While numerous accusations have been made over the years, so too, have the denials. There is no doubt that laws are in place which prohibit child labor and child trafficking, yet children continue to be victimized. The accused hide behind screwy loop holes in the laws and are sometimes aided by corrupt public officials. The discussion quickly turns into your typical he said, she said, scenario.
While authorities in Africa continued to deny these allegations, Mistrati and Romano’s hidden cameras tell us a different story. Children between the ages of 12-15, some as young as 7, were seen working on these coca plantations. The working conditions on these plantations are deplorable and become unimaginable when you think of a child. No child should ever be subjected to exploitation; period.
If there is one point that I can make in this post, it is that an informed consumer, is a smart consumer (and a better friend to the exploited). It is sometimes hard to make the connection between a 7-year-old-child, working a plantation in Mali, to the chocolate bar we buy in the local food store, but that is the connection you need to make, because this is what is happening.
The Dark Side of Chocolate takes us on a journey to the truth, in their ground breaking documentary on labor trafficking. Watch it and be informed.
I may think twice before I pick up a chocolate bar- will you?
To find out more about this film, please visit http://www.thedarksideofchocolate.org/