Chocolate’s Child Slaves

News of Note: 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.

Slavery still exists in our modern world. It is easy for most people in developed countries to live oblivious lives without ever hearing of these atrocities going on across the world. We all know that slavery is not okay; it is the fundamental denial of ones humanity. At the very least, we can be educated consumers that do not fuel these inhumane practices.

The Sexual Freedom Project: Human Trafficking

Today’s video comes to us from the Demi & Ashton Foundation (DNA Foundation) and is about human trafficking: the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery. Some important facts from their website:

Today, more than twelve million people worldwide are enslaved.[1] An estimated two million children are bought and sold in the global commercial sex trade.[2] The sex slavery industry has become an increasingly important revenue source for organized crime because each young girl can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for her pimp.

While this is a problem in many countries, many Americans don’t realize that it happens here at home as well. Thousands of children are forced into domestic sex slavery each year and that the average age of entry is 13 years old.[3] The majority of American victims of commercial sexual exploitation tend to be runaway youth who live on the street, often who have left homes where they were abused or abandoned. Pimps prey on their vulnerability. These girls are our neighbors, our friends, our sisters and our daughters. [Footnotes on their site.]

The DNA Foundation website includes a comprehensive list of important organizations that are working on this issue. How much have you heard about this important subject? Has it personally affected anyone you know, a neighbor, a friend, a relative? Do you think the topic is getting the public discussion and the media attention that it needs and deserves? Do you think people may be uncomfortable talking about it? What can we do to make it okay to talk about this subject, and what can we as individuals do to stop this practice?

Let us know what you think. Make a video, write a poem, song, or an essay — or even create an original work of art — and express your thoughts on these topics. If we feature your contribution on the site, we will send you a free VenusPlusX t-shirt to thank you.