I know very few people who do not love chocolate. Americans spend $13 billon/year on chocolate.
But how many of us are aware of the price being paid in the Ivory Coast, to feed the world's chocolate obsession?
A friend of mine just posted this article on Facebook, and I was shocked to read that at least 12,000 children (and possibly as many as 200,000!) are conscripted into slavery and forced to work in shockingly abusive conditions. (Watch the video below.) Being a person who tries to live according to my principles (refusing to shop at Wal-Mart, or forgoing a diamond wedding ring because of then-apartheid in major diamond producer South Africa), I was horrified to discover that I had been blithely supporting slave labor.
What can we do? Spread the word. Eat and buy lots of chocolate, but only fair trade (now widely available). And spread the word some more!