TED Case Studies
Number 664, 2002
by Samlanchith Chanthavong

Chocolate and Slavery:

Child Labor in Cote d'Ivoire

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I. Identification

1. The Issue

There is a surprising association between chocolate and child labor in the Cote d'Ivoire. Young boys whose ages range from 12 to 16 have been sold into slave labor and are forced to work in cocoa farms in order to harvest the beans, from which chocolate is made, under inhumane conditions and extreme abuse. This West African country is the leading exporter of cocoa beans to the world market. Thus, the existence of slave labor is relevant to the entire international economic community. Through trade relations, many actors are inevitably implicated in this problem, whether it is the Ivorian government, the farmers, the American or European chocolate manufacturers, or consumers who unknowingly buy chocolate. Discussions have arisen regarding how to respond to the problem. Issues mentioned include causes of slave labor relating to the economic system and to the country's dependence on an unstable export crop. There are also debates concerning the appropriate response from the chocolate industry, government officials, and consumers concerning whether there should be boycotting, establishment of government legislation to put "made by slaves" labels on products, or whether some type of international cooperation is needed to ensure improved working conditions. The complexity of the problem makes finding an effective solution a challenging task.

2. Description

Slavery and the Link to Chocolate

Slave traders are trafficking boys ranging from the age of 12 to 16 from their home countries and are selling them to cocoa farmers in Cote d'Ivoire. They work on small farms across the country, harvesting the cocoa beans day and night, under inhumane conditions. Most of the boys come from neighboring Mali, where agents hang around bus stations looking for children that are alone or are begging for food. They lure the kids to travel to Cote d'Ivoire with them, and then the traffickers sell the children to farmers in need of cheap labor (Raghavan, "Lured...").

The horrendous conditions under which children must toil on the cocoa farms of the Cote d'Ivoire are even more jarring when the facts are juxtaposed with the idea that much of this cocoa will ultimately end up producing something that most people associate with happiness and pleasure: chocolate. The connection serves to illustrate that the existence of misery in one part of the world and joy in another part are no longer divorced as nations are connected together in a globalized web of trade. Thus, the pleasure that people from various nations around the world are deriving from these chocolate confections could possibly be at the expense of child slaves in Africa. The problem of child slavery then is not simply a faraway abstraction with no immediate implications for anybody else except those who are directly affected, but rather it is an issue that everybody around the world should be concerned about and demand action to eradicate.

Although news of child labor abuse in Cote d'Ivoire has only recently garnered public attention, these situations did not arise suddenly. Many interlocking factors have contributed to both creating and perpetuating conditions that have led to this form of modern slavery. In order to better understand the situation, this case study will explore the different aspects of Ivorian child labor and the cocoa trade. The case study will begin by providing an overall review of the problem. Afterwards, the case will examine some of the causes and effects of the situation, as well as efforts developed as a response to the abuse.

Human Trafficking and Slavery in General

In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly defined human trafficking as "the illegal and clandestine movement of persons across national and international borders. . . With the end goal of forcing women and children into. . .Economically oppressive and exploitative situations for profit…"(UNICEF). Although most people may not be aware that in the 21st century slavery still exists, reports declare that the number of slaves at present is the highest it has ever been (Free the Slaves). Presently, about 700,000 children and women are trafficked around the world annually. The UN says that profits for this trafficking amount to approximately $7 billion a year (Anti-Slavery International).

Slavery, the Cote d'Ivoire, and the Rest of West Africa

A UNICEF study reports that 200,000 children are trafficked yearly in West and Central Africa. The trafficking occurs across many countries including Cameroon, Nigeria, and Ghana. Some countries are mere transit points, while others are either the suppliers or receivers of the children (Salah, p. 3).

In addition to the nations mentioned previously, two countries that are especially implicated in child trafficking in the cocoa trade are Cote d'Ivoire which is the receiving country, and Mali which serves as the supplier. Cocoa farms in the Cote d'Ivoire are violating children's human rights in two ways: they are involved in trafficking the children and are also the site of forced labor (Save the Children Canada).


There are about 600,000 cocoa farms in Cote d'Ivoire (Child Labor Coalition). Estimates of the number of children forced to work as slaves on these farms are as high as 15,000 (Save the Children Canada). In addition to the very illegality of trafficking and hiring children workers, the implicated cocoa farmers subject the children to inhuman living conditions. Besides overworking them, the farmers do not pay the children nor feed them properly-often times they are allowed to eat corn paste as their only meal. The denigration also includes locking the children up at night to prevent escape. Although it is only one of many occurrences of bonded labor, Aly Diabate's experience on a cocoa farm still illustrates how this torture strips away the dignity of children.

Aly Diabate, who is from Mali, was eleven years old when he was lured in Mali by a slave trader to go work on an Ivorian farm. The locateur told him that not only would he receive a bicycle, but he could also help his parents with the $150 he would earn. However life on the cocoa farm of "Le Gros" (or "Big Man") was nothing like Aly had imagined. He and the other workers had to work from six in the morning to about 6:30 at night on the cocoa fields. Since Aly was only about four feet tall, the bags of cocoa beans were taller than him. To be able to carry and transport the bags, other people would have to place the bags onto his head for him. Because the bags were so heavy, he had trouble carrying them and always fell down. The farmer would beat him until he stood back up and lifted the bag again. Aly was beaten the most because the farmer accused him of never working hard enough. The little boy still has the scars left from the bike chains and cocoa tree branches that Le Gros used. He and the other slaves were not fed well either. They had to subsist on a few burnt bananas(Chatterjee, "How your...").

Yet when nightfall came, Aly's torture did not end. He and eighteen other slave workers had to stay in their one room that measured 24-by-20 feet. The boys all slept on a wooden plank. There was but one small hole just big enough to let in some air. Aly and the others had to urinate in a can, because once they went into the room, they were not allowed to leave. To ensure this, Le Gros would lock the room (Chatterjee, "How your...").

Despite the horrendous conditions that he was living in, Aly was too afraid to escape. He had seen others who had attempted escapes, only to be brutally beaten after they got caught. However one day, a boy from the farm successfully escaped and reported Le Gros to the authorities. They arrested the farmer and sent the boys back home. The police made Le Gros pay Aly $180 for the eighteen months he had worked. Now Aly is back with his parents in Mali, but the scars, both physical and psychological still remain. He admitted that after he first came back from the farm, he had nightmares about the beatings every night. Aly was fortunate that the authorities were alerted about the slavery that was present at Le Gros' farm, but many other children are not as lucky and are still being subjected to the beatings and overall dehumanization on these cocoa farms. (Chatterjee, "How your...")

Exploitation like Aly's is able to exist because of the secretiveness of the abuse. The Ivorian farms are usually small and located in areas around which most people do not travel. In fact, many actors in the cocoa trade have never even visited these remote farms. Even if one were able to visit the farms, sometimes it is difficult to tell whether the children have been bought or are part of the family (Chatterjee, "How your...").


While the complexity of such a grave situation as bonded labor prevents the simple categorization of the definite causes of the problem, there are some push and pull factors that many experts consider to be at least partly responsible for creating conditions ripe for slavery on cocoa farms.

Pull Factors.

Historical and continuing dependence: Cote d'Ivoire has historically been reliant on exports, whether it was coffee, timber, or cocoa as the country focused on an outward-oriented pattern of development. Cocoa first appeared in Cote d'Ivoire in 1880 on a plantation. Initially only the Europeans owned cocoa plantations there until World War I. As cocoa prices increased on the world market during this period, Africans themselves began to grow cocoa. However, initially after independence, coffee was the leading export good for Cote d'Ivoire. By the latter part of the 1970's though, cocoa supplanted coffee as the major commodity when a cocoa boom occurred as the government encouraged cultivation by offering various price incentives (Gbetiboao and Delgado, 115, 121, 125). This emphasis on cocoa production has been entrenched in the economy to the extent that many farmers are dependent on cocoa for their livelihood.

At present, a substantial one-third of the Ivorian economy is based on cocoa exports, which has meant continued dependence on the world market prices for cocoa. This has not boded well for the country since cocoa is considered one of the most unstable commodities in terms of fluctuating market prices (Gbetiboao and Delgado p. 141). The profitability of cocoa depends on world prices that farmers' cannot control and also on natural conditions that affect cocoa yields, such as droughts (Grootaert, p. 24). For instance, since 1996 the price for a pound of cocoa beans has dropped from sixty-four cents to fifty-one cents. Consequently this negatively affects the farmers as they get less profits, so then they look for ways to cut costs by using cheap labor, driving them to even resort to use slave labor (Child Labor Coalition).

Push Factors.

Poverty: Although some children come from Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Togo, most of the trafficked children come from Mali. Since Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world with a GDP of $850 per capita (CIA Factbook), people travel to Cote d'Ivoire to find jobs. Of the estimated 15,000 child slaves, the majority are from Mali (Save the Children Canada). With so few opportunities in their own countries, people often travel elsewhere in search of jobs, like the Malians do. If people are able to secure work, then they could send money back home to help their families for daily subsistence. Therefore, families allow their children to go away with people who turn out to be slave traders (Save the Children Canada). Most of the West African countries have extremely high levels of poverty, ranging from 40% to 72% (Salah, pp. 4-5). Consequently families need the contribution of their children's earnings to survive. These areas are precisely where the traffickers prey for desperate people (International Labor Organization). Many families work in the informal sector in order to earn a living because the economy has been experiencing such a low level of growth. The sluggish economy also provides disincentives for parents to send their children to school since an education does not automatically result in being able to secure a job (Grootaert, p. 22).

Culture: There is a cultural variable associated with the situation as well. The children of Ivorian farmers also help cultivate cocoa beans, so some farmers do not see why it is wrong to use the labor of other children (Raghavan, "Rescued…"). Aside from the implicated farmers though, in the culture of much of Africa, the sight of children working is quite common and not necessarily seen negatively. In fact, the percentage of children between 5 to 14 years old in the work force hovers between 40-50% (Grootaert, p. 22). Men have multiple wives and many children, so the kids start working at an early age to help their families. Schooling is so expensive for many of them, that the only alternative left is to work. Even in instances where forced labor is not involved, children in Africa help in the work of their parents, who are contracted laborers (Salah, pp. 4-5).

In other situations, families used to traditionally send their children away to live with another family in order to learn a special skill, as a substitute for formal-and more expensive-education. Thus, Cote d'Ivoire has been this destination of promise to where children traveled in hopes of making money or of learning something new and useful. However, with the deteriorating economic conditions, farmer's are "perverting" this tradition (Raghavan, "Lure..."). Meanwhile, many families still live in traditional communities and they have yet to become wise to a new reality, where their children could be abused the way that they are. Without realizing that society has become dangerous in this way, they entrust the locateurs with their children (Salah, p. 5).

Effects on Children

The effect of being sold into slave labor has the obvious physical scars from the constant beatings the children receive, their inhumane living conditions, and the practical starvation that the farmers impose on them. However, the effects of slavery do not merely affect the physical well-being of the children. They also suffer from emotional scars. Psychologists say that children subjected to slave labor are irrevocably changed. "Being a slave is often a process of systematic destruction of a person's mind, body, and spirit." Not only are families separated from each other, but the child slaves become more emotionally isolated (Free the Slaves). Even after they are no longer in slavery, the children are more fearful of other people and less confident of themselves. They also have trouble readjusting to their families (Raghavan, "Rescued..."). For the children that are lucky enough to escape, their physical and psychological scars will need a long time to heal.

Domestic and International Response

 Cote d'Ivoire exports 43% of the cocoa beans used to make the world's chocolate. Americans alone spend $13 billion a year on chocolate. The beans are shipped to processing companies in the U.S. and then they are transported to the chocolate manufacturers who make the chocolate confections (Chatterjee, "How your..."). Because of the globalizing implications, domestic actors are not alone in taking action to resolve the problem. Consumers in the cocoa importing countries are demanding that their governments as well as the chocolate industry take definitive action to stop the human rights violations. Therefore, the issue of slave labor is not merely one that requires unilateral action. Rather, international actors such as foreign governments, NGOs, civil society participants, as well as other actors implicated either in supplying the labor or consuming its products are multilaterally helping the Cote d'Ivoire address the problem.

In the spirit of regional cooperation espoused in the human rights conventions, the Cote d'Ivoire has signed an agreement with Mali in September 2000 in response to the problem of child trafficking from Mali to Ivorian cocoa farms. The countries have pledged to punish people who use and exploit child workers and to send the children back to Mali. In addition, a program addressing the trafficking aspect of the problem is being established in the Cote d'Ivoire, called the UN Global Program against Trafficking in Human Beings (Global March).

Meanwhile when news of how chocolate made from Ivorian beans could be linked to child slavery, people everywhere were outraged. There was an attempt by concerned US senators to add an amendment to the 2001 Agricultural Appropriations bill that would require chocolate products to carry the label confirming that slaves were not used in cocoa production. However, the chocolate industry protested that the action would cause consumers to boycott the chocolate products, which would then hurt the cocoa producers even more. The less revenue they received, the more they might continue to use slaves. The bill never reached the House-Senate conference committee though, as the chocolate industry joined together to take action regarding eliminating child labor on cocoa farms to preclude official government action (Chatterjee, "House...").

The new action plan initiated by the U.S.'s Chocolate Manufacturers Association is called the Harkin-Engel Protocol, and it will be implemented with the support and cooperation of the US and foreign governments and various NGOs around the world. The plan's goal is to conform to the ILO Convention 182 in establishing mechanisms to end the worst forms of child labor. (Chocolate Manufacturers Association). In the first step of the plan, the industry implemented a formal survey conducted under USAID to examine the pervasiveness of child slavery in the West African region. They examined 3,000 cocoa farms during fall 2001. An advisory group consisting of the ILO, UNICEF, World Bank, Free the Slaves, USAID, and West African governments, have the responsibility of overseeing the survey. They are to monitor the survey, analyze its results and suggest actions.

After the industry finishes its survey, it plans to use the survey as a guide in creating pilot programs aimed at improving the economic conditions of cocoa growers. Other future plans include the creation of a system that monitors labor conditions and publicly reports labor violations. What is more the industry will fund a foundation that will play the role of keeping up with continuing actions that address child slavery.

By 2005, the chocolate industry plans to establish a system that publicly certifies cocoa as not having been produced by children, using a process that traces from where cocoa is supplied (Chocolate Manufacturers Association, "Signed Protocol").

*UPDATE: June 2003*

Industry efforts have achieved some progress on the action plan. The survey conducted by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, which examines the prevalence and causes of child labor in West Africa, was completed and released on August 2002. For information on the findings, see Child Labor in the Cocoa Sector of West Africa.

Furthermore, in late 2002 the cocoa and chocolate industries worked to implement pilot programs that directly address labor practices. Such programs include monitoring and creating awareness throughout society about non-exploitative labor practices. The other group of pilot programs aim to strengthen "the health and vibrancy of the local cocoa farming community," in order to improve the livelihoods of farmers so that they do not resort to employing child labor. Examples of such initiatives include the introduction of new farming technology and access to credit (Chocolate Manufacturers Association, "Global Chocolate Cocoa Industry...").

For continuous updates on the progress of these various initiatives, visit the Candy USA the web site.

3. Related Cases

Some additional cases that address West Africa and Human Rights:

Africa :Depletion of rain forests

Bendl :Deforestation in Nigeria due to development

Benin :Toxic dumping in Benin

Ivorywd : Wood exports from Cote d'Ivoire cause deforestation

Nigeria : Italian toxic dumping in Nigeria

Saotome: Tourism leading to environmental problems

Additional cases on West Africa and Food:

Angfish : Overfishing in Angola

Botswana : Cattle raising takes up large area

Cocoa : Cote d'Ivoire's cocoa trade harming the environment

Senegal-groundnut : Senegal's dependence on groundnuts

Additional cases on child labor:

Kathylee : Kathie Lee Gifford's clothing line produced by child labor

Beedi : Child labor in India used to produce cigarettes

Nike : Use of child labor in Nike sweatshops in Pakistan

Rugmark : Labeling program that monitors child labor violations in Indian rug industry

4. Author and Date:

Samlanchith Chanthavong, April 2002

II. Legal Clusters

5. Discourse and Status: Agreement and In Progress

6. Forum and Scope: Cote d'Ivoire and Multilateral

7. Decision Breadth: 2

8. Legal Standing: Treaty

Cote d'Ivoire's involvement with not only child slave labor, but also with child trafficking makes promoting children's rights an urgent task in the human rights community. Ever since the beginning of the 20th century, there have been statements condemning human rights violations of children such as the Declaration of the Rights of the Child 1924 and 1959, both of which state that children have the right, among other important ones, to be protected from exploitation (UNICEF). However, none of them were legally binding. Presently though, some children's rights conventions have emerged that do carry the weight of international law. Two of the most prominent are the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ILO's Convention 138 and 182.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

One of the most comprehensive conventions to address human rights violations of children is the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC names certain principles and standards that are aimed at protecting children in the social, political, and economic arenas. The nations who ratify the Convention are obligated to undertake concrete legislative action in order to comply with the standards. To ensure that the member countries comply, they must submit reports to show the progress of their efforts. Meanwhile, there is also an independent committee that monitors their actions. The Convention emphasizes that cooperation from these nations and civil society are important in order for action to be effective. Cote d'Ivoire has ratified the CRC and therefore is legally bound to vigilantly guard against violations of its principles. As the recent exposure of child slave labor in the cocoa farms illustrates, the country has to stepped up its efforts to address this problem. Especially relevant to the case of the Ivorian slave labor are the following articles: Article 1 defines a child is a person who is below eighteen years of age. Article 32 declares that nations must "recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous…or be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development." Article 35 explicitly states that countries must stop child trafficking; that they must "take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measure to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form (UNICEF)."

ILO Convention 138 and 182

The International Labor Organization, whose aim it is to create plans that encourage respect for human rights at work, is composed of national governments, worker's groups, and employers' organizations. Nations that ratify ILO Conventions must ascribe to the legally-binding standards of the document. The ILO has also set up monitoring committees to check up and report on countries' progress. The ILO Conventions 138 and 182 are especially pertinent to Cote d'Ivoire as they specifically address child labor (ILO).

Convention 138 was adopted in 1973 and established the minimum age for a child to be able to work. The age was set to fifteen or the age in which the children fulfill the minimum educational requirements of their countries. It calls for the absolute eradication of any form of child labor. Article 1 states that, "Each member…undertakes to pursue a national policy designed to ensure the effective abolition of child labor and to raise progressively the minimum age for admission to employment …to a level consistent with the fullest physical and mental development of young persons (ILO)."

Since the ILO recognizes that child labor is often times a function of underdevelopment-an issue that realistically cannot be resolved quickly-Convention 138's goals are oriented towards the long-term. However, the cessation of certain types of child labor cannot be postponed no matter what development status a nation occupies. Therefore in 1999 the ILO adopted Convention 182 to swiftly combat "the worst forms of child labor." This category of labor as stated in Article 3 includes "all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labor…" The Convention requires governments to employ every instrument in their power to end the worse forms of child labor, with the collaboration of workers' and employers' groups, and NGOs as mandated by Article 6. The Convention actually spells out a set of programs that the governments should follow, (including identifying the violations, educating society about the harmfulness of child labor, and effectively punishing the violators) and also how to go about taking those actions using data collection, regional coordination, and cooperation with civil society. Initially Cote d'Ivoire had not ratified either Convention 138 or Convention 182. However, the government has recently voted to ratify them and the ratification will be formally presented at the National Assembly in August 2002. This is an important step as it adds to motivate the Ivorian government to be more dedicated in its initiative to address child labor, especially with the slave labor occurring on the cocoa farms (ILO).

WTO and Labor Standards

Currently the WTO does not have any rules addressing labor standards. There is actually a debate going on concerning whether or not the WTO has the responsibility to include labor considerations as part of its trading principles. Some member countries argue that in order to improve labor conditions, actions such as trade sanctions by the WTO should be a potential instrument. These countries insist that trade and labor standards are necessarily related. Developed countries often cite, for instance, the GATT Article XX that allows governments to implement trade restrictions in order "to protect public morals and human life and health." However, the less developed countries contend that to officially dictate labor standards through the WTO is merely an excuse to impose a form of protectionism aimed at hindering these countries' competitiveness. Indeed the comparative advantage of many of these countries is inexpensive labor. Developing countries believe that attempting to give the WTO discretion over labor standards would go against the principles of the WTO. It is an institution whose purpose is to promote and ensure free trade, not to judge the morality of domestic policies of individual countries. As for Article XX, the countries argue that the statement pertains to what occurs in the country that is importing products, not the exporting countries and their policies (Grace, "In Focus…"). They say that once economic conditions improve, labor violations would decrease by themselves. At present the WTO leaves issues of labor to the International Labor Organization (WTO).

Cote d'Ivoire Labor Laws

The national labor laws of the country set the minimum age at 18 for 'hazardous work;' at 16 for 'light underground work;' and 12 for 'light agricultural work.' While the Ivorian Ministry of Labor's record on preventing violations of these laws in the formal employment sector is a success, they have not been as effective in the informal sector or in hidden areas (Dept. of Labor), which happen to be where the guilty cocoa farms are located. Meanwhile education laws have not been enforced effectively and therefore contribute to the ease in which children can drift into the employment sector. Legally, children must attend school until they are sixteen years old. However, many children who are only twelve or thirteen quit school due to poverty and end up going to work, without much prevention from local authorities (US Dept. of Labor).

III. Geographic Clusters

9. Geographic Locations

a. Geographic Domain: Africa

b. Geographic Site: West Africa

c. Geographic Impact: Cote d'Ivoire

10. Sub-National Factors: No

11. Type of Habitat: Tropical

IV. Trade Clusters

12. Type of Measure: Import ban

13. Direct v. Indirect Impacts: Direct

14. Relation of Trade Measure to Environmental Impact

a. Directly Related to Product: Yes, cocoa

b. Indirectly Related to Product: Yes, chocolate

c. Not Related to Product: No

d. Related to Process: Yes, children's rights

15. Trade Product Identification: Cocoa, chocolate

16. Economic Data:

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Chocolate Consumption (in pounds per head) 2000

Country Chocolate
Switzerland 22.3
Austria 20.1
Ireland 19.4
Germany 18.1
Norway 17.9
Denmark 17.6
United Kingdom 17.4
Belgium 13.2
Sweden 12.8
United States 11.7

(Source: CAOBISCO)

17. Impact of Trade Restriction: High

18. Industry Sector: Food

19. Exporters and Importers: Top exporter--Cote d'Ivoire; Top importer--United States

Cocoa beans used to make chocolate come from different farms in different areas of Cote d'Ivoire. The beans are mixed together in transport to importing countries and also in the processing factories. Consequently, there are no solid data reflecting the possible amount of cocoa beans in the world market that are tainted by slave labor. Since it is nearly impossible to differentiate between cocoa beans harvested by child slave labor and coca beans picked by free labor, there is no way to distinguish between chocolate products associated with forced child labor either.


Top 10 Producers of Cocoa Beans (in thousands of tons) 1999-2000

Country Quantity of beans
Cote d'Ivoire 1,250
Ghana 410
Indonesia 410
Nigeria 170
Brazil 135
Cameroon 125
Ecuador 95
Malaysia 80
Dominican Republic 47
Colombia 40

(Source: Commodity Market Reforms: Lessons of Two Decades)

Cote d'Ivoire's position as leading producer of cocoa is not incidental. There is a long history of deliberate policymaking aimed at developing the cocoa industry. Ever since WWI, Ivorians have grown cocoa as they were to the high prices at that time. The Ivorian government even went as far as legislating policy incentives to encourage cocoa growing, which spurred the 1970's cocoa boom. During this time, cocoa exports doubled. The government also sponsored studies related to what activities were needed to ensure optimal cocoa growing . Agencies would research topics includng what type of technology was most efficient in growing cocoa, and what mechanisms were need to combat pests (Gbetibuouo and Delgado, pp. 121, 124).

Top Exporters of Cocoa Beans (in thousands of tons) 1998/1999

Country Quantity of beans
Cote d'Ivoire 977
Ghana 308
Indonesia 212
Nigeria 142
Cameroon 91
Papua New Guinea 48

(Source: Commodity Market Reforms: Lessons of Two Decades)

The leading exporter of cocoa beans is the Cote d'Ivoire in the period in which the most recent data is available. It exports 977 thousands of tons. Not surprisingly the Ivory Coast also produces the most cocoa at 1, 250 thousands of tons, as of 1999-2000. The country's production accounts for 43% of the world's cocoa production.

Top 10 Importers of Cocoa Beans (in thousands of tons) 1998-1999

Country Quantity of beans
United States 408
Netherlands 396
Germany 312
United Kingdom 206
France 112
Singapore 88
Russian Federation 78
Italy 71
Belgium-Luxembourg 60
Spain 55

(Source: Commodity Market Reforms: Lessons of Two Decades)

V. Environment Clusters

20. Environmental Problem Type: Human rights abuse

21. Name, Type, and Diversity of Species: N/A

22. Resource Impact and Effect: High and Product

23. Urgency and Lifetime: High and 20 years

24. Substitutes: Education

VI. Other Factors

25. Culture: Yes

26. Trans-Boundary Issues: Yes

27. Rights: Yes

28. Relevant Literature



Antislavery International. "Trafficking" section.

CAOBISCO. "Ranking of Consumption-Chocolate Confectionary" section.

Chatterjee, Sumana and Sudarsan Raghavan. "A Taste of Slavery: How Your Chocolate May be Tainted." Knight Ridder Washington Bureau. 24 June 2001.

Chatterjee, Sumana and James Kuhnhenn. "House Approves No-Slavery Labels on Chocolate Products Despite Industry Protest." Washington Bureau. 28 July 2001.

Chatterjee, Sumana. "Chocolate Companies Fight 'Slave Free' Labels on Products." Washington Bureau. 31 July 2001.

Child Labor Coaltion. "Nothing Sweet: Child Slave Labor in Ivory Coast" section.

Chocolate Manufactures Association. "CMA Launches Initiative to Address West African Labor Issues" and "Chocolate Industry Plan Summary" and "Global Chocolate, Cocoa Industry, Partners Meet in Ghana to Launch Region-Wide Program to Promote Responsible Cocoa Labor Practices" sections.

CIA Factbook. "Cote d'Ivoire," "Mali."

Department of Labor. "About Child Labor," and "Executive Order" section.

Free the Slaves Organization. "Modern Slavery" section.

Global March. "Worst Forms of Child Labor" section.

Grace, Brewster. "In Focus: WTO Trade and Labor Standards." Light Party: April 2000.

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. Child Labor in the Cocoa Sector of West Africa. August 2002.

International Labor Organization. "Child Labor IPEC" section.

Raghavan, Sudarsan. "A Taste of Slavery: Lured by a Promise of Money." Knight Ridder Washington Bureau. 24 June 2001.

Raghavan, Sudarsan. "Malians Work to Free Child Laborers." Knight Ridder Washington Bureau. 24 June 2001.

Salah, Rima. "Child Trafficking in West and Central Africa: An Overview." (Paper presented at the Pan African Conference on Human Trafficking), Feb. 2001.

Save the Children Canada. "Children of the Border-Child Trafficking in West Africa' section.

State Department. "By the Sweat and Toil of Children," 1995.

State Department. Human Rights Report, 2000.

UNICEF. "Child Rights" section.

Word Trade Organization. "Trade and Labour Standard" section.


Grootaert, Christiaan. "Child Labor in Cote d'Ivoire." The Policy Analysis of Child Labor: A Comparative Study. Ed. Christian Grootaert, et al. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.

Gbetibouo, Mathurin and Christopher L. Delgado. "Lessons and Constraints of Export Crop-Led Growth: Cocoa in Ivory Coast." The Political Economy of Ivory Coast. Ed. I. William Zartman, et al. New York: Praeger, 1984.

Varangis, Panos and Gotz Schreiber. "Cocoa Market Reforms in West Africa." Commodity Market Reforms: Lessons of Two Decades. Ed. Takamasa Akiyama, et al. Washington DC: World Bank, 2001.


Chocolate clipart from www.free-clip-art.com

Map from CIA Factbook

All images of child cocoa workers used with the consent of True Vision