Firstly, from the point of systemic ethical issue, economic systems should be taken into consideration. Between 1996 and 2000, cocoa bean prices had declined. The decline was dictated by the global forces over which farmers had no control. With low prices, farmers turned to slavery to try to cut labor cost for their survival in this situation. There is another systemic issue relates to the legal aspect of slavery in the chocolate industry. Actually, slavery on farms is illegal in the Ivory Coast but the law is rarely enforced. Open borders, a shortage of enforcement officers, and the willingness of local officials to accept bribes from members of the slave trade all contribute to the problem.
Children are kidnapped by the farmers of Ghana and Ivory Coast and sold off as slaves to coca harvesting farms where they are forced to do manual labor in the form of clearing the field, ...view middle of the document...
Secondly, corporate ethical issueraised by the case. Middlemen who grind and process cocoa beans they acquire from the Ivory Coast and sell the product to manufacturers. So middlemen aware of the slavery labor problem. After the media attention and antislavery group activities, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and U.S. Representative Eliot Engel, the members of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and the World Cocoa Foundation, together with several human rights groups and the Ivory Coast. signed Memorandum of Cooperation. They also agreed to establish a system of certification. But the problem is, they cannot control over anything. Because there are 1 million cocoa farms, most of them family farms and they located in remote rural regions.
Lastly, there are some individual ethical issuesin the case. Cocoa farmers are at the center of the issue. Because, it is illegal to use child slavery labor. Also it is immorally wrong to take someone unwillingly. The second issue is the consumers who knows the problem, company names and continues to consumer their products. Consumers should not ignore it, because with every chocolate they buy, they contribute the continuation of the slavery in chocolate industry.
Corporate ethical issues raised by this case include mostly the middlemen that grind and process cocoa beans. They usually acquire their products from the Ivory Coast and they are aware of the slavery labor problem.
In your view, is the kind of slavery discussed in the case absolutely wrong no matter what, or is it relatively wrong, i.e., if what happens to live in a society like ours that disapproves of slavery?I feel slavery of any kind is wrong whether the society approves or disapproves of it. However, throughouthistory slavery has been a common practice of most societies across the world. If the young boys in this casehad been treated better, for example better working conditions, better sleeping conditions, better livingconditions, and better treatment in general would this article ever have appeared? Probably not, I think the major moral issue here is the treatment of the boys.