It is relaxing to sit back in an arm chair sipping on a hot coffee, especially in these cold winter months. However it is also easy to forget that such a commodity comes at a large cost. A blood cost. Off the coasts of west Africa children as young as 9 are being tricked or sold in slave labour, some being bought for as little as 30 cents. Think of strangers putting a price on your own children, the psychological damage that would be result from this industry is unthinkable, the pain for these children would be unbearable. Again, we see a sad case of humanity preying on those too powerless to speak up for themselves. These young children, girls and boys, are exposed to extreme temperatures, hot sun, little food and no basic workplace rights. They may never see their parents again after being brought. In the coffee and cocoa fields it is a common for these children to faint due to heatstroke, exhaustion and hunger due to lack of food. The impoverishment and lack of rights hinder these children greatly. Whilst your children may be coming home from school to a comfy couch and tv, child labourers in Africa have never even been taught how to read or write.
Unfortunatly child labour in the coffee bean fields isen't going to cease anytime soon. As long as poverty exsists this cruel industry will exsist. It almost seems like an endless cycle of oppression. Brands such as Nestle, Kraft, Hersheys and starbucks have been found guilty of purchasing their cocoa and coffee beans from industries which use child labour. It seems that this sick scheme pervades even brands we thought we could trust. However there is a way you can help. By purchasing "Fair trade" coffee you are ultimately buying a legitimate product that does not exploit children . The Fair trade industry strives to ensure workers are paid the right amount of money for their work and workers rights are a fundamental basis of the industry. By giving people in third world countries the oppertunity to work, Fair Trade is essentially helping our world end poverty, so whilst you sip on that warm, Fair Trade Coffee, you can be satisfied in knowing that you are also doing your bit in fighting against poverty.
The faces of exhausted children at the hands of money hungry industries.