I'm all for government putting it's foot all into this mess! Obviously the companies are not pressed enough about the issue. If they were they would have done something without ever being called on the carpet about it !
quote: In 2001, two American congressmen set up legislation pushing for a cocoa certification program designed to protect the thousands of children working in the sector. Four-years later, little has changed for the working children of Ivory Coast. Joe Bavier visited a plantation near Agboville in southeast Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa exporter and has this report for VOA. ... A member of Ivory Coast's parliament, a plantation owner and vice president of the national cocoa marketing body, Daniel Abo Akpinde, denies complacency. He blames much of the bad press his country has received in recent years on cultural differences. He says it is not fair to judge African countries using American and European norms.
Over there, they say a child should not touch a machete, he says. In the West, they do not use that kind of equipment. Here they do, but we teach them in school gardens, he says.
Americans need to understand, he says. He does not think America wants to make Ivory Coast suffer more than it already does.
The West African nation has been divided for nearly three years by a civil war that is funded on both sides by cocoa revenues. It is another reason, Mr. Abo Akpinde says, Ivory Coast should not be penalized.
To make the point, an Ivorian cocoa industry delegation arrived in Washington, D.C. in mid June. A visit by Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo soon followed.
While the conditions are harsh I'm thinking the word "slavery" is being misapplied after more review. These kids are not "forced" to do the work. They choose to do it because of their current environment. And all current 1st world nations had similar issues when working their way out of "3rd world" mode. So yes this is an issue. A concern. But it is not "slavery".
Posts: 1673 | From: Suwanee, GA, USA | Registered: Oct 1999
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