Child Labor

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Hershey Sued Over African Cocoa Farm Child Labor Accusations

An investor group is suing the United States largest chocolate manufacturing company Hershey Co., for allegedly using cocoa that is the product of child labor. The Louisiana Municipal Police Employee’s Retirement System filed a lawsuit in October of 2012, which seeks to force Hershey to open its corporate records for investors. This public pension fund, made up of Hershey shareholders believes that records could reveal the leading U.S. chocolate maker violated federal child trafficking laws, by using cocoa from suppliers in Ghana and Ivory Coast, West Africa.(Hsu) The article entitled, “Hershey Accused Of Using Child Labor In Africa” stated that, "For more than a decade, Hershey has acknowledged the systemic evils of child and forced labor in the cocoa industries of Ghana and the Ivory Coast and pledged action to eliminate it. Notwithstanding this public pledge, Hershey, which by its own account for 42 percent of the market for chocolate products in the United States, has knowingly failed to fulfill its promises. Instead, Hershey has continued to produce and sell chocolate that is the fruit of child and forced labor." (Rogers) Reports have shown that child labor situations in Africa are heartrending. Children are taken away from their families, sold by their families, lured by false promises of education and a paying job; when in reality they are placed in slave-like conditions. Any go without sufficient food, shelter, or clothing. Physical injures caused by hazardous working environments, abuse, and lost contact with family, are the hand dealt to these children daily. The child labor situation in the West African cocoa sector is tragic. According to the Green Biz article, “An estimated 73 percent of the world’s four million tons of cocoa is produced by more than two million cocoa farms spread across West Africa. Côte d'Ivoire alone exports more than $2.3 billion in cocoa annually, amounting to...
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