April 28, 2011

The Dark Side of Chocolate

Recently, I watched the documentary, The Dark Side of Chocolate. It was about human trafficking in Africa. Human trafficking exists in the United States as well as internationally. This documentary focused on the kidnapped children around Africa who were tricked/forced to work (for little or no wages) in the Ivory Coast (where majority of the world's cocoa beans are grown). When the narrator asked the corporate of many chocolate companies whether human trafficking still existed in Africa, many rejected the idea that it existed. Of course they'd say that. In 2001, the presidents of all major chocolate companies signed an agreement to not have child labor by 2008. Many people in Africa, however, are aware that human trafficking does exist. Unfortunately, they can't do much about it except try to stop children from getting tricked/kidnapped from human traffickers. This documentary strives to let the world be aware that human trafficking still exists for many reasons. In the case of this, it's for chocolate. The film showed us children as young as 10 cutting cocoa beans out of cocoa trees despite the fact that it is illegal to have child labor.

I feel so disillusioned of the world and completely overwhelmed with emotions. How can people be so inhumane and use children so that they can profit? I know I learned about this in my history course, but it has been awhile since I watched' thought-provoking documentaries. I feel so helpless. What can I do? I strive to buy some of my foods that's fair-trade and sustainable. But, what are those words now? Are they just marketing techniques that interest people into buying the same quality foods, but at a more expensive price? I honestly don't know. I don't know if I can even eat chocolate anymore. Actually, I know I will eat chocolate, but the thought of children being trafficked for the sake of that candy bar will forever linger in my mind. I don't know if I will speak up about it, but I like to say I will. Corporations aren't good. Everything has a dark side. I don't know where will I go in this world with so much empathy...


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