Candy company Mars uses cocoa harvested by kids aged 5 in Ghana

In the scorching heat, CBS News observed that children in Ghana five years or below of their age were willing to use machetes almost bigger than themselves to extract cocoa juice. Our platoon visited small subsistence farms in Ghana’s remote cocoa belt that supply American chocolate mammoth mares, which produce delicacies including M&Ms and laughter.

We work at employs children – despite the company’s pledge to put systems in place to eliminate child labor in its workforce by 2025.
Mars also claims to have fathered thousands of children, who have been listed as inheritors of a robust surveillance system designed to keep children away from cocoa colonies and madrassas.
CBS News simply obtained clones of these lists from a whistleblower and was able to confirm that some of the children listed were still working in the fields.

One of those children is 15-year-old Munira. Education is a luxury; their academy is an hour’s walk away and the transport options are invaluable. Last time, her family collected only one bag of good-quality cocoa. A 140-pound bag of the product sells for just $115.

His family’s 12-year-old Grafal also works in the fields but is eager to join his peers in the classroom.
“Almost every data used to create the lists is fabricated,” said an administrator in the cocoa region, who spoke to CBS News on condition of anonymity. Earlier lists.”
He and other administrators told CBS News that they were under pressure to submit names, often with only 24 hours’ notice, and said that companies in Norway verify the information.
None of them were in the academy, and none of them were covered regularly to ensure that they were attending classes.

He was added to the list as the son of a gardener, but he did not survive.
Only about a third of the 300 scholars enrolled at the academy, seen by CBS News, attend classes. All scholars said they gathered cocoa before or after the academy.
A warehouse worker, who was not being named by CBS News, said child labor is “a crime” in the country, but he could not guarantee that all cocoa handled at the establishment was produced without it.
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Mortal rights lawyer Terry Collingsworth in the US has filed a proposed class-action action against US chocolate companies, including Mars, alleging consumer fraud. He has collected statements from Ghanaian children who worked for Mars suppliers, including young boys who toiled in the fields.
CBS News observed that a child almost lost his dumplings to a knife blade while playing with an open cocoa capsule.

“We condemn the use of child labor. Despite our requests, CBS did not provide specific details of the Mars acquisition in time for us to investigate claims of misconduct at the time of this report. We were not aware of any misconduct.

We take the claim seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation and take appropriate action once we receive the necessary information.
Our cocoa suppliers in Ghana have agreed to adhere to our Strong Supplier Conduct Act and we have also made it clear that they must have a Child Labor and Prevention System (CLMRS) in place by 2025 that is in line with due diligence-leading international yes. Coco yes. Initiative. complies with. (ICI) standard.

More than 65 of our cocoa plantations in West Africa were previously covered by CLMRS, which is applied on the ground by our suppliers, with scrutiny by Rainforest Alliance and equipment bodies as part of Fairtrade instrument conditions.

It has no place in our chain of power, and we are committed to helping end it, which is why we have a strong child protection action plan, backed by significant financial investment. We are also transparent in saying that we know there are further needs to be met and we continue to work diligently with parties in the cocoa sector to help advance the respect for mortal rights in the Cocoa Force chain.

Preeti

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