A new lawsuit filed against the Hershey company alleges that the multi-billion dollar corporation knowingly uses child labor/slavery to harvest the cacao for their products. Filed in California, the suit states that by utilizing such practices, but not informing consumers, Hershey is making those who purchase their products complicit in this abhorrent practice.
AN ISSUE 15 YEARS AGO
This is not the first time these allegations have been brought to the attention of the public. In 2000, a documentary called Slavery: A Global Investigation was released. This film alleged that the chocolate industry sources most of its cacao from Africa, where young boys are forced to work tirelessly and for no pay in it’s procurement. Furthermore, the children offered horrible accounts of beatings, abuse, and were held captive in the unthinkable conditions.
From the film: One boy says, of chocolate, “They enjoy something I suffered to make; I worked hard for them but saw no benefit. They are eating my flesh.”
Following the film, the largest chocolate companies, Hershey, Nestle, and Mars (both of the latter are also named in the suit) all publicly decried the practices and pledged to take action. This action came in the form of the Engel-Harkin Protocol, and was supposed to take effect in 2005. However, no changes came and the deadline was extended to 2008. So began a continual cycle of non-action and extension.
The lawsuit insists that enough is enough, these practices have been continuing for well over 15 years. The specifics in the suit are as heartbreaking as the revelations of the initial film. It says over 4,000 children are involved in slavery, and that they are worked until too sick to continue or dead. Currently, little more than talk is offered by the accused companies, merely offering press releases and statements, and they continue to reap the benefits of cheap (free) labor and profit off of slavery. This Los Angeles bail bonds company is curious to see how this issue resolves. What do you think: Do Hershey and other huge companies profit through the suffering of others? Do consumers have an “out of sight, out of mind” belief? Tell us: Facebook and Twitter
Source: The Daily Beast
October 21, 2015 / Ryan Serey