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Drink coffee? Love chocolate? Nearly 1 in 10 children around the world are subjected to child labor, with some forced into hazardous work through trafficking, for some of the world's most popular food products.


  1. Poverty and economic hardship impacts millions of families worldwide, often at the price of a child’s safety when they are forced into labor.

  2. Roughly 160 million children were subjected to child labor at the beginning of 2020, with 9 million additional children at risk due to the impact of COVID-19.

  3. Worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children — often subjected to violence, abuse and other human rights violations. Some may be forced to break the law. For girls, the threat of sexual exploitation looms large, while boys may be exploited by armed forces or gangs.

  4. A significant share of child labour and human trafficking is seen in raw material extraction and agriculture, where due diligence, visibility and traceability is the most challenging.

  5. Child labour can have lifelong negative consequences on the physical, mental and social development of children, with ripple effects well into adulthood and their future families and communities.

  6. The percentage of child labor in the global supply chain varies across regions:

    • 26% in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia

    • 22% in Latin America and the Caribbean

    • 12% in Central and Southern Asia

    • 12% in sub-Saharan Africa

    • 9% in northern Africa and Western Asia

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  1. Sign a petition to end child labor used to grow the cocoa for the world's largest chocolate companies.

  2. Consult the List of Food and Goods Produced by Child and Forced Labor to identify which items you eat and use every day that may be part of the problem.

  3. Wherever possible, choose products and goods that are certified "Fair Trade" — these standards prohibit children below the age of 15 from being employed by the producer, and prohibit children below the age of 18 from doing work that jeopardizes their education or development. 

  4. Petition and/or write to your local government official in charge of Labor and Industries to demand action that scales up and strengthens efforts to respect human rights using a comprehensive, whole-of-supply-chain approach to due diligence.

  5. Write a similar letter to companies and businesses that lower their costs by utilizing child or forced labor.

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