Surveys conducted between 2009 and 2011 show that more than 250 000 children are used and exploited in cocoa plantations in West Africa (mainly in Ivory Coast). In 2001, some of the big names of the global chocolate industry signed the Harkin-Engel protocol and committed to addressing the worst forms of child labour. Ten years later, none of the goals set by this protocol were fully achieved.
In the article “Ethics in the chocolate value chain” the Trade for Development Centre describes the complexe structure which excludes poor cocoa farmers from sharing in the profits. The article lists some initiatives set up by the professionals and the big names in the sector.