Before you decide to purchase some holiday chocolate, you might want to re consider your dessert and treat options this season. With only 28 days til Christmas and a recession in full swing, you might be easily enticed into buying some pretty low cost chocolate on sale. I had never given much thought to chocolate in general, besides having a serious weakness for it. I hadn’t realized until recently, that chocolate and slavery were a serious human rights and poverty issue, affecting millions for several generations.
Those of us who are fortunate enough to live in the G 8 don’t give much thought to the products we are continually consuming and how it adversely affects the global village, especially second and third world countries. While we enjoy warm holidays and chocolate treats with our loved ones, we truly have no idea how that precious morsel came to be or how it was manufactured or who it is exploiting. As we spoil our children, across the ocean more children are being forced into labor conditions which include long punishing hours, carrying back breaking loads, using dangerous tools and machinery, not to mention being exposed to dangerous pesticides and chemicals.
In places like West Africa, Ghana and the Ivory Coast, children are reduced to mere commodities. Living in extreme poverty, most children are hired to work at low wages if they are paid at all. They are working on farms because of a lack of opportunity for education and because they are easily exploited. Children and adults alike do not know their rights and have to find a way to survive. They have no choice but to continue working at the mercy of farmers and large corporations. The work is labour intensive and offers very little financial reward. It’s barely enough to stay alive.