In class we have had a number of conversations about the difference between work and slavery. Most of the time we are discussing adults, but in many countries children are the main work force. If you think about how old you are right now and all the things you like to do in your spare time… now imagine that instead of attending school and participating in those activities, imagine needing to work in order for your family to eat and live. This may not be a reality for you, but it is a reality for many children in the world.
One of my go-to snack foods is chocolate, and I have always assumed that it was a safe food. I have since learned that most chocolate has actually been through the digestive system of a monkey (yuck); but now I am also aware that in many countries people enslave young children to pick the cocoa beans.
Watch the video below:
This video gave the class plenty to discuss:
What do you think about the fact that VERY YOUNG children are being used as labour and sometimes forced to work for long hours of the day? What would you do if you were in their position? Would you like to help them? If so, how would you go about it?
Zachary: “I think it is bad for the kids in Africa to do labour. Because little kids should play. Someone should stand up for them.”
Jax: “Most people around the world go to school, eat meals, and drink water except the people in child labour. They work up to 12 hours a day for around 10 cents a day. Most of the kids start working when they’re 6 years old. I think that they should work no earlier than 14 years old and get paid at least 20 dollars. I don’t think child labour should be allowed anywhere.”
Jeremy: “I never knew that children worked in Africa to live. I thought chocolate was made in the U.S. In the video it said only eat Fair Traded Chocolates because the kids will get paid more. The industry people know that it is wrong to use child labor. It is good that it is becoming more known so that things will change for the better. The government should pay for schooling and education for them instead of making them work. Fair chocolate is still better.”