Child slavery and chocolate: All too easy to find - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-19-2012, 01:09 PM
 
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Child slavery and chocolate: All too easy to find

In "Chocolate's Child Slaves," CNN's David McKenzie travels into the heart of the Ivory Coast to investigate children working in the cocoa fields. (Premieres Friday January 20, 8 p.m. GMT, 9 CET on CNN International.)
By David McKenzie and Brent Swails, CNN
Daloa, Ivory Coast (CNN) - Chocolates billion-dollar industry starts with workers like Abdul. He squats with a gang of a dozen harvesters on an Ivory Coast farm.
Abdul holds the yellow cocoa pod lengthwise and gives it two quick cracks, snapping it open to reveal milky white cocoa beans. He dumps the beans on a growing pile.
Abdul is 10 years old, a three-year veteran of the job.
He has never tasted chocolate.


http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cn...ind/?hpt=hp_c1

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#2 Old 01-19-2012, 02:25 PM
 
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The way developed countries get a lot of their produce nowadays is pretty disgusting, especially when people are ignorant to the kind of exploitation that's occurring.
Try and buy fair trade whenever possible. In Costa Rica there are fair trade banana plantations in the middle of the rainforest, with no forest clearing or anything! It looked just like natural rainforest, and was surrounded by natural rainforest ecosystem!
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#3 Old 01-21-2012, 08:20 AM
 
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Let's be clear on a few things. First, there is a difference between child labor and child slavery. It doesn't seem to be the case above, but sometimes children want to work or have to work to supplement the family income. The children could also be in school. When I was in Guatemala, little boys would go around asking if people wanted shoe shines. However, they only did this on the weekend and were still in school. Child labor, yes. Child slavery, I don't think so unless they had some sort of manager forcing them to do it.

Second of all, let's be careful about what we define as child LABOR (I feel slavery is inherently bad) and if it's necessarily a bad thing. I think we have a tendency to think the world should follow our norms. In the U.S., one can work at age 16, but a 13 year-old would be considered child labor. Why do we draw the line here? We have our own cultural biases about what childhood actually is and when it ends. Some cultures would also contend that children working is an important part of growing into an adult and don't particularly care for us to force our values and biases onto them.


It's difficult to get people to see the cause and effect of their consumption. Most people need things (perceived or real needs), so they go to the store and buy them without thinking about the process by which the product was made. Though we can train our minds to think differently, I think our brains just function on a simple level because we dealth with very simple things for the majority of our species's existence.

I bought some organic, fair trade chocolate the other day (although, some investigations into "fair trade" have found less than ideal situations) . It was delicious. It as also $4.50 for a bar, but I don't need chocolate that often and when I do, I can at least support something that I find ethical. Perhaps the parents of these children will become wealthier as a result of me spending a little bit more and will have a choice for their children's future.

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#4 Old 01-21-2012, 02:43 PM
 
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Let's be clear on a few things. First, there is a difference between child labor and child slavery. It doesn't seem to be the case above, but sometimes children want to work or have to work to supplement the family income. The children could also be in school. When I was in Guatemala, little boys would go around asking if people wanted shoe shines. However, they only did this on the weekend and were still in school. Child labor, yes. Child slavery, I don't think so unless they had some sort of manager forcing them to do it.

Second of all, let's be careful about what we define as child LABOR (I feel slavery is inherently bad) and if it's necessarily a bad thing. I think we have a tendency to think the world should follow our norms. In the U.S., one can work at age 16, but a 13 year-old would be considered child labor. Why do we draw the line here? We have our own cultural biases about what childhood actually is and when it ends. Some cultures would also contend that children working is an important part of growing into an adult and don't particularly care for us to force our values and biases onto them.


It's difficult to get people to see the cause and effect of their consumption. Most people need things (perceived or real needs), so they go to the store and buy them without thinking about the process by which the product was made. Though we can train our minds to think differently, I think our brains just function on a simple level because we dealth with very simple things for the majority of our species's existence.

I bought some organic, fair trade chocolate the other day (although, some investigations into "fair trade" have found less than ideal situations) . It was delicious. It as also $4.50 for a bar, but I don't need chocolate that often and when I do, I can at least support something that I find ethical. Perhaps the parents of these children will become wealthier as a result of me spending a little bit more and will have a choice for their children's future.

Societies usually go through a trend of phasing out child labour in any form the more they develop. It's like how in the UK we used to have chimney sweeps, work houses etc. I don't think opposing children working in fields hours a day, being subjected to dangerous pesticides and not having time for a proper education, perpetuating the system of an uneducated population being exploited by corporations is a bad thing.
We should give more international aid to these developing countries to help them develop and to help them avoid having to continue this cycle.
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#5 Old 01-21-2012, 09:00 PM
 
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Societies usually go through a trend of phasing out child labour in any form the more they develop. It's like how in the UK we used to have chimney sweeps, work houses etc. I don't think opposing children working in fields hours a day, being subjected to dangerous pesticides and not having time for a proper education, perpetuating the system of an uneducated population being exploited by corporations is a bad thing.
We should give more international aid to these developing countries to help them develop and to help them avoid having to continue this cycle.

I wasn't really saying any of that. I just said that we need to forget our own cultural biases before we try and judge other cultures. I don't like the idea of children covered in pesticides or working under dangerous conditions, and I'm pretty sure their parents wouldn't either. As I said in my last sentence, help the parents out so they have a choice for their children. If that means school full-time and no labor, fantastic. Personally, I don't think children should do such labor, but that's my belief, and I'm not in their position or have their beliefs about childhood or work.

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#6 Old 01-21-2012, 09:07 PM
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Societies usually go through a trend of phasing out child labour in any form the more they develop. It's like how in the UK we used to have chimney sweeps, work houses etc. I don't think opposing children working in fields hours a day, being subjected to dangerous pesticides and not having time for a proper education, perpetuating the system of an uneducated population being exploited by corporations is a bad thing.
We should give more international aid to these developing countries to help them develop and to help them avoid having to continue this cycle.

What do you mean by "international aid?" DO you have any specific programs in mind?
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#7 Old 01-22-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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What do you mean by "international aid?" DO you have any specific programs in mind?

Well there are plenty of programs, just look at some of the things development assistance committee member states do.
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#8 Old 01-22-2012, 01:53 PM
 
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I think it's important to remember that there are some baby steps we can take if we're not willing or able to choose fair trade all the time. This blog post suggests some various ways to start changing the trend so that more and more chocolates are produced in ways that are fair: http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com...halloween.html The ideas in that post can be used for various other foods, too.

For example, I don't buy fair trade everything. But I do make sure that most of the coffee, bananas, and chocolate I buy is fair trade.
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#9 Old 01-22-2012, 08:24 PM
 
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I think it's important to remember that there are some baby steps we can take if we're not willing or able to choose fair trade all the time. This blog post suggests some various ways to start changing the trend so that more and more chocolates are produced in ways that are fair: http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com...halloween.html The ideas in that post can be used for various other foods, too.

For example, I don't buy fair trade everything. But I do make sure that most of the coffee, bananas, and chocolate I buy is fair trade.

*like*
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#10 Old 01-22-2012, 08:47 PM
 
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I think it's important to remember that there are some baby steps we can take if we're not willing or able to choose fair trade all the time. This blog post suggests some various ways to start changing the trend so that more and more chocolates are produced in ways that are fair: http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com...halloween.html The ideas in that post can be used for various other foods, too.

For example, I don't buy fair trade everything. But I do make sure that most of the coffee, bananas, and chocolate I buy is fair trade.

Thanks for sharing that link, I sent it to a few other people I know.

"[-]But caging them, killing them, eating them was unthinkable. We were creatures of the same world."
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#11 Old 01-27-2012, 05:31 PM
 
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I think it's important to remember that there are some baby steps we can take if we're not willing or able to choose fair trade all the time. This blog post suggests some various ways to start changing the trend so that more and more chocolates are produced in ways that are fair: http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com...halloween.html The ideas in that post can be used for various other foods, too.

For example, I don't buy fair trade everything. But I do make sure that most of the coffee, bananas, and chocolate I buy is fair trade.

That's a cool website. I tend to resent holidays in this country, though. We spend soooo much money on crap and extravagance. I try not to perpetuate it. Last year we spent $7 billion on Halloween. $10 billion could put every child in the world through primary school for a year. I realize it doesn't help very much for me to talk about how "bad" we are, but a figure like that just makes a person wonder...

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