Welcome to StopChocolateSlavery. This website is dedicated to raising awareness about the slavery and other labor abuses that taint the vast majority of chocolate products, and to encouraging and facilitating actions aimed at ending those abuses. It is also dedicated to the children who are victims of chocolate slavery and exploitation – we hope that it can contribute in some small way to making their lives better.
Besides this introduction, the site is divided into five main sections, links to which appear at right.
The first section is News and Information, where you can learn about the connection between candy and cruelty. If you’re like we were only weeks ago, you might be scratching your head at the notion of any link between slavery and chocolate. Strange as it may sound, though, that link is as real as any Hershey’s bar or bag of M&M’s. Even as you read this, child slaves in West Africa are toiling beneath a merciless sun, or are locked up for the night, dreading another day of hard labor. But you needn’t take our word for it. Learn the sad truth like we did, from respected news organizations like the BBC and Knight-Ridder and NGO’s like Save the Children and Global Exchange.
The second section is devoted to action. Many groups are responsible for the depredations against these children, but without question, the people most able to end their sufferings are chocolate manufacturers and government officials. As you will learn, however, the chocolate industry in general has done little to eliminate the slavery in its supply chain, and, indeed, has played a central role in creating and perpetuating it. The politicians, meanwhile, are all talk and no walk. And so, we’ve included some letters here to give you an easy way to let them know how you feel, and we’ve also included links to other letter writing campaigns and the contact info you’ll need to make your voice heard. Unfortunately, it seems that the industry will continue its evil ways, and lawmakers will continue to let them, so long as there is no public outcry against them. This is one way to tell them, “No more!”
Another way is by not buying their tainted products. Sadly, most businesses only understand one thing – profit – and chocolate makers are no exception. In the third section, we’ve included information about the small number of chocolate products that aren’t tainted with slavery or other abuses, so that you can “vote” for the chocolate you want with your dollars. Encourage the small, but burgeoning, market in chocolate that’s exploitation-free, while hitting the slavery-exploiting companies where it hurts – in their pocketbooks.
“And,” to quote The Shawshank Redemption, “if you’ve come this far, maybe you’re willing to come a little further.” Slavery is among man’s greatest inhumanities to man, and so the hope of stopping it has inspired this website. But the world is far from perfect otherwise, and there are many ways besides that you can help to lessen suffering the world over. If you have access to a computer and the internet, then by that fact alone you are likely among the world’s top ten percent in terms of wealth. Please consider sharing some of that wealth with others who are less fortunate; in the fourth section, we’ve provided some links to many of the world’s best-known and most effective charities. Some of them deal directly with slavery, and some don’t, but all are doing work that should be encouraged. Help them to help the poorest of the poor, and the weakest of the weak.
The final section acknowledges the complexities of poverty, slavery, wealth, and power – the complexities of this modern world in general. Action is necessary, but it must be accompanied by wisdom. (Recent events on the global stage indicate the enormous dangers in acting without “thinking it through”.) In this section, we’ve included some food for thought about the issues at hand, and places for you to make your own comments, in the hopes that we can all come to a better understanding of the issues and the actions we ought to take.
And that’s the gist of it, more or less. We hope this site inspires you to take action – for action, above all, is necessary – and we hope that you will tell your friends and family about it as well, if you think they would like to help.