It’s Valentines Day, and the LA Times asks us to remember (if we ever knew), that 70% of the worlds Cocoa is grown in West Africa. Much of it by Child Slavery.
One of the sad facts of life in West Africa is that poor parents sometimes sell their children into indentured servitude, in some cases selling a year of slave labor for about the same price as a large box of See’s nuts and chews. Children as young as 9 are taken from their homes to work in the cacao fields, with frequent whippings, no schooling and no family contact.
But, don’t throw away your chocolates just yet. The article warns, that just like in the diamond industry …
There’s no reason to throw away your Valentine’s chocolates. Not only is a consumer boycott impractical, it would probably do more harm than good because West Africa’s economy is reliant on cocoa, and anything that hurts the industry would just worsen the desperation that drives people to sell their children.
For more info on which companies are OK to buy from, and which are not, goto RadicalThought.Org