September 19, 2001
The Harkin-Engel Protocol called for action from the chocolate and cocoa industry to put an end to exploitative child labor by 2005 (the deadline was not met.) It also included a commitment to develop voluntary and industry-wide standards of public certification that cocoa beans had been grown and processed without the use of child labor. almost 2 million children had worked on cocoa farms or plantations. Tens of thousands of them were illegally trafficked and sold into child slavery. They are forced to work long hours in dangerous conditions with little or no pay for their work. 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, where these children are forced to work in the fields. A handful of western corporations control almost all of the cocoa exports from the West Coast of Africa. All major chocolate companies buy from producers that use child labor.

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