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Human Rights: Chocolate

Americans love chocolate.  More that 58 million pounds of chocolate are sold around Valentine's Day alone in the United States.

But that chocolate may be tainted with the sweat and blood of slavery and child labor.

A child dries cocoa beans in the Ivory Coast.  Food is Power.
70% of the world's chocolate comes from cocoa beans grown in West Africa, mainly Cote D'lvoire, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria and Guinea.  Cocoa farms supply the beans to chocolate giants, Hershey's, Nestl√© and Mars.



FACTS ABOUT THE CHOCOLATE INDUSTRY
  • Cocoa farmers earn less than $2 a day farming cocoa, so they often resort to child labor and slavery in order to make a profit
  • It is estimated that over 300,000 children work in hazardous conditions harvesting cocoa in West Africa
  • Children are sold into slavery in Cote D'lvoire to harvest cocoa beans
  • Nearly 40% of the world's cocoa beans come from Cote D'lvoire 
  • To harvest cocoa pods, children use sharp machetes to access the beans
  • Most of the children working on the cocoa plantations have never tasted chocolate
  • Whippings and beatings are common on cocoa plantations
  • Slaves who have tried to escape have had their feet cut.  Others were forced to drink urine.



Sources