New Internationalist

Chocolate and child slaves

Issue 395

Seriously readers will be delighted to hear that Nestlé – the world’s most boycotted company – has been taking its corporate social responsibilities very ‘seriously’.

This is good news for those of you who’ve been concerned about recent revelations of child slavery and child labour being in widespread use in Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa industry (where 50 per cent of the world’s cocoa is produced). A recently announced legal action against Nestlé brought on behalf of children in Côte d’Ivoire had some commentators worried that the world’s largest food corporation’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments were just a marketing ploy.

But thankfully the Swiss company has set the record straight, proving once again that it is an ethical, caring and child-friendly teddy bear of a transnational.

In response to the legal action brought by the International Labour Rights Fund using US legislation on ‘crimes against humanity’, Nestlé did not deny that child slavery was used to produce some of the raw materials for KitKats (which the kiddies just love!). In its legal defence it argued, rather, that child slavery is not a ‘crime against humanity’. It also responsibly decided not to attend an investigation into child slavery in the cocoa industry called by US Senator Horkins a few weeks ago. Nestlé opted instead to sponsor two fringe events at the Labour Party conference in Britain coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the country’s abolition of the slave trade.

CSR watchers around the world rejoiced.

This first appeared in our award-winning magazine - to read more, subscribe from just £7

Comments on Chocolate and child slaves

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

This article was originally published in issue 395

New Internationalist Magazine issue 395
Issue 395

More articles from this issue

  • Fair enough?

    November 1, 2006

    Fair trade risks losing its soul to big business. Albert Tucker wants you to join the fightback.

  • How to be an ethical consumer

    November 1, 2006

    Info and action ideas.

  • Walls

    November 1, 2006

    The Berlin Wall was considered an outrage. But where, asks Eduardo Galeano, is the outrage at the other walls being erected around the world, in Israel, Western Sahara and the US?

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.