Just last weekend, most of the world, especially the United States, celebrated Halloween. As most of us know, children and children-alike dress up as cute or scary as they can and go trick-or-treating around their neighborhoods. However, in the other side of the festive celebration, there are a large number of poor children working the fields of cocoa in Ghana in order to produce enough cocoa to make chocolate. According to an article from know.org by Rob Sachs, which collected the data from the International Labor Organization, more than 200,000 children are forced to work in cocoa fields in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, which produces 70% of the world's cocoa supply. After a long debate in the U.S. Congress, large companies such as Hershey's announced that they are planning to have their cocoa supply certified by 2020.
There are several ways to help lessen the support that abusive farmers in countries like Ghana. Most of the abused child workers work to pay off debts that their families have, to get out of poverty and some are exploited by their relatives. One example is by reading the label and doing some simple research about the company or the country of origin of the cocoa used. By taking simple steps, we can all make a difference.
Trisha May Antonio