Chocolate the Bitter Truth

Published: 2019-11-11 08:30:00
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Sustainable development is that process meant for meeting the development goals for humans, while still maintaining or in other words, sustaining that ability of the natural systems to continue with the providence of ecosystem services and even the natural resources upon which both the society and the economy greatly depend on. Generally, it involves the solutions which are set forth for the improvement of the welfare of human beings, which as a result, does not imping on the wellbeing of the other human beings, and does not also degrade the environment. Apparently, the video raises so many issues in regard to sustainable development.

The first major issue that has been raised in the video is the issue of child labor, as well as slavery. These young children, who are aged between nine to fifteen years, are smuggled from other countries into Ivory Coast, where they are exploited to work in the cocoa plantations. Most of these children come from Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Ivory Coats and Benin. Apart from the fact that they are smuggled to work for the plantations, they are as well not paid and for those that are lucky enough, they are underpaid. A kilogram of cocoa is sold at a very low price and in most cases; the corporations are the ones that get all the profits. There is a state of imbalance because the young children work very hard, at a tender age, but those people that do not work at all are the ones that get the money.

The other problem that has been presented in the video is the hardships that these children undergo. First, when they are being transported, they area at times left alone and they are left confused. This has made them cry as they are not familiar with the environment, and they do not have anyone to turn to. The other hardship that they face is that at the cocoa plantations, they carry heavy machetes and even heavy sacks that have cocoa in them. At some instance, they are even punished for not being fast or doing the most. This leaves the children with no solution but to work extensively, since they are far from home, and no one really cares about them and their well-being.

The last problem that has been presented by the video is the health conditions of the children. The children are exposed to pesticides which in turn pose great health problems for those children. Since they do not have any otherwise, they are forced to work under these harsh conditions, so as to be on the safe side. Unfortunately, in regard to sustainable development, the human development goals pose a great challenge to be met while still improving the welfare of other human beings. Even though in this case the environment is not degraded, the wellbeing of young children is being impinged. The wellbeing of the children is being undermined and their rights are being ignored too.

According to Slaper and Hall, (2011), they suggest that the Triple Bottom Line is a possible solution to the problem. The framework directly incorporates of three dimensions of performance that entail of the environmental, social and the financial aspects. These dimensions are also referred to as the three Ps which stand for the planet, the profits and the people. The Triple Bottom Line does capture the sustainability essence through the measurement of the impacts of the activities of an organization towards the world. Those include the shareholder values, its environmental, human ad social capital, as well as its profitability. There is great need for there to be balance and equity in terms of the profits that are being made and the payments that are being released in turn.

The other solution is that the International Labor Organization should firmly intervene on the issue of child labor and slavery in the West African countries. The governments, as well as the United Nations should also intervene in the matter. Child labor should be sternly abolished so as to avoid the traffickers from smuggling and hiring children that are supposed to be in school. There needs to be a serious protocol for hiring in the cocoa plantations where ILO should ensure that there are no underage children that are being hired to perform such harsh labor in conditions that are also harsh. Even though the children might be living in poverty, their parents can also work to be their bread winners instead of sending small children that are supposed to be in school to work for them. For the corporations too, they should also be aware of the conditions of the workers before they simply take in the cocoa. They have the power to stop the trafficking, only if they want too. It would actually be much easier for the corporations to refuse produce from where children illegally work. The plantation owners would change their system of operation if their sales went down, and would replace the children laborers with adult laborers to ensure that they maintain their sales (Kibert, 2012).

References

Kibert, C. J. (2012). Working toward sustainability. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Slaper. T. & Hall. T. (2011). The Triple Bottom Line: What Is It and How Does It Work?

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