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Côte d'Ivoire: CNN reports that child labour remains widespread in cocoa fields despite "Harkin-Engel Protocol"

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19 January 2012

Child slavery and chocolate: All too easy to find [Ivory Coast]

Author: David McKenzie and Brent Swails, CNN

Chocolate…starts with workers like Abdul…[who] is 10…[C]hild labor, trafficking and slavery are rife in an industry…[I]n the [US]…after intense lobbying by the cocoa industry, lawmakers weren’t able to push through a law…[only] a voluntary protocol…[N]early a half-million children…on farms…which produce nearly 40% of the world’s supply of cocoa…are engaged in the worst forms of child labor. Tulane University says the industry’s efforts to stop child labor are “uneven” …and that 97% of Ivory Coast’s farmers had not been reached…[T]he Ivorian government…[says:]“Thirty years of political instability caused a lot of damage to our economy…and…to the cocoa industry…[T]hese years have been lost.”…[M]any observers believe that a new government won’t make it a priority to stop slavery in the cocoa fields…

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17 January 2012

Chocolate industry responds

Author: CNN

The Harkin-Engel Protocol, a cocoa industry-wide agreement signed in 2001, was written to put an end to forced child labor in chocolate by 2005. That deadline had to be extended to 2008, and again to 2010. It's now been more than 10 years…CNN asked the companies who signed the protocol for their response. [Refers to Hershey, Kraft-Cadbury, Mars, World’s Finest Chocolate, Barry Callebaut, Nestlé, ADM, Ferrerro, Guittard, Blommer Chocolate, and Chocosuisse]

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14 December 2011

[video] Ivory Coast's bittersweet cocoa industry

Author: Nazanine Moshiri, Al Jazeera

Although chocolate is a global multi-billion dollar industry, cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast, a West African country that supplies almost half of the world's cocoa beans, are struggling to make ends meet. They earn just a few dollars a day. There are fears that if the Ivorian government does not fulfill its promises to reform the industry and farmers do not start making an increased profit soon, they will abandon their crops, pushing up chocolate prices around the world.

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