End Chocolate Slavery
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"When (you) eat chocolate, you are eating my flesh". These are the haunting words of Drissa, a former slave of the chocolate industry. The chocolate industry uses child slave labor to get it cocoa beans necessary for the chocolate. These children typically 10-14, but some are as young as 5. The children go willing to these plantations, typically located in the Ivory Coast, under the promise of money. Most of these children live in extreme poverty, so they are willing to anything for what we in the west would consider an unfair amount. The saddest thing is that they usually use that money to go to school, something we in the west consider to be a nuance. They are paid, but not only does this take years, the kids are barely paid enough for a bus ticket back to their home. They never get enough money to actually go to school, and get the education they desire. What's worse is the way they are treated. If they try to leave without the owner's permission, they are beaten. They are forced to wield dangerous tools (like machetes). They often carry 100 lb pound bags for miles, and are beaten if they go too slow. They are locked in a barn to prevent escaping. They are seldom fed, usually forced to forage for there own food or eat scraps. These children are being exploited are and lied to. All this happens while the chocolate industry sits ideally by does nothing. They have acknowledged it, and claimed they were trying to help, but that was years ago and nothings come of it yet. Even when they are directly shown footage of the enslaved children, they are still not actively trying to stop this. This is a very complex issue, but it has a very simple solution: pay for their education. These children are being exploited, but remember, the only reason they're in that situation is because they want to go to school. I feel it's only fair to have the chocolate industry pay for that schooling. This would, in theory, help break the poverty cycle that forces them to these plantations in the first place. This would help the chocolate industry as well, as doing this would paint them in much better light in the eyes of many, including me. This wouldn't hurt them much financially either, as the industry is currently worth roughly 60 billion dollars. I realize that there are other solutions that can be done, but I feel that paying for there education would be an amazing long term solution to this problem.
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