Before you buy your Halloween treats, think globally and act locally to end child labor trafficking in the cocoa industry. See this article by FSU Law School Professor Harley who also has honored STAC with her expertise at many of our learning events. Check out this article from Tallahassee Democrat:
“Children, as young as 12, are responsible for harvesting the cocoa necessary for the production of major chocolate products.
Just one child entrenched in forced labor is too many and yet globally, we see an industry built upon the exploitation of vulnerable children. Our geographical distance from the source of this exploitation does not absolve us from the irreparable harm done in cocoa producing communities. We can no longer tolerate the importation of unethically sourced cocoa products into the United States.
It is time that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security takes decisive steps against the epidemic of forced child labor in the global cocoa industry. If we do not act, we remain complicit in the continuation of enslaved child labor.
How pervasive is child labor in the global cocoa industry? Nearly 60% of the world’s cocoa supply comes from West Africa where, according to the U.S. Labor Department, more than 1.56 million children were engaged in dangerous labor. These dangers include wielding full-sized machetes, spraying toxic pesticides, and carrying 100-pound sacks of cocoa.”