Top Chocolate Brands Accused of Child Slavery in US Court Case

Top Chocolate Brands Accused of Child Slavery in US Court Case

Nestle, Mars, and Hershey are among the top chocolate companies facing legal action - Image Source: Pixabay

SOME OF the world’s top chocolate producers – including Nestle and Mars – are facing a US court case accused of employing child slavery on African cocoa farms.

Eight young adults from Mali have launched legal action against the world’s most powerful chocolate companies – including Nestle, Mars, and Hershey – claiming that they were exploited as child slaves on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast.

In an unprecedented case, the defendants are accused of having “knowingly profited” from the use of child slaves in their West African cocoa supply chain. Ivory Coast produces 45% of the world’s cocoa, chocolate’s core ingredient, and the local industry surrounding its cultivation has long been blighted by human rights abuse and child exploitation.

The companies are also accused of misleading the public with their 2001 collective pledge to “phase out” child slavery from the chocolate production line. Lawyers for the accussers says that little to no meaningful effort has been undertaken by the multi-nationals to put an end to underage workers.

In court documents, lawyers said that child slavery in the West African cocoa trade amounted to a “humanitarian disaster” that caused its victims to suffer from “long-term mental and physical trauma”.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...