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Brazil: Survey by Intl. Labour Org. & Labour Prosecution Office reveals 8,000 children and teenagers under child labour in the cocoa supply chain

Author: Luciana Console, Brasil de Fato, (Brazil), Published on: 5 December 2018

 “Report on Brazil’s major cocoa-producing areas exposes labor and human rights violations”, 5 December 2018

…[A]t least 8,000 Brazilian children and teenagers currently work in the chocolate production chain, the report commissioned by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Brazil’s Labor Prosecution Office showed. The survey was conducted in 2017 and 2018…[B]rasil de Fato spoke with Marques Casara, one of the researchers who conducted the survey…[H]e reiterated how important it is to hold industries accountable for violations in their production chains…[T]he report came about from a cooperation agreement signed between the International Labor Organization and [Brazil’s] Labor Prosecution Office aiming at a number of initiatives toward decent work in production chains, including the cocoa chain. And one of the steps of this agreement was to produce a research…[O]ur main finding is that child labor is a common practice at the base of the cocoa production chain. It directly benefits major cocoa processors based in Brazil that are connected with multinational corporations, as well as major food companies that market chocolate…[A]nother important aspect in the research was finding [evidence of] fraud in sharecropping arrangements…[W]hat we have found is that this sharecropping process is an excuse to hide practices that violate rights, including slave labor…[T]here is an extensive network of middlemen who commit tax fraud and tax evasion and buy cocoa from farmers and then pass it over to big cocoa processors and big mills…[A]s this survey is out, big processors and chocolate brands have to give a strong answer to solve these unacceptable issues that have been going on in the cocoa and chocolate production chain…

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