Today, April 12th, is the first International Day of Street Children. This week at Media Voices, we have a wonderful film, Ukraine’s Lost Children by Antony Butts, courtesy of the Guardian, on the difficult struggle of the police in Odessa to reach children living on the street in subzero temperatures. Sullen and cynical, the children [...]
The fifth and final report on oversight of the cocoa industries in Ghana and Ivory Coast in connection with implementation of the Harkin-Engel Protocol to eliminate child labor in the production of chocolate.
In her very personal essay this week, A Committed Reluctance, child protection specialist Jessica Lenz writes of her deepened commitment to the U.S. Campaign to Ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a result of recently becoming a mother.
The Payson Center for International Development and Technology Transfer at Tulane University has issued their Fourth Annual Report on Oversight of Public and Private Initiatives to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor in the Cocoa Sector in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana
This week at Media Voices we report on renewed efforts to end child labor in the cocoa fields of West Africa and the farms and orchards of America. We also have a Viewpoint from Nick Grisewood, The Executive Director of the Global March to End Child Labor, about the importance of integrating efforts to end [...]
In the Ivory Coast, the cocoa sector has long been known to be one of the most corrupt and abusive in the global commodities market. Controlled by the government, a small coterie close to the presidency and a handful of multinational corporations, the industry has long been dogged by charges of slavery, the worst forms [...]
The new documentary film by Miki Mistrati and U. Roberto Romano, The Dark Side of Chocolate, reveals how nine years after major chocolate companies committed to eliminating abusive child labor, forced labor and trafficking in their cocoa supply chains, these egregious abuses continue in West Africa. It is a tragedy and an outrage that, as [...]
Statement from the global cocoa and chocolate industry in response to the new film The Dark Side of Chocolate.
A trailer for the new film on child labor in the chocolate industry by Miki Mistrati and U. Roberto Romano
While we enjoy the sweet taste of chocolate, the reality is strikingly different for African children. In 2001, consumers around the world were outraged to discover that child labor and slavery, trafficking, and other abuses existed on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast, a country that produces nearly half the world’s cocoa. An avalanche of [...]
It’s common to give a box of chocolate to a loved one on Valentine’s Day, but beyond the flowery box and sweet chocolate what are we really giving as a gift to those we care about? Like the majority of the goods we consume, we know little about how these sweets are produced. As a [...]
This week, US consumers will be spending millions of dollars purchasing chocolate kisses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate for our sweethearts. But the chocolate industry has broken the hearts of cocoa farmers, labor and children’s rights advocates for years.
Anita Sheth’s article on child labor in the cocoa industry
Child trafficking for exploitative labor purposes in the West African cocoa
supply chain has produced substantial concern for governments, industry, U.N.
bodies, researchers, and non-governmental organizations. West African cocoa
accounts for roughly 70% of the world’s supply and is the main ingredient in
chocolate, whose average annual sales account for billions of U.S. dollars. In
2001, partially in reaction to pressure from consumers, the chocolate industry took
up a call from Senator Tom Harkin and Representative Elliot Engel to address
this issue and ensure that no child is exploited in the harvesting and growing of
West African cocoa. They developed the Harkin-Engel Protocol with time-specific
actions to ultimately impact the removal of the worst forms of child labor, including
trafficking in the Ivorian and Ghanaian supply chains. This paper examines the
results of the Harkin-Engel Protocol and assesses the effect it has had to date, as
well as its projected impact on prohibiting child trafficking for exploitative labor
use in the cocoa sector. The implementation setbacks and pitfalls of the Protocol
reveal its limitations as an effective solution. This paper analyzes these liabilities
and concludes by suggesting how the Harkin-Engel Protocol could be adjusted to
ensure that its ultimate goal of protecting children from the worst forms of child
labor in the West African cocoa farms can be realized.
An ILRF report on the efforts to eliminate child labor in the cocoa industry