Child labor By maX olsOn

Each day, millions of children around the world are forced to do hard manual labor for hours on end, in deplorable conditions. This could be in factories, sweatshops, farms, or even mines. This inhuman act violates many UN human rights, specifically the 4th, which states the no person (or company) has the right to make you their slave. The way these conglomerate justify this behavior is by stating that they only get the raw materials from these places and otherwise have no relation to them. While this may be true, any direct correlation to these farms is bad. You would be surprised by how many of these products you may own. These could be, phones, clothing, carpets, and food. Most of these laborers provide resources for bought goods from multi-billion conglomerates. But while this may be awful, there has been a few instances where these laborers are able to stand up for themselves. An example of this is the plaintiffs of Côte D'ivoire vs. Nestle lawsuit

The main case that the plaintiffs had were that the work area that they had were unsafe. Young children having to work in humid jungles with no breaks causes lots of injuries and in some cases death. With over 70% of nestle cocoa coming from these farms, the workers standing up was a huge hit to the Nestle company. The trial lasted for almost a month. At first it seemed like at first it seemed like the plaintiffs had no chance. However, as the defendants started losing ground then they tried to say anything to try and defend themselves. The president of foreign affairs Paul Bakus even said: “Forced child labor is a complex, global social issue in foreign countries that is not going to be solved by lawsuits in U.S. courts against the very companies that are leading the fight to help eradicate it,”. This is very defensive and false thing to say because the issue of child labor is very black and white. It's either they by from the farms or don't. After a few days of deliberation, the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Even though this was a victory for the laborers, the future for them was uncertain.

After the freedom of the laborers was certain, the slow process of reintegrating the children back to their villages began. This is quite similar to the book Iqbal, where after they are all freed, they have no where to go. This is either because they were taken long ago and don't remember where their village is, or during the raids of the villages they were destroyed. While most have found their homes over 20% of them have no idea of where to go next. The best thing we as everyday citizens would be to share this story through social media, books, any way to have a permanent record of this story could cause a chain reaction of uprisings from labor camps around the world. But while what awaits them now is unclear, there is one thing that must happen in order to liberate the laborers around the world, and that is to spread this story across the globes. This is in hopes to one day, inspire child laborers across the globe that they can stand up, because if the Côte D’voire laborers could win against a powerful conglomerate, why can't others too?

An Informative PSA on this topic.

Sources cited:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2016/10/07/nestle-still-fighting-slavery-lawsuit/2/#53a1688f27c4

http://www.grubstreet.com/2017/01/nestle-could-face-child-slavery-lawsuit-in-us-court.html

http://fortune.com/big-chocolate-child-labor/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/nestle-is-being-sued-for-allegedly-using-child-slaves-on-cocoa-farms-a6806646.html

Photos:

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15915

http://www.foodispower.org/slavery-chocolate/

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