Child labor in West Africa
help children have an education and get their freedom
The enslavement of Children in West Africa
Children are being enslaved in West Africa and they are not getting paid for what is considered dangerous work. These children are being forced to work on cocoa farms. Children have to use machetes to cut down cocoa and have to carry one hundred pound bags. These children have machete scars all over their legs from hours of hard work. When they begin working the most they ever get paid is two dollars a day, but even that is a rare occasion. They mostly don’t get paid at all. Children can not do these tasks because they are dangerous. If they do these tasks it is violating child labor laws. The dangerous work children are forced to do can have many harmful consequences.
This is cocoa pod cut in half.
This is the inside of the cocoa pod.
This is the whole cocoa pod that has not been cut yet.
Effects of Child Labor
Since there is child labor in West Africa, children are not getting an education and are being injured. The children are always on the farm getting cocoa so they don't have any time to do anything, including learning. The child slaves are getting injured because if they try to run away from the farm, the farmer will cut their toes open with a knife. Also, when they are done doing their daily 14 hours of work, they go to rest in a dark room with nothing so they have to sleep on the ground. Which means they will be very tired every day because they don’t sleep well. There are a lot of consequences of child labor, but there are a lot of organizations and people trying fix these problems and end child labor.
People working to save children
There are a lot of people trying to help end child slaves and bring awareness to people in other countries about this topic. One of the companies that is trying to help is Nestle. Nestle is a candy bar company that recently discovered lots of chocolate is made by child slaves. When they realized that this was true, they started making people aware of this so they would do something about it. They are trying to get these children in West Africa educated. There are also other groups that help like the ILRF (International Labor Rights Forum)) and the ICI (International Cocoa Initiative). The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) started about 10 years ago they also have been bringing this cause to the world. They did this by educating people on the subject, campaigns, and notifying an agency in West Africa that works with farmers about what is happening there. The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) promotes outlawing child labor and supports other national laws. These groups and others are doing a lot to help make people aware and end child labor.
What you can do to end this problem.
There are a lot of things people around the world can do to help stop child labor. One thing you can do is help other people be aware of this topic and know what is happening. Another thing you can do is to only eat chocolate with certain brand labels. If the chocolate does not have a label that says fair trade, equal exchange or rainforest alliance, do not buy it. If you do this, farmers that support child labor could go out of business. One last thing you can do is fill out a survey on Hershey and other chocolate companies. When you complete the survey, tell them to make their chocolate free of child labor. If you do these three suggestions you can help end child labour in West Africa.
"Child Labor and Slavery in the Chocolate Industry." Child Labor and Slavery in the Chocolate Industry. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
"Child Labour in Cocoa." ICI Cocoa. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
Clarke, Joe Sandler. "Child Labour on Nestlé Farms: Chocolate Giant's Problems Continue." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 02 Sept. 2015. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
Gregory, Amanda. "Chocolate and Child Slavery: Say No to Human Trafficking This Holiday Season." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
"International Labor Rights Forum." Cocoa. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.