, who has been working in the fields for three years.

Below, watch as Toure, a leader of a Cocoa cooperative deep in the Ivory Coast, readily admits that children are working in the area:

In another clip from the documentary, a cocoa farmer who doesn't use child labor weighs in on government promises.

The documentary first airs on Friday, January 20 on CNN International.  As you now ponder the injustices chocolate can cause, are you considering checking your next chocolate purchase for a fair-trade label? Can that seemingly inconsequential action of looking at a label spur a chain of events? Or do you think it takes more than a label to change an industry? We'll also find out what the chocolate industry says about all this in a discussion airing after the documentary.

Chocolate’s Child Slaves premieres Friday 20th January 2012: 8.00pm GMT, 9.00pm CET

Friday 1/20/12
London          20:00
Berlin/CET      21:00
Abu Dhabi       Midnight

Saturday 1/21/12
Hong Kong      22:00
Abu Dhabi      18:00
New York/Miami  9pm
Mexico City     8pm

Sunday 1/22/12
Hong Kong       18:30
London          21:30
Berlin/CET      22:30
New York/Miami  11pm
Mexico City     10pm

Tuesday 1/24/12
Hong Kong       18:30
London          17:30
Berlin/CET      18:30
Abu Dhabi       21:30

soundoff (287 Responses)
  1. Plaisham

    While I am probably not in the majority...I don't care for chocolate. I don't like the mouth feel or the gooiness it leaves or actually most of the taste. But I do have chocolate in freezer I keep for guests. and would like to thank you for info about FAIR TRADE. I honestly didn't know. But now that I do I will be VERY careful in purchases. Thanks

    January 12, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
    • guest

      I stopped eating chocolate months ago bc of this, and now enjoy only fair-trade chocolate.
      But all my friends and family that I've shared this info with and even shown pictures of the mutilated backs of the child slaves couldn't care less, they refuse to join me in the boycott.
      people disgust me.
      I bet all of them pretended they were against slavery when learning about the civil war in school.
      People don't really care if others are enslaved if being against it means changing their lifestyles.

      January 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
      • BldrRepublican

        Yet you post this drivel from a laptop manufactured by FoxxConn – where working conditions were so atrocious that employees were committing suicide to get out.

        January 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
      • Debra

        Just like people buy from puppymills, buy products that have been tested on animals, buy clothing and other goods made from the backs of slaves. Maybe this planet and its inhabitants need to be extinct.

        January 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
      • BldrRepublican


        Or people (like yourself) need to develop a thicker skin and realize that THIS is the way people will ALWAYS be, regardless of the number of laws, boycotts, or wars.

        It is what it is because that's the way it is.

        January 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
      • myrna hamilton

        I will join you and so will the rest of my family. Some of us do have a heart.

        January 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
      • mark@gmx.com

        Bldr Republican spells it all out what he thinks. For a start he doesn't know what computer you have typed it on. Anyway republicans tend to care only about money and that as long as they are at the top of the foodchain, they couldn't care less about how many slaves die making them rich. Wouldn't listen to him as he is part of the problem.

        January 19, 2012 at 12:33 am |
      • techguy

        Pretty easy to guess that the comment was entered on a foxconn laptop... because most are built by them. Or by similar companies around Asia. Apple, Dell, HP, etc. all use FoxConn or other low cost suppliers. Because they're low cost. Plain and simple.

        January 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
      • mark

        you are a probably a typical lazy fat chocolate eating armchair american. Too lazy to do anything but sit a your fat backside and criticize others for making a stand. Too bad you will probably end up with heart disease . I call it justice. How would you know if the person is typing on a computer made a foxcom. It's just a cop out so you don't have to feel guilty. I laugh when I see fat amercians on TV. I call them the planets parasites. Don't eat too much, you might pop

        January 21, 2012 at 1:07 am |
      • Agnieszka

        I watched a similar movie few months ago. I also stopped eating the chocolates. In my country is quite difficult to buy fair-trade chocolate, sometimes i miss the taste of the chocolate, but everytime i rimind my self these children and problem. So I eat ONLY fair-trade chocolate.

        I hope that people will understand the problem!!! We should take care of children and other countries to make the world better

        January 20, 2012 at 5:29 am |
      • Guest

        Yet you probably wear clothes made in sweat shops or eat pork that comes from ill treated animals.

        January 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
      • mark

        sorry, was talkig about techguy. A fat chocolate eating lazy Amercian. Parasite of the planet. AS long as the chocolate keeps flowing so he can stuff his fat face. The consequence is called Heart Disease, which is justice

        January 21, 2012 at 1:08 am |
      • A Friend

        I was at the market and was a very disapointing conversation with a worker there as she defended the chocolate companies. It is frustrating that people are so insensitive and selfish. I have joined you on this, I hope other do as well. My family were not as closed minded as yours though so there is hope... 🙂

        January 31, 2012 at 2:33 am |
      • ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

        malarrky more lik slav blyat

        June 17, 2019 at 1:14 am |
      • eiurpgbwiurfbpiuqbeofu


        June 17, 2019 at 1:16 am |
    • Gianni

      By the way, no matter what, chocolate in the Freezer? This will destroy the structure of chocolate, because the cocoa butter, emulsionated in the chocolate, would come on surface and the taste will be horrible.

      Obviously, this do not apply to ice cream.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • guest1

      What about a Valentines Day boycott It would be just one day so it wouldn't cost jobs but it would cost them profits it would be easy all we have to do is start a website or a face book page and ask people to buy from different companies. It is one of there biggest selling days. Its just around the corner and right now this story has momentum. We can promise to do this every year until the change there ways they don't wanna lose one of there biggest holidays

      January 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
      • Uma in Liverpool

        Boycotting traditional chocolate-gifting holidays, or turning them into occasions to use costlier, and harder to find, Fair-trade chocolate, is an excellent approach! Valentine's day is about romance. There's nothing to kill the romance like knowing how that chocolate heart was made! Nobody NEEDS to eat chocolate - despite jokes about women with PMS. There are ethical and humane ways to get those endorphins, too. Romance is one! Skip the chocolates.

        January 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
      • sayitstr8

        what a great idea. I don't know how, but sometimes this sort of idea blossoms into a world wide movement and does have an effect. Let's call it How Sweet It Isn't to paraphrase Jackie Gleason's line (yes, I am old – 65) How Sweet It Is. but the sacrastic irony will not be lost on people. or,

        Roses are red
        Violets are blue
        The chocolate you eat
        Comes from child slaves to you

        why protect ignorance? Let's out this whole tragic mess. Those who justify it by saying 'this is how it will always be' wouldn't say it if it was their children, or mothers or fathers. But they are idiots. It will be that way ONLY if we don't act to change it. It's worth the life of even one child to try. So, how can we start?

        January 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Ruppert Jenkins

      Debra, you say "Maybe this planet and its inhabitants need to be extinct.".

      I play to stick around another 50 years, but nobody is stopping you from leaving. There are many tall bridges to be found.

      The world will be just as well off after you are gone, as with any other Westerner disappearing.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • Ruppert Jenkins

      All this article did was make me schedule a visit to a Godiva store tomorrow to buy another pound. Yummy. The best.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Reply
      • Guest

        What an ass-hat comment....just trying to stir the pot. Have another drink buddy.

        January 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
      • Thorogood

        why in the world would you post a comment like that? all you're trying to do is provoke people. child slavery (slavery of any kind, really) is an abomination. and for you to leave a comment like that HERE, just shows people that you're stupid, heartless, possibly an idiot and you take things for granted.

        November 25, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • mikew67

      I hope these child slaves are earning more, because chocolate is way up at the grocery store over the last 5 years...
      – incredible satellite view of Africa at night; Balkingpoints / www

      January 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Reply
    • Christine

      Im a 14 year old girl who lives in Kenya and I have to say that Africa is the continent where corruption will never end. Fairtrade has tried to help these kids future but nothing has so far happened. With Ivory Coast having free education these kids would have been going to school and building their own future but instead they are on the farms harvesting things that they will never ever taste in their lives. But I dont blame the kids, they have to get the money for their parents 'to raise the family well' which rarely happens since the parents keep the money to themselves. How about we blame the country itself and the parents themselves who allow this for their children? Who is really to blame for this shame?

      January 22, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
      • TFH

        You have made the most intelligent post so far. God bless you and keep you safe, dear child. I have chose only to eat fair trade. I can only hope that more people will have a conscience and make the change but it is to being publicized. Not enough people know.

        March 24, 2015 at 3:12 pm |
  2. Ayala

    sorry, but my chocolate habit will not change

    January 12, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • Infinity1952

      You can spend a little bit more and buy fair trade chocolate! It tastes better!

      January 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • Alexpv

      Because of people like you our world is being destroyed

      January 14, 2012 at 12:47 am | Reply
      • Ruppert Jenkins

        Not really. In fact, there is no connection whatsoever between chocolate and the future end of the world. What drivel.

        January 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • the five senses

      To Ayala – it is all fine to be dismissive but you never know until it is your offspring on the receiving end of injustice. Once one considers that, one can have true empathy and real compassion. Also, like most Americans, you are probably obese and would benefit from getting off your corn-syrup-laden cheap chocolate habit. If you must indulge your fat cells and feed the drug companies, at least eat something that actually satisfies your ease buds and does someone else a bit less harm. Enjoy!

      January 14, 2012 at 5:32 am | Reply
      • Puckles

        Right on!!!

        January 19, 2012 at 1:09 am |
      • Ruppert Jenkins

        Yet, there are millions just like me, tall and skinny, who love chocolate and eat it daily. You're ignorant to assume all obese people eat lots of chocolate, or that eating chocolate precludes one from being thin. It's call self-control and exercise.

        January 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
      • Ryan

        I love recipes when you can sneak in geaetvbles. That way I feel less guilty when I reach for a second piece! Can't wait to try it!

        March 6, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • Puckles

      Actually, it will when God smites you.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:08 am | Reply
    • God smites? hahahaha

      God will smite her? Really. God doesn't stop slavery, but he goes after chocolate-eaters? Cool story bro.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
  3. Smitty

    So its not the West African country that looks the other way on child slavery, or the plantation owner that forces these kids into slavery that is the problem, it is the consumer of chocolate. Okay. Brilliant, thanks. Sorry CNN, but I have no control over where the chocolate I consume comes from. The corporations do. Why don't you throw them under the bus and then you'll actually have a real story.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • Kittyg


      January 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • Infinity1952

      Smitty and Kitty...pay a little more and buy certified fair trade chocolate!

      January 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • AlbanNapoleon

      I hate to say this, but maybe in the US there is a fair trade label. I have never seen one, but I can tell you that in Egypt the label is either not there or covered up in Arabic with other product information. Why doesn't CNN post which companies get their chocolate from the Ivory Coast?

      January 14, 2012 at 2:27 am | Reply
      • Caroline

        It would be great if CNN could publish the names of the Companies whose products come from the Ivory Coast. I had a list, but it's not updated.

        January 19, 2012 at 8:07 am |
      • mark

        yes please, a list would be great, but I think people need to email these companies so they know why people aren't buying their chocolate so they can change their ways

        January 21, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • Really??

      But if consumers consume from corporations that use slave labor, then those corporations will keep being evil and unethical. If we as consumers demand products that come from ethical practices and sustainable materials, we can use our dollars/euros/yen as votes and affect change. Things can get better for those poor souls stuck in hellish conditions and we can be wiser, more humane consumers. Please tell me you get at least that basic understanding.

      January 20, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
  4. Tululah

    @Smitty, of course it's the responsibility of the countries and the plantation owners, but that doesn't mean it's not ALSO the responsibility of the consumer. I agree that sometimes these sorts of reports just give a ton of awful information but with little information abut what you can directly do about it.

    However, I do think that change can be made by consumers too... One thing you can do is choose to buy from companies who display the fair trade logo, indicating that they have abided by fair practices, not used slavery, and paid a living wage.

    Of course, most chocolate in the USA does not have the fair trade logo and so your choices are quite limited. I have also lived in the UK, and what is interesting there is that is a really strong consumer movement for fair trade – e.g. ALL of Starbucks' coffee is fair-trade there because it's such a popular issue. Also, some of the major chocolate companies use all fair trade chocolate (Cadburys are moving that way, and all Kitkats are fair trade). I think there is great potential for consumer power, if people let companies know that this matters to them.

    Imagine if , say, Hershey's adopted such a policy and made sure all their cocoa was from fair trade sources. It would make a huge difference, and give consumers a real option. This article has given me the push to write to some companies and let them know that this matters to me.

    January 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • Heather

      I agree, yeah their government could do something but the problem is the country is very poor, and they'll do what they must to get money to survive. Large corporations see this as cheap labor. If everyone starts buying only fair trade products, then more companies will start moving to those practices or else they won't have any business anymore. Fair trade might not be as common in the US but there are plenty of places that sell it, at least on the east coast where I'm at.

      January 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
    • BldrRepublican


      Unfortunately, you have to put your trust into SOMETHING. The "Free Trade" symbols aren't necessarily aligned with what *I* believe Free Trade should be (nor likely you, if you took the time to investigate just exactly what that means).

      I, as a consumer, am not going to devote my entire life researching where EVERY SINGLE product I consume is made, and by what means. You may be aware of chocolate today, but that table in your dining room? The mattress pad on your bed? Did you research whether THEY were manufactured by "Free Trade" certified companies?


      January 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Reply
      • Gianni

        Amen! This the truth but, when Love and Charity drive Your Life, You will understand that everything and anything come for a GO(o)D Reason.

        January 18, 2012 at 9:08 am |
      • Really??

        Wow. You like to assume a lot about people and those who post online. I actually do my research when making a purchase like a mattress or table. I know where it comes from, who made it, and what processes were invilved. Its not actually all that difficult to find out. Took about an extra hour of my time. also, there are actually quite a few fair trade options for groceries, produce, clothing, games, toys and many other things. Again, just do a bit of research. Ues your public libraries and librarians. Use the internet. Use these wonderful e-resource tools available to us today. Make better choices and both you and those who made the product will benefit.

        January 20, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  5. Adebayo joseph

    This is outrageous in this modern day governance.something must be done fast

    January 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Ruppert Jenkins

      Really? Something must be done? Who is stopping you from selling your house and giving all that money to charity to help those people? Are your hands broken? Can you not sign the papers and checks?

      January 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
      • Victoria

        What is the matter with you? Stop commenting on people's posts with such sarcasm and hate. it will get you nowhere.

        November 25, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  6. Olaywhola

    Messi must be famous in the world.bcoz he hv tried his best b4 so nw he will reap d fruit of it

    January 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  7. us1776

    I wish they would make fair-trade labeling better known.


    January 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  8. Steve387

    I was going to call and complain, but I just threw away my cell phone because it may have contained conflict minerals.

    January 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Reply
    • Ruppert Jenkins


      January 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  9. smako

    I know a lot of vegetarians that claim if they eat only dark chocolate it is cruelty free, I have told them about the people who harvest their chocolate and the reply? "It's their choice to work there or not." Thank you for the story, I can send it to the self righteous veganazis that think butter is cruel.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
    • Sally

      They won't care. The kids harvesting chocolate are only pesky humans. Vegans have told me more than once they would let a human child die to save an animal.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
      • sophie

        REALLY !!! woow im so shocked right now

        January 20, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  10. smako

    This is the chocolate, now read about the labor practices in harvesting coffee and bananas.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:13 am | Reply
  11. OperationShadowProject

    The companies which employ these methods should be brought to justice then shut down.

    January 13, 2012 at 2:13 am | Reply
  12. GypsyKing

    Oh My God, this article made me so hungry for the deep rich luxury of chocolate I'm headed out to International Plaza for lunch and hitting the Godiva store!! Thanks for reminding me how precious and delicious this food really is!!

    January 13, 2012 at 10:56 am | Reply
  13. Infinity1952

    Sadly, this premiers after Valentine's day. Wonder how that happened?

    January 13, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • Infinity1952

      Oops, wrong. It premiers Jan. 20. Sorry for the error.

      January 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  14. Freeman

    It is nice to think about children working conditions in Africa. How about children dying in Iraq or Afghanistan from the collateral damage or depleted uranium dumping? Oh, I forgot, they are little terrorists without any rights... like Palestinian children in Gaza Ghetto.

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

      @Freeman – The depleted uranium is used in bullets fired from the A-10 GAU-8 Avenger cannon. They are not nuclear in nature. Their purpose is their density. They are so dense that when they strike vehicle armor at a high velocity they litterally melt it and in the process create a tremendous amount of heat that not only sucks the oxygen out of vehicles like tanks, but actually sets the armor on fire. For some reason when people hear "depleted uranium", they think the bullets are nuclear in nature when in fact they are just super dense. As such, and I'm not 100 certain about this, I don't think they are used in Afghanistan as the Taliban really doesn't have any armor.

      January 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  15. Hahahahahahahaha

    Child Slave Labor. Wow...these guys must be republicans. Hahahahahahahahah

    January 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
    • clara


      April 4, 2012 at 1:27 am | Reply
  16. FairTrade_iphone

    There should also be fair trade i phone. Chin ese workers should be paid just like their western counter parts. Kids should not be working in those i phone factories.

    January 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Reply
    • clara

      acually the conditions are rather good considering china's MASSIVE over population issue. It's not really that bad there, but true it could be better

      April 4, 2012 at 1:29 am | Reply
  17. Rodney North

    Since many readers have asked about Fair Trade options I should introduce Equal Exchange, our employee-owned co-op that sells a wide line of Fair Trade chocolates and other cocoa products nationwide. (BTW, they're organic, too). We also export.
    You can learn more at: http://tinyurl.com/7e855m7 & http://tinyurl.com/33qtbru & http://www.EqualExchange.Coop

    Canadians have great source, too, for Fair Trade/organic chocolate & cocoa (& more). It's the Camino brand. see: http://www.lasiembra.com/camino/en/chocolate-bars

    Divine is another good Fair Trade choice (in the US & UK) http://www.DivineChocolate.com

    January 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • Shreya

      Lol I wasn't doing PR for them at that time and I haven't now for almost two years. Even now this is still the best high-tea I've ever had!-ugly girl

      March 4, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
    • clara

      dude this isn't no ad site.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:31 am | Reply
  18. gh


    January 13, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  19. Portland tony

    I don't know enough about the chocolate harvesting slave labor problems, so I'll watch the special and learn. But too often we Westerners rush in and free the slaves or young indentured workers without ensuring they will survive without any work. These third world nations don't have the infrastructure ...the schools ...the shelters that these children would need. Obviously, they have no family that could support them. So it's a bigger problem than meets the eye.

    January 13, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  20. Alexpv

    North american people could have the solution in their hands but they are slaves to large companies too

    January 14, 2012 at 12:57 am | Reply
  21. wolfstarr

    To find out if your chocolate is slavery free, go to this website. They have a chart of companies that make slavery free chocolate. http://vision.ucsd.edu/~kbranson/stopchocolateslavery/main.html#Table

    January 14, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
  22. Kerry

    Change and/or enforce the laws, no need to change eating habits. If people did their jobs in protecting their citizens this wouldn't happen. There are slaves everywhere, the product is not the problem.

    January 14, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
  23. BldrRepublican

    Oh For Crying Out Loud!!

    If it's not chocolate, it's coffee, or cotton, or clothing, or diamonds, jewels, or oil....

    If it's not one thing, it's another. This is not a "chocolate" problem, but a mankind problem. I really don't care WHERE my cotton, chocolate, or coffee comes from, as you "free-trade" worshipers would be wise to investigate just WHERE that information came from. You might be surprised.

    January 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Reply
    • Really??

      I agree that it is a mankind problem. But that still means its a problem, one that is actually solvable by changing bad habits and supporting good ones. How do you not get that?

      January 20, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
  24. BldrRepublican

    How many of you "do-gooder" chocolate-hating hypocrites read or responded to this from an iPhone, or Microsoft, or HP/Dell device manufactured by FoxxConn where working conditions were so bad employees were committing suicide to get out?

    January 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  25. GOP4ever

    We need slaves. Otherwise we pay $50 for a chocolate bar.

    January 14, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • coriander124

      $3.00 for a large Divine chocolate bar. The Divine company is partially owned by the cocoa farmers. The 70% dark is very good.

      The reality is that much of the chocolate that we eat is the worst tasteless junk. You are paying too much money for wax and preservative infused big name bars.

      January 14, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Reply
      • Really??

        Whoohoo!! Divine chocolate is the BEST! I eat it all the time and it costs not much more than the cheap, waxy pretend chocolate that is sold in most stores. My whole family loves these bars. There are several other brands we routinely get but of course, my mind has blanked on them right now.

        January 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Anonymous

      Gosh, people really only care about themselves these days. Think of all the people out there who are beaten and forced to work without pay. Some of these people are children, who need to get a good education to become successful adults. People take everything for granted these days, and there are some out there who have absolutely nothing.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • shima

      that is a very unrealistic answer with a high rate of ignorance ...it is a high time to change the world from its cruelty

      January 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  26. DPB

    CNN typical USA crab. a few month ago you bring a report about the best chocolates and praise hoe good it is. but there was no mentioning anything about the Chocolate children slaves. its like with all the USA is doing. Helping, praising, supporting and than fight it

    January 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
    • Marzena

      Wish more stores raound here sold Divine milk chocolate. Love that one so much I have not tried any others from Divine. I will soon I promise.

      April 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  27. Anonymous

    Human trafficking is one of the most cruel things in this world to me. I wish everyone in this world would stop fighting and help solve problems like human trafficking. These people (the traffickers) should be arrested and put in jail for life. They have no respect for anyone but themselves and only want money. People really need to stop being so selfish these days.

    January 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  28. Dan

    How come nobody (i.e. the Western media) talks about your Chinese slaves (including child ones) making your APPLE iPods and iPads?

    You can have a primer look at Business Insider's article enitled: "Your iPhone Was Built, In Part, By 13 Year-Olds Working 16 Hours A Day For 70 Cents An Hour", Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-child-labor-2012-1#ixzz1jaIc5FFF. I live right here in Shenzhen and can assure you that Apple doesn't give a rats ass about how its suppliers' workers are treated; they ONLY care about their shareholders. I can post links to many other articles about how Apple covers up and sheds itself from ay form of responsibility towards the slaves who makes its products. Sad, very sad how a company with such rices doesn't care at all about the fine and hard-working people who makes it's products. They should be so ashamed of themselves...Steve Jobs never even made it once to China to see the conditions HIS products were made in. Nobody ever talks about that!

    January 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Reply
    • Really??

      Western main stream media might not be talking about it often but it is certainly discussed and people are trying to find ways to fix the "conflict mineral" issue. I and my family will not be buying smartphones until they can prove the minerals used are conflict free.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
      • Mabell

        Make sure you dont write a check for more than your credit limit and also look at what the rate goes to after the intro rate. Also some have a uropfnt fee of say 3 percent of the cash advance

        April 9, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  29. nl20051405

    Chocolate is a kind of delicious food enjoyed by all the people in the world. It is not strange that some children slaves are made to work in this field, mostly in some isolated districts on the earth as a direct result of the commercial operation. In China some disables and young chilren have to work at the coal mines under dangerous conditions long time during the daytime. This is not about the fair-trade system or not. The governmental officials may stop eating chocolate when they hear about such news report but they may not liberate those child slave at all because they never use the coal or coal products in their daily life. To tell the truth, such cheap and low-qualified labor source may solve a lot of contradictions jamed in the work unions from a long time ago. So what's a better choice to keep the human history moving forward?

    January 16, 2012 at 2:29 am | Reply
  30. Goddess

    I don't why they don't just have farms? LIke to grow corn or other stuff to eat. Why do I alway see this? You donate and stuff is not changing

    January 16, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
  31. james ramdin

    hypocriet... asshols; white idiots..

    January 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  32. harviele

    Though people won't listen, the families of these kids send the kids to work so the family can survive. If you want to end child labor then first you have to do something about the living conditions of the whole family. Families that are doing well do not have their children working. When I was ten I picked Strawberries. When I was 13 I picked cotton and pulled corn and hauled hay. Children work in poor families sometimes work to help their families survive. When you take away the employment of the kids you are taking food from their mouths. Slavery has been in Africa since recorded history. Africa exported slavery to the United States and other parts of the world. Eventually we set the slaves free but they could not return to Africa because they would be put in slavery again.

    January 16, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Reply
  33. Lole gwakisa

    I call these articles to be a reflection of hypocrisy at it's best.
    If you really feel sorry for these kids you just advocate for payment of real production costs for the crops that can sustain life for the kids.
    Other wise this is just an attempt at face washing trying to wipe away guilt for wrongs done.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • Ajay

      Do you honestly think the money would be passed on to the children? The problem isn't paying fair production costs, it is the greed of the producers.

      January 19, 2012 at 7:29 am | Reply
      • Lole gwakisa

        Ajay, you are not serious at all.So you also think this whole hoolabaloo is about greedy producers?
        And so, according to you, greed is at the production level, come on!

        January 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  34. Dario

    Yo a CNN ya no le creo nada!!

    January 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  35. isinde emmanuel

    why will africa stop be slaved ,sorry 4 the young generation of africa being enslaved by the rich plantation men ,let more enforcement be taken and these childrens are taken back to their home o live a happy life like us, lam an african sorry 4 them ,......looking forward to listen on 21 jan that project . why africa mostly........GOD HELP AFRICA

    January 18, 2012 at 4:15 am | Reply
    • Heidy

      Ah, that is why KK only wants to pose near big or not near good looking women: besauce she is quite large' herself and not as good looking as when she stands near beautiful people. However, hats' off to the huge media circus she is commanding: how an earth keeps them interested? I am wondering. I find her boring, with low IQ and only looking good in tight clothes, otherwise she will come across as fat.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:52 am | Reply
  36. Richard anthony

    It is ok to report about the slavery of children in Africa.Howerver this same children would be the youth who would be trying to travel to european countries when they are of age.I do not think these western countries do not know what is going on in the Afrrica countries,Just us one of the owners of the farms said we all have our problems ,but forgetting that we are interlinked and that when one thing is not corrected early it becomes the problem of everyone.So the big chocolate manufatures of chocolate should be made to take up this responsibility to stop it now .They have the money and means to stop .it ABI?

    January 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  37. Gianni

    As Nero said: "Bread and Circuses" (or bread and games) (from Latin: panem et circenses) WikiPedia!
    No comment, everyone play a game and is just a game, stomach full and watch the last game on the HD Cable Channel in a HD Television Set, if hungry call for a Pizza and Chocolate Ice Cream.

    January 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  38. Spence

    For crying out loud! The rest of the world is getting past a history of slavery in the distant past, and Africa is STILL the main place for human trafficking and slavery. The people of the African Continent are always enslaving each other and selling each other to others. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing about them.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  39. nl20051405

    Everybody has his or her choice of living in the world. A lot of people are misunderstanding each other because of the lack of certain morality propaganda in the socialism society. Children or the disable both have their rights to choose their living and working envioronments. There is only one earth and maybe the seeds of chocolate become disappear in the end. Is there any better solution to stop people from eating any food to avoid suffering? Children will grow up and the seeds will become fruits finally.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  40. josie

    well done CNN.
    me and my friends and family have desided to take a stand,,,,,,,

    January 19, 2012 at 1:13 am | Reply
    • mark

      Good on you Josie. Me to. One thing I reckon is to email your chocolate company and ask them to confirm to you how they are taking precautionsto make sure their chocolate does not use child slave lbour. If the answer is not satisfactory, tell them you will boycott them and use another brand that does. Just an idea

      January 19, 2012 at 3:21 am | Reply
      • Arif

        It was nice meeting you at STK the other night! I rermebemed you and Pleasure Palate were talking about this chocolate afternoon tea. I do love chocolate, I do love tea. I'd have to check this out very very soon.

        March 4, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • mark

      good on you Josie

      January 21, 2012 at 2:48 am | Reply
    • Santos

      Nice vid Btw you might want to try t5 fixtures out. There the best fltuercenos you can use. Flourecents dont generaly produce much eat but t5 s produse almost no heat. Ive had them so close to my sproutlings that over night they grew up into the bulb touching it and it didnt burn them at all. The tubes are the size of your finger so you can pack more in and they produce more lumens per watt. Mine produces 8000 lumens in a 25 X15 area. They cost a bit more but totaly worth it. 🙂

      October 11, 2012 at 5:49 am | Reply
  41. Onyando Juma

    This is certainly embarrasing for a a raw material whose end product is used to show love. Drama behind the irony is that we deny these children love every time we buy a bar of chocolate to demonstrate love for our loved ones. The well meaning men and women of this planet should boycot cocoa products till such a time that the multinationals who line their pockets out of this evil can adequately address the question of FAIR TRADE!!!

    January 19, 2012 at 3:56 am | Reply
  42. pmaura

    dont care, love chocolate. I guess these people probably think its better these children were beggars in the street in countries with no money.

    sucks for the kids but its a way of life worlds not fair never has been. united states had child labout well in to the begining of the 1900's and was far more advanced then these countries.

    its the growing pains of worlds. if you want to change it donate about 20k a year for each child to attend school uni and get fed.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:03 am | Reply
    • Onyando Juma

      And may be USA should tell the world how they handled the question of slavery after the Emancipation Proclaimation. british should tell Kenyans what it intends to do about the human rights violations at the onslought against the MauMau uprising. They cant be so miopic when the problem is in Africa.

      February 2, 2012 at 7:45 am | Reply
  43. Jute

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

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

    January 19, 2012 at 8:10 am | Reply
  44. Ann

    I have been in Ecuador for 3 months now researching Organic Cocao. I have visiting Cocao farms, Companies that process the Cocao into Chocolate and Associations that purchase from small co-op's that are made up of groups of small poor farmers. The results: No such thing as Organic Chocolate from Ecuador. Even if the farmers grow Organic Cocao, the companies are only interested in making money so they mix the Organic Cocao beans with the non-organic beans. The companies are only interested in producing as much chocolate as possible. A major company in Europe has an "Agreement" with an Ecuadorian company to package their chocolate products with the label "Organic". Large companies in the U.S. such as Newmans Own buys their Cocao from a company in Guayaquil, Ecuador who mixes their beans. The companies mix their beans because there are not enough Organic Cocao farms that produce enough to supply the demand. Fair Trade is a joke with Ecuadorians. Small farmers grow a variety of mixed Cocao. The farmers get paid whether it is Organic or not and even if it is bad quality. There is no incentive for farmers to grow Organically. Also, the Ecuador government requires Cocao to be called "Arriba" even if it is not. Criollo suppose to be the original variety of Cocao, but does not exist. It was wiped out years ago, yet companies in Europe and the U.S. insist their chocolate is Organic and made from the Criollo variety.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:40 am | Reply
    • Jute

      I appreciate your comments as I have seen the same thing for many years from the purchasing side. The manufacture I worked for doesn't use the "Fair Trade" label because it is impossible to validate those claims. The same is true of coffee. I would only add that it really isn’t possible for manufactures to change many of the practices in these growing origins in a significant way.

      January 19, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • Jute

      One additional thought Ann. If you are a journalist I hope you will research the topic from a manufactures prospective as well.

      January 19, 2012 at 10:46 am | Reply
  45. Ayn of Slave Free Chocoate

    There is a loophole in the Department of Labor Executive Order 13126 which states that the federal governement can't buy cocoa beans from Ivory Coast and Nigeria. The loophole is that the federal government doesn't buy beans, it buys chcolate. An easy but effective way to help is to join us in an email campaign to our elected officials on Valentine's Day. For details and instructions see: http://slavefreechocolate.org/executive-order-13126-valentines-day-campaign/

    January 19, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
  46. garrisongold

    Just sickening. Can't Hershey and other chocolate manufacturers buy these plantations to exercise control over these labor conditions? Is it just greed or ignorance or both?

    January 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • Ruppert Jenkins

      Garrison, Hershey will be more likely to listen to use, if you and I sell our houses and then mail them a check for $500,000. That way they can use that money for change. You go first.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  47. Chelo Alvarez-Stehle

    Please visit our SOS_SLAVES: Changing the Trafficking Game social impact game website: 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
  48. Anonymous

    Changing YOUR lifestyle is not going to change the lifestyle of these people or specifically these children. The countries use child labor because it is normal for them. That is their life. Agreed it is wrong and sickening to hold within your mind, but if you look at it. We were a slave country once as well and it may be illegal, but people still do this here. If you want to change another country change yours first. Slavery is how these countries bring in income. This is how they live. Without it they would be poorer than they already are. You cannot boycott their whole entire system, instead you should boycott the conditions–boycott the lack of education, and the abuse and lack of nutrition given. Change starts here.

    January 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • Bec215

      BRAVO. Americans are so ridiculously naive about the world outside our borders... There is slavery, and there's child labor, and the two are not the same. It's not like if these kids aren't working, they'll be free to play or go to school... The family is too poor topaz for school which isn't free in most. Developing countries, and the reduced income means the family becomes poorer and hungrier. What would improve people's conditions and reduce child labor is birth control... Teaching poor women to take control of their fertility, reducing the number of mouths to feed.

      January 20, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
      • anonymous

        Control over fertility shouldn't be taught. That leads to the introduction to abortion. Abortion is completely and utterly wrong. In short, they still need children to help work for their families. The number of mouths to feed isn't the issue. The issue is how their morals differ from ours. We can't simply look at change with an open-mind. Americans should still figure out a way to help these people, but not in the ways they are attempting. Again changing YOUR life will not help someone else thousands of miles away. Whether you eat the chocolate or not, their conditions are the same

        January 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • mark

      An argument of someone who is apathetic. You are too lazy to get of your armchair so you criticise people who try and make a difference. I think such as person is known as a sheep.

      January 21, 2012 at 12:57 am | Reply
      • anonymous

        Your arguement is just the opposite of what you believe it to be. Rather than trying to be apathetic and criticize, I was simply making suggestions, providing logic for the few who open their mouths with accusations. Such as yourself, with the finger pointing of a weak and closed mind. Open it and think. Really there is nothing we can do for these people except and pray to God and hope and have faith that one day their freedom will be restored.

        January 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  49. Bea

    The European way of life..see others suffers to make sure we are living well.....

    January 20, 2012 at 3:06 am | Reply
  50. walter nunez

    Razon tiene la biblia en declarar lo registrado en Eclesiastes 8:9, Todo esto he visto y hubo un aplicar a mi corazon, a toda obra que se ha hecho bajo el sol, durante el tiempo que el hombre a dominado al hombre para perjuicio suyo. Salmos 37:10,11

    January 20, 2012 at 5:09 am | Reply
    • Ruppert Jenkins

      People who don't post in English are annoying.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  51. koaa

    Just for curiosity, how do I know if I'm buying the "FAIR" traded chocolates?

    January 20, 2012 at 7:22 am | Reply
  52. cacalips

    Why these brats complaining? I'd be a chocolate slave any day! MMMM delicious slavery!

    January 20, 2012 at 7:24 am | Reply
    • Really??

      You are a sad individual.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Bryan

      Americans really do not know poverty. Yes, I'm an American. I have lived in Africa for years; both East and West African countries. Has anyone thought about the parents who send their children to work for survival purposes? Times are tough especially there. If they don't work, they don't eat. It's sad that children are used and I could not fatham my children having to work, but in their case, it's a way of survival.

      January 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • mark

      You probably wouldn't cut it as you are probably a fat chocolate eating american and you probably ccouldn't even lift yourself off your armchair. Statistically you will probably end up with Heart Disease. I think yu probably need to eat less chocolate

      January 21, 2012 at 12:53 am | Reply
      • Lovecheese45

        Mark, What's your obsession with arm chairs? I'm an American, I love chocolate, and I'm not fat. I run 7-10 miles every other day. Not all Americans are fat...

        January 21, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • anonymous

      Do you realize most of these children don't even know what chocolate is let alone what it tastes like. Their only job is to harvest it.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  53. Comet

    I love chocolate and I truly didn't realize that such a standard product was produced with the blood of childs. I never heard of Fair Trade and I'm thankful for the information this article has given me. I will from this point forward only buy Fair Trade products or if not possible not buy them at all.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:45 am | Reply
    • Ruppert Jenkins

      Nope, no blood. Just cocoa beans and sugar and milk. I assure you, no blood, no hyperbole, and no PC nonsense.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  54. CSX

    If CNN cared as much about America as these people, we would do well.

    BTW, at least they have a JOB.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:41 am | Reply
  55. katungu mubiana

    i see you guys care for us in africa,but know thanks you bring this poverty on us ,so that you live well.after all you dont have raw materials

    January 20, 2012 at 9:17 am | Reply
  56. Matt

    Is it child slavery, or is it some stage they go through, like comparable to the European industrial age in 17th-18th century? Africa is going through hard times, we all do at some point. It's called earning a civilization.

    January 20, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • Ruppert Jenkins

      It's a combo of the two. A European puppet show. HA HA.

      January 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  57. henry

    sorry but the fact is that the chocolate industry has little in terms of means of policing this in ivory coast. IF people really want change the onus is on the Ivorian government. the trail that cocoa takes to come to market is far too conovoluted to police, unless you want to pay $25 for a hershey bar.
    btw, i've worked a good deal with fairtrade for another product. theirs are some of the weakest in terms of auditing and oversight and actually they take a larger fee than any middleman/exporter/merchant so if you really want to boycott the slavery, you're better off buying cocoa produced in the americas where the production practices are slightly better (though is far more often gourmet chocolate and costs a ton, but the flavour is actually much better).

    January 20, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Elliot

      Henry I could not agree with you more. Fairtrade is a fluke and the real solution lies with government. Next door in Ghana, things are a lot better as a result of government's tight control on the value chain through COCOBOD

      January 20, 2012 at 11:34 am | Reply
  58. Your Security

    What a shame!In my own opinion,the government of Ivory Coast should be the first to take the blame.Multinationals just take advantage of governments that do not care about human rights

    January 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  59. Johnsonsmbu

    Who talks of child labour? Who see the chocolate companies when they go to buy cocoa? Have any of them said that they have ever dealt directly with the famers or with produce buyers? If they deal with produce buyers, do they deal with exporting agents or with the local produce buyers back in Africa? Do they even go to Africa to negotiate the buying of the produce?? How did they come up differentiating chocolate that is linked with child labour and chocolate that is not linked with child labour?? I am not condeming CNN's freedom project or saying that child labour doesnt exist. It does exists. What I am tryiong to point out is that the world is confused. What should be said is kept hidden and then they duel and expatiate on what is useless. Guarantying our heavenly lives with our Creator and making the world a better place are what America should be talking about; not talking lies and lacking words to support them.

    January 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  60. Ruppert Jenkins

    I adore chocolate. Always have and always will. All the weepy articles in the world will never cause me or other chocoholics to give it up.
    It would be equally easy to find a hidden or sordid downside to hundreds of things we consume.
    I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs. I obey all laws. All you libs need to get a life and stop trying to make us law-abiding people feel guilty about a legal and safe habit. If it isn't chocolate, it will be meat. If it isn't meat, it will be chicken. If not chicken, it will be gasoline. If not gasoline, it will be electricity. If not power, it will be fat. The list just never ends with you libs.
    My New Year's resolution is to simply ignore any suggested bans or lifestyle changes that are the direct result of liberal policies and the Nanny Police. In fact, a $30 order to Amazon will go out today, buying more chocolate.

    January 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  61. ggrant

    So much talk and so little knowledge and / or action.

    First, with respect, inform yourselves, folks, for none of this is new. See http://www.amazon.com/Bitter-Chocolate-Worlds-Seductive-Sweet/dp/1595583300. Then ask yourselves why coco beans are transported to the chocolate factories rather than being ground in Africa. Who makes those decision and why. Then who make the prices for the beans? how many stakeholders are really involved in that decision? The perhaps you will go to your politicians and ask some hard questions and make some demands. Thank you for your time.

    January 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  62. Ruppert Jenkins

    Reading this article made me depressed. When I get depressed, I go and eat chocolate and it makes me feel better. Ahhh, the endless cycle continues.

    January 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  63. Kelsi Farrington

    Reblogged this on .

    January 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  64. Chris

    All I see is a bunch of idiots (commenters) trying to convince each other over this ethical issue while this is STILL going on in Africa. Why don't you step up, be the better person and do something about it? What a waste of time. (I wasted my time as well)

    January 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  65. Sol

    Whom should these children blame? The farm owners?, No, they are their hosts. The chocolate companies? No, they are buyers of an input. Their govenment? No still they can not be blamed. Then whom to blame? Blame no one but those bodies that sponsor conflict in Africa and enjoy the hardship of African poors. Those who are sucking the African resources leaving its population at risk. Those who are talking our hardships but do not give solutions for decades. Have you ever think where the destiny of these children if they are not working there?
    Lets imagine that all the children are free to go, then what will happen to them. They are doing it because they have no other choice. The mother is deliverying her child to be exploited, a better choice than seeing him died by hunger. What better solutions do we have for them. Better access for education and better life for children can be attained if sustainable peace and development in Africa exists. For this the key is not just shouting on one particular sector, chocolate, but acting on a strategic level. Lets waste money on education than sponsoring conflicts in Africa. Then we will see it solved.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  66. Warren

    Stop this hypocrisy, guys… why not go and check Apple (Foxxcon) and Nike for instance. In China and Thailand and other places. Just some ideas for you for this “Freedom project”. Go for it, Richard Quest and Becky! try being unbiased if you launched this thing.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  67. Marcelo Martins

    Cocoa is a commodity and manipulated by the "market". Just the
    Farmers were paid decently and this practice is a coward
    abandoned. As a country can give solution to slavery if your
    products, cocoa is manipulated to mind them in slavery

    January 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • Ruppert Jenkins

      Marcelo: Yes, to this ideal mindful you are dulely ascribed. Therefore, idea-minded for you can drive this for your mind for us it is good. And, all due the ideas you are therefore full of this good for all is well and us to do for you and those. Good.

      January 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  68. Warren

    and try being REAL journalists for god's sake! not just puppets that you are.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  69. Uchechi Uche Dibiaezue(Dundee)

    Using children who have never had to face hunger or poverty protest against the use of child labour what a laugh. Please face the issue deal with the chocolate company.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • Ludi

      Yes you can use them to write checks get cash etc. BUT it is a huge skmtaie!Rip the checks up ASAP they give you 6 months with 0% interest but charge you a fee to cash the check and they know you can't pay it all off in 6 months. They will get thier money from you don't fall into this credit trap!Live debt free! It is a wonderful feeling.

      April 9, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
  70. Ruppert Jenkins

    The only difference between liberals and conservatives on this issue is that the conservatives are honest enough to admit they don't spend time worrying about where the chocolate comes from, while the libs pretend to worry while doing nothing. Statistically, conservatives and liberals eat almost the exact same amount of chocolate, and they buy it from the exact same sources.

    January 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  71. kmf

    What outrages me the most is not that things like this go on all over the world, but that we all will waste so much time kicking it back and forth while it happens. There are countries all over the world using human trafficking and slavery and child labor practices just as they have for thousands of years. There are rich people all over that only care where their next buck comes from and poor people who only care where their next meal comes from. Why can't we find more intelligent things to debate? I WILL NEVER change world behavior because I boycott companies that test products on animals, use child labor or slave labor, that use non-organic processing, are not made only in America or any other cause that I care about, simply because there are not enough people living here who give a damn enough to make a difference. Other cultures probably do not even know that practices in effect for millenia there are so repulsive to us. It might be nice to live in Eden, but as many of you know, that right ended when Adam ate the apple that Eve took from the forbidden tree.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  72. Dee

    I'll start reading label & consider choosing my chocolates very carefully. I didn't know but it DOES MATTER to me now!

    January 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  73. mark

    The justice about this is that although starving children are slaves in the creation of chocolate, fat westerners (especially Americans) will be the fat gluttons who die of heart disease consuming it. I think that is justice

    January 21, 2012 at 12:49 am | Reply
  74. KB Kouame

    Exploitation is the key of the sufering of people who are working in the plantation of cocoa. Farmer deserved better live.
    Ivory Coast is the No1 productor of cocoa but there is no chocolate factories in Ivory Coast.

    January 21, 2012 at 2:22 am | Reply

    The only solution to avoid that fact is to modernize more cocoa and coffee farms. In this way, little by little the use of children will stop.People must know that still in our african countries there is no way to use machines for the farmers. so that's why the use of man power or "children power" is still existing.What a sad situation !

    January 21, 2012 at 4:26 am | Reply
  76. Patrick Bateman

    Child labor is not wrong! Our generations are spoiled.. why should not a child be able to work?
    Life is not all fun and games, those kids in the video looked really healthy.

    What should be addressed is worker RIGHTS... children should be payed the same as adults! That is the only problem with child labor...

    January 21, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
    • Machivellian1469

      PATRICK THE MAN!!! Great comment.. Fair salary and let them work to help support their families just like American kids did in the 1800's and until the beginning of 1900's to help with the family expenses.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • mark

      No thats' right. As long as it's not your children. Another American parasite who believes the rest of the world is there to be a slave forces for your consumerism. No wonder the world hates America.

      January 22, 2012 at 1:03 am | Reply
      • Machivellian1469

        Mark, shut up already.. You are the only hippie/liberal parasite here.. You guys think you can change the world and inflict American customs and traditions on the rest of the world. Those African families are happy their children are working and helping them from starvation. You find an issue in the liberal media and hate yourself for being American. If you want to help so bad, then move to Africa you degenerate American.
        Now, Valentine's Day is coming and we will all buy Chocolate regardless of this article. SO SHUT UP AND BUY YOUR BOYFRIEND A BOX OF CHOCOLATE. HA ha HA!!!!

        January 22, 2012 at 11:31 am |

    I wonder if cnn have another option for those kids to find food if they are to be kept out of cocoa farm. Stop blaming cocoa companies, blame the poverty in that country. Those kids are not as sad doing what they are doing as cnn is making it sounding sooo bad without giving an alternatives. I wonder what chocolate company did to get cnn angry. I was born in Africa and I went through that phase. Build schools for children and offer their parents jobs and an alternative way instead of sending their child out to work at early age.

    January 21, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
    • Marion Melvin

      I think CNN is giving the rest of the world an insight of what is happening and making the Companies buying the cocoa be aware of what their suppliers are doing to enrich themselves on the back of children. Maybe some Companies take action......

      January 21, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
      • mark

        trying to pass the blame to someone else. The consumer drives what a corporation does. If consumer doesn't buy it, the company either changes or dies. Your buck passing is pathetic.

        January 22, 2012 at 12:59 am |
  78. Laila Saba

    We all should boycot choccolate, the money spent on it should go to those little ones to send them to shcools, clothe them and feed them.

    January 21, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • Machivellian1469

      So, let me guess. then you want the families to starve because they are dependent on that extra income.. Or would you want us to pay for their expenses?

      January 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  79. Muhavi

    Political and economic interests are always going to continue acting as a barrier to reducing if not stopping child labour. If the affected African countries' leaders have the interests of their own people at the forefront like the developed countries do, then something will and can be done, as long as this interests are not there then nothing will happen, the debates will continue and no one will feel shaken and responsible.
    The chocolate companies have to step up and make themselves a name, not for good chocolate, but for fairly produced and traded chocolate right from the farm.
    THE CONSUMER MENTALITY HAS TO CHANGE DRASTICALLY into a concerned and sensitized one.

    January 21, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
  80. Mark

    Contact your congress person and make noise about this issue. Large corporations hate bad PR more than anything.

    ****** Boycott Hershey Chocolate – it is made with child slave labor ****

    January 21, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
    • Machivellian1469

      I will buy the extra chocolate you don't buy.. Hershey's it it.. YUMMY!!!! and I'm not FAT!!

      January 22, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
      • mark

        hope you choke on it, and die of heart disease you fat parasite

        January 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
      • Machivellian1469

        No mark, i won't choke because I'll be eating my chocolate and drinking chocolate milk. LOL!!! and I'm not FAT.. I'm an ex-Army guy who stays in shape.. U talk a lot about parasites.. I THINK YOU MUST HAVE STD's. LOL,, LOL...LOL..

        January 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
      • mark

        you sound like an inbred who joined the army cause daddy said so after he was abducted by aliens. An army guy who likes to play shoot up, just like you did with your inbred brothers Jim Bob and Elroy. Bet you got your sister Mary Lou pregnant as well.
        Go and choke on your slave made chocolate. One day those salves will rebel and you will have a bomb in your neighbourhood

        January 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
      • mark

        you sound like an inbred who joined the army cause daddy said so after he was abducted by aliens. An army guy who likes to play shoot up, just like you did with your inbred brothers Jim Bob and Elroy. Bet you got your sister Mary Lou pregnant as well.
        Go and choke on your slave made chocolate. One day those salves will rebel and you will have a bomb in your neighbourhood haha

        January 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  81. Marion Melvin

    I've just watched a report on WDR about FERRERO, one of the biggest purchasers of hazelnuts in the world (anyone know NUTELLA?) They too condone childlabor by their suppliers and as of right now I will not purchase any of their products. Please watch Der Ferrero-check on http://www.markencheck.wdr.de

    January 21, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
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      April 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  82. Tigerbeer

    So if these kids weren't "slaves" in the chocolate industry, what would they be doing, sitting home studying for finals and preparing to apply for admission to an ivy league university?

    January 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  83. Machivellian1469

    I don't see anything wrong with these kids working to support their families instead of being poor in the streets and stealing.. What do you want us to give them Money??? that's what all these non-profits would like to do at the expense of the US taxpayer.. If these Africans want to have 5 kids per family, it's their responsibility to take care of their kids or let them work.. Americans forget too easily that over 70 years ago, Americans who moved out West and South had lots of kids per family to help with the Farm or Ranches and that contributed to a very strong work Ethic that propelled American through WWI and WWII. Kids in South America, Central America, Africa are working in family farms, ranches, to support their families.. WE SHOULDN'T FEEL GUILTY. Blame it on their parents that brought them to this world without the lack of funds. Those kids are no different than American kids in the 1800's and the turn of the 20th century in US. They had to work to survive. Let's get REAL, if they don't work, they STARVE and then the media puts up another sad story again makes us feel guilty for eating African chocolate or mexican tomatoes or guatemalan bananas and then want us to subside those countries.

    January 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • Machivellian1469


      January 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Reply
      • mark

        Another american parasite who thinks that you are doing the world a fvour by supporting child exploitation.

        January 22, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • debbiepinkston

      I agree. CNN touts it as child slavery, but this is Child Labor. These kids don't have any other options, except starve, or get enlisted in the fighting. They have lost parents to the war or AIDS, and if they want to eat, they have to find work. Their parents (if they have parents) are trying to keep the younger siblings fed and alive. Children and teens working isn't a bad thing. It teaches them that they are responsible for themselves and the value of hard work. THroughout the history of the world, children have had to work for survival. Should their parents care for them? Of course, in an ideal world. The reality is far different and working in the cocoa fields is their best option.

      Thank you for an intelligent post that stood out from the other ignorant posts.

      April 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
    • RH

      Are you even human? You are talking about letting a bunch of people starve. Children. So it's aperently it is wrong to teach control of fertility because it leads to abortion...which is apperently wrong. So you exspect them not to have a bunch of children...how? I mean really. And if your conservitism comes from a Christian perspective I recall that Jesus fellow saying something about you being obligated to care for widows orphans and the poor. Like that's something Christians in Perticular are obligated to do.

      Ethically speaking, regardless of religion or lack there of, dude, really, those are kids. The reason their working a bunch of hours is an issue is because of lack of nutrition, schooling (yes, I know, it;s not free over there), and you know the dangers of that kind of work. Not all countries have a set wage per hour. Children can die on the job. Maybe I'm pigeon holing you when I picture you as anti uinion, but um, you do understand they don;t have gurenteed breaks, any sort of healthcare coverage,dental plans and what not right? We are talking children who ever in the Unites States, legally have to be in school and in towns and cities with curfews can't be out past like ten.

      No, I'm not saying that just shutting it down would fix it. The problems in Africa are far more complex than that and stem from hundreds of years of slavery, colonization, explotation, warfair and well it's complicated far too complicated to have a one hit solution. But that doesn't mean we, members of one of the countries who exploited and county to exploit Africa as a whole and many nations and indivual Africans can walk away. That's not Ethical, Moral, or Humane. We have an obligation to assist them in rebuilding their countries. Not to take over them and topple their governments, but to actually listen to what THEY WANT and help them. Because we caused this.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  84. Machivellian1469

    I DON'T see anything wrong with these kids working to support their families instead of being poor in the streets, doing drugs, stealing or being forced to beg. What do you want us to do, give them FREE Money??? That's what all these non-profits would like us to do at the expense of the US taxpayer.. If these Africans want to have 5 kids per family, it's their responsibility to take care of their kids or let them work..
    Americans forget too easily that over 70 years ago, Americans who moved out West and South had lots of kids per family to help with the Farm or Ranches and that contributed to a very strong work Ethic that propelled American through WWI and WWII. Kids in South America, Central America, Africa are working in family farms, ranches, to support their families.. WE SHOULDN'T FEEL GUILTY. Blame it on the parents that brought them to this world being irresponsible and without the lack of funds.
    Those kids are no different than American kids in the 1800's and the turn of the 20th century in US. They had to work to survive and some kids are still working in the US helping out in family business regardless of the 16-year old minimum age work rule. Let's get REAL, if they don't work, they STARVE and then the media puts up another sad story again makes us feel guilty for eating African chocolate or mexican tomatoes or guatemalan bananas and then want us to subside those countries.

    January 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  85. Roelof

    I don't understand why they still blame white people for slavery, while it still exists in Africa and Asia. Must be a racial thing.

    January 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  86. Xtine

    This is exactly the sort of thing that SHOULD be aired on CNN domestic. How can we raise awareness otherwise, if it is not to a public that knows very little about this?

    January 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  87. hynzerelli

    I very rarely eat chocolate but drink tons of coffee & if they have child slaves picking cocoa beans or coffee beans I still could care less.JUST AS LONG AS I GET MY FRENCH ROAST.

    January 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  88. Lovecheese45

    I don't care... If child slavery ended for the chocolate factories, they would all be put to work picking coffee beans. Either way, I like my chocolate and I'm not fat 🙂

    January 21, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Reply
    • mark

      Another American who thinks the rest of the world is there for your benefit to keep your chocolate supply running. Like you think you are doing thoses kids a favour. I call it being a parasite.

      January 22, 2012 at 12:53 am | Reply
    • mark

      you wanna cut your cheese becuase you might end up with a heart attack. Why don't you cut back on the cheese and chocolate and eat vegetables grown in your country and that might be better for everyone. Your health included

      January 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  89. Bea

    Those blaming Africa, these kids are lied to that they are going to be paid for their work.....but I agree, corruption is so big in Africa...I am ashamed.,

    January 22, 2012 at 1:41 am | Reply
    • Pamella

      Hi Ruth, these look amazing! How long do you think they would last? I'm thikinng I could make them for a charity bake sale at work but i'm not actually in that day so would need to make something a few days in advance x

      October 13, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  90. me

    put the hard working children working in the chocolate plantation farm in every chocolate cover; that will get me really excited!

    January 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  91. Karmiel

    And just whose going to step up and feed these children after you all cause them to loose their jobs?

    January 22, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  92. Dutchie

    After living in Ghana some years I see the only solution in paying better prices for cocoa beans to the farmers and stop the grabbing of money by all politicians in these countries. As all parents all over the world the farmers will send the children to school if they earn enough money to do that. They will not hire slaves if the profit of their work allows them to hire normal labour. Stop blaming only the big cocoa processors and check what the politicians in the West African countries steal from there own people. Check how they pay the big Landcruisers.......

    January 22, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Reply
    • mark

      thats all fine But what difference can you make as a consumer. All well and good saying blame someone else. You are also one of those who washes their hands of any responsibility. Very convenient. Remember change starts at home.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Reply
    • Miriam

      Judy I wish I could tell you! But frost dates are not organized by zip code. You llaery need to go to the and follow the instructions. I just added a screencast to help walk you through the process.Depending on where you live, your frost dates may not be listed in my chart. I am working on a solution for those who have earlier frost dates.

      April 8, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
      • Maki

        It sounds hetalhy but you are missing carbohydrates. If you cut these out you will be low on energy and your body will crave chocolate and crisps (chips). Why not add brown rice, wholemeal bread and pasta to your diet and do some swimming, running and walking to speed up the weight loss. Good luck!

        July 1, 2012 at 9:59 am |
      • debbiepinkston

        I'm not sure what all this has to do with the topic of Child slavery in the chocolate trade. Maybe another blog should be started for the dieting/health topic?

        July 1, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  93. christine latouche

    this is completely wrong. As a 17 year old i think i can say that every child no mater of the colour of their skin or what so ever need freedom. If this is the case then why can chocolate from this area be baned????

    January 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  94. Dutchie

    Still the only solution is what I wrote. Be aware that I have seen that slave free certification of cocoa is most of the time only installing a nice colour printer to print certificates and more costs for the farmers and more change of wrong labor. These good looking certificates are only for giving the impression that things go better. We need to improve the income of farmers to improve the situation.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:38 am | Reply
  95. aytacgok

    Reblogged this on 10th Village.

    January 23, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
  96. Gus

    I like the idea of a 'valentines Day' boycott on chocolate products, unless they are Fair Trade

    January 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  97. dev

    This program made me cry. Pease stop child slavery

    January 27, 2012 at 12:49 am | Reply
    • debbiepinkston

      This is not slavery as CNN would like to have us believe. These boys are free to go whenever they like. They would then starve or be put into fighting in the war. Many of them have lost their parents to the war or AIDS. This is their best option.

      April 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  98. lepidopterous

    Reblogged this on The Lame Lepidopteran.

    January 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  99. Akouassi Yao

    You want to buy fair trade chocolate, buy chocolate that if you buy one cent goes to the education of this child. Boycotting a product has never been the answer. In every "bad" situation there is something good. Those children get to to know an activity and become expert in what they do, now think on how we can help so that they can follow on and share their knowledge to other in a better environment.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:21 am | Reply
  100. Waj

    Mh...am reading all this and thinking everyone has every right to think in the way we think,but pose a little en wish you were that little girl or boy forced to lab our,slaves do nt volunteer ,there is a difference btwn those who want to work orderings to get themselves out of a situation and others who are forced to!so whether they manufacture i-pods or chocolate and are slaves that's baad...but if they are wiling in-order to get a better life fair' i would say.....But ...the thought that this slaves pproduce something whose product theve never tasted ....sad"'......About God Smitting the Chocolate eater and nt the rescuing the slave...its a HAHA...If you wana eat moe chocolate eat...if nt nt raise the banner high...

    February 2, 2012 at 2:38 am | Reply
  101. Andrew Mulligan

    I just read this article and maybe everyone else who thinks the way I previous did should read it too. Here is a piece from it and a link to the whole 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.


    February 8, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • debbiepinkston

      Andrew, I agree with you 100%. What most people don't realize is that these kids would starve otherwise, or get enlisted into some faction of the war. Is working for your food a crime? Like you stated, the is a difference between child labor and child slavery.
      I wish CNN would focus more on real slavery issues and especially the huge problem of children being kidnapped and made to carry a rifle and fight for something they don't even understand. THAT is slavery.

      Thanks for your insightful, intelligent post.

      April 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
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  102. The law student

    Reblogged this on Rediscovering Social Justice and commented:
    So Cool!

    February 12, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  103. flowermissing


    March 29, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
  104. dawdi

    Every one care about free chocolate slavery for sure,but most big chocolate companies like the 2 big in usa M&Ms and Hershey for ex are not clean 100% .In the other hand bying sertified chocolate who claims be slavery free they are organic and more expensive I think...but what is the solution?????????

    April 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  105. debbiepinkston

    I lived in Ivory Coast as an expat for over 10 years as a child and teen. I have to say that this story disturbs me...not because of the child labor issue, but because most people have no clue what life is like in Africa. These children don't have many options-they can take up a rifle and become little soldiers, they can starve to death, or they can work in the cocoa farms where they are fed and where they don't have to fight. There is a vast difference between child labor and child slavery. Most of these children and teens choose to be there because it truly is their best option for survival. Obviously it would be best if they could be well fed at home and go to school. The sad truth is that there is no home for most of them, and if there is a "home", there is not food. When they get old enough to work, they have to get out and work, and let their parents worry about how to feed the younger siblings. Many of these kids have lost their parents to the war or to AIDS and being fed in return for work isn't a bad deal.

    My husband grew up in the mountains of Colombia and his family was very poor. From the time he was 8 years old, he sold newspapers, candy, ice cream, and anything he could, to earn some money. Today he is one of the most hard working men I have ever met and he doesn't expect anything from anyone. I wouldn't classify his work as a child as criminal or slavery. Many years ago children were expected to work in the US and in Europe. Conditions were not the best, but this idea that children shouldn't work is probably partly why we have so many kids doing drugs and getting into gangs. They don't have to worry about their next meal and they can spend hours watching TV, on the internet, and getting into trouble. Work might be good for them...

    By the way, many of the previous comments confirm what I already know: Most Americans don't have a clue about survival and what life is like on the other side of the world.

    Respectfully submitted by someone who lived in Ivory Coast and saw starvation and war up close.

    April 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
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  107. Ana

    When CNN the Freedom Project started I had trouble to find fair trade products in The Netherlands. I don't know if it's a coincidence or because of your actions, but from what I notice in supermarkets things are starting to change.

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  108. JP

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    April 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
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    Genuine question, how much is boycotting chocolate that isn't fair trade really helping? I would say it helps in a way as not buying chocolate says "I'm not supporting the enslavement of kids to make me candy," but I don't know if its helping in a way or actually hurting these kids somehow. For real, I really don't know, so could someone explain how much boycotting chocolate that isn't fair trade is really helping?

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