Problem Identification and Brainstorming: Cocoa Child Labor

Today I learned that there are a large number of farms in western Africa that use child labor to tend the crops. These are supported by large companies that make chocolate (Hershey’s, Nestle, etc). I am wondering if there is any data that people know of that would help with understanding this problem better and potentially help reduce the amount of child labor being used. I am near the beginning of my learning journey on this problem and I really don’t have a good handle on the problem, potential solutions, or roadblocks, but I know that the fastai community has a lot of smart people from different backgrounds so it seemed like a good place to begin a conversation. Here is what I’ve found so far:

I was initially made aware of this issue from a chocolate company that is trying to combat this issue by making 100% slave-free chocolate. Here is a link to that company:

and their annual report for 2018-2019 (really good read):

After reading about the issue there, I went to google and found this article discussing the issue from 2019:

And finally I’ve found a report from NORC (National Opinion Research Center) that looks like it was published in October of 2020:ôte-d’ivoire-and-ghana.aspx

The report:

Looking forward to hearing from everybody and hopefully helping move the needle and raise awareness on this issue.


@jeremy can you wikify this so that people can share data, resources, and projects about this topic?

My current thought is that the biggest thing that could be done at the moment would be to make sure to raise awareness and ideally make the decision easy for people that might not care that much about the topic. For instance, I know a lot of people that would pay an extra dollar for their chocolate to end child labor but the question is never framed like that and the best decision probably isn’t the easiest decision at least currently. I am going to try to get the data used in the NORC study. They say the data is available, but I didn’t see anywhere to download it. I will share that here if I’m able to get it.

I’ve been trying to get a better handle on the scale of this issue. There are an estimated 1.56 million children that were engaged in child labor in cocoa production. There are an estimated 16,000 children that are being forced to work by someone other than their parents and 1,000 that are being forced to work outside of their family completely.

I’m currently reading through this supreme court briefing from Nestle:

It’s a dry read, but there is some good information to be gathered from it.

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Done. Although I thought you can wikify you own posts?..

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Folks with the “Regular” level can (Trust Level 3)

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Good to know, thanks for doing it and for letting me know of my newly discovered power :slight_smile:

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