here’s no doubt that humans love chocolate. Globally, we consume $80 to $100 billion worth of it a year. Despite its popularity and the joy it gives us, there is a dark side to chocolate: cocoa, its main ingredient, is often produced by child labor. The US Department of Labor (USDOL) identifies this as the case in six countries: Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
November 6, 2015
This post originally appeared on stopchildlabor.org. The Child Labor Coalition is a program of the National Consumers League. Written by Deborah Andrews, CLC Contributing Writer and Reid Maki, CLC Coordinator.
The US Department of Labor recently released an exciting new tool to help consumers figure out if the products they purchase are made with child labor or forced labor. The sheer size of the 2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor produced by the Bureau of International Affairs (ILAB) highlights the reality of this problem – the hard copy version of the report is over 1,000 pages long and weighs in at over eight pounds.
The Child Labor Coalition, Human Rights Watch, International Labor Rights Forum, and NC Field recently joined together at a congressional briefing to share their perspectives on putting a stop to child labor in the dangerous tobacco industry in the United States and abroad, in honor of World Day Against Child Labor. Norma Flores-Lopez, the governance and collaboration and development manager of East Coast Migrant Head Start, the chair of Domestic Issues Committee of the Child Labor Coalition, and a former child laborer herself, was the moderator for the event. Four panelists were featured at the event to express their desire to combat exploitative child labor in the tobacco industry.
Mohamed Sidibay was born into the war-ridden country of Sierra Leone, which was engulfed in a brutal civil war from 1991 to 2002. Although he has been through difficult experiences in his past, he does not view himself that different from anyone else. He graciously shared his story during a recent meeting of the Child Labor Coalition, which NCL co-chairs and coordinates.
They are far too young to legally purchase cigarettes, yet children as young as 7 are being permitted to work in American tobacco fields and to be exposed to acute nicotine poisoning. Momentum is building to ban child labor from U.S. tobacco fields, as news is spreading of this American disgrace. Learn what is being done about this and how you can get involved.
By Julie Duffy, Child Labor Coalition Intern
No one expected 18 year-old Sophie Nieto Munoz’s first overnight shift at the Pathmark grocery store in Old Bridge, New Jersey to be her last. Sadly, however, the recent high school graduate lost her life after being fatally shot by a co-worker suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Munoz’s tragic and deadly story of workplace violence is not as uncommon as you might think.
For several years, the Child Labor Coalition (CLC), which NCL co-chairs with the American Federation of Teachers, has worked closely with the Cotton Campaign to reduce child labor and forced child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton harvest. Uzbekistan, run by totalitarian dictator Islam Karimov, is the only country in the world where the central government has recently played a major role in causing large-scale forced child labor.