Abdul is 10 years old. While many children his age are in school, Abdul spends his days harvesting a bean that is an essential ingredient to a symbol of decadence, love, and happiness in the western world. But to him, it represents pain, toil, and sadness.
Abdul is a child slave working on a cocoa farm in Cote D’Ivoire -- where 35 percent of the world’s cocoa originates -- to make the chocolate you and I love. Abdul has never tasted chocolate. He says he does not even know how cocoa beans are used.
Chocolate’s child slaves
Abdul’s story, and the stories of other children like him are featured in the upcoming film “Chocolate’s Child Slaves,” which premiers on CNN International this weekend as part of the CNN Freedom Project.
More than a decade ago, the chocolate industry vowed to police itself in response to media reports showing a widespread prevalence of hazardous and forced child labor in the cocoa industry in Africa (primarily Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana). Twelve years later, we are still waiting for the chocolate companies to deliver on their promises.
The industry continues to deny the use of child labor, and yet film crew after film crew seems to find it with very little effort.
However, the burden to change is really on you and me, the consumers. Not until we reward companies for being slave-free will the industry truly change and work to ensure that no one (especially children) is exploited in the making of chocolate.
Watch this weekend
As a partner of the Freedom Project, World Vision invites you to watch this documentary and find ways you can help put an end to modern day slavery. The film is not currently scheduled to air on CNN Domestic, however it will air at 9 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 21, or 11 p.m. EST on Sunday, January 22, on CNN International.
If you would like to see the film aired on CNN Domestic, let CNN know! Visit their comments page and leave a friendly note, asking them to air “Chocolate’s Child Slaves” in the U.S. market.
You can also make a more visual statement and post your polite request on the CNN Freedom Project Facebook page. Tell them that you value this type of programming. They appreciate hearing from their viewers.
Visit World Vision's child trafficking page to learn more about child slavery and find opportunities for action, or considering giving a monthly gift to help exploited children trapped like Abdul.