The Dark Side of Chocolate

Author’s note: This is a guest post by fellowONE Mom Chelsea Hudson who blogs at Do A Little Good. I got to know Chelsea and her work online as part of a wonderful group of Mom bloggers who advocate and support ONE, a grassroots NGO whose aim is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. I read this post recently on her blog and have been considering the issue ever since. Here is a story that is bound to make you think especially with Halloween coming up soon when millions of dollars of this kind of chocolate is being sold. 

Screen Shot of huge chocolate company, Hershey's, Halloween page.

Screen Shot of huge chocolate company, Hershey’s, Halloween page.

The Dark Side of Chocolate by Chelsea Hudson

I just watched the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate. It hit home on many levels…

First, it’s about children. Children as young as seven years old.


You see, I have children. I have a seven-year old. So when I hear about violence and injustice happening to children anywhere, it matters. Deeply.

Secondly, it’s about the source country where children are trafficked from – Mali, West Africa.

Map of West Africa. Photo source: Wikipedia Free Commons

Map of West Africa. Photo source: Wikipedia Free Commons

You see, I spent a summer in Mali in 1997. In Timbuktu, to be exact (Tombouctou). When I was there, I made a little friend in a boy named Josef. He was probably 7 or 8 at the time, maybe younger. I can still see his face in my memories and heart. I gave him my watch (a cheap digital watch from Walmart) and his parents kept it safe so older relatives would not steal it from him. I left a part of my heart with that watch. I wrote back and forth with his mother, through a missionary translator, for several years after I was there, keeping up with Josef’s well-being and family. What if it had been Josef who was trafficked?? You see, he matters to me. Deeply.

Issues of injustice in our world seem far away, out “there”, wherever out there is, until we can see a face, or picture ourselves or someone we are close to in the midst of that injustice. Somehow, then it matters more. It seems real. Because it IS real.

Moms and Dads, you have children. This issue should matter to you. After all, it’s simply by luck of the draw that they were born where they were and your children were born where they were. 

If you are having a hard time grasping the significance of this issue, like I had for a long time, please take the time to watch this 43 minute documentary sometime this evening. Yes, its hard, its sad. But its real. And it matters. THEY matter.

And then come back here later this week for some FUN, EASY, CREATIVE and age appropriate ways to include your kids in this fight against injustice.


You don’t need to go into graphic detail, but I think it’s perfectly legit to tell your kids that as a family, you can’t, in good conscience, buy mainstream chocolate because those companies use kids just like them to work really hard for almost no money, that they often get hurt, and that they can’t go to school because of chocolate.

Let’s change the status quo by impassioning their generation to practice ethical buying now.

476536_10150614149688195_141794894_oChelsea Hudson is a mother of three girls, wedding and portrait photographer and passionate abolitionist. Chelsea’s journey into activism began 3+ years ago as her eyes, mind and heart were opened to the atrocity of human trafficking, both domestically and abroad. As an ordinary, suburban American women, she struggled to find her place, specifically as a mom of three small children, in this critical fight for justice. This quest led her to start the website in an effort to share the creative, simple ways she was discovering she could, and did make a difference by doing her little bit of good right where she was. “No man makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he can do only a little.” ~Sir Edmund Burke

Child Labor, Marriage, Education and Survival Global Issues SOCIAL GOOD

Human Trafficking and stopping the unthinkable


Photo Credit: © UNICEF/NYHQ2009-2579/Shehzad Noorani. Parul hides her face in Proshanti, a shelter managed by the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA). She was married at 14 years old, but her husband abandoned her when she became pregnant. She left the baby with her parents when her aunt offered to find her a job in Dhaka. The aunt instead brought her to Kolkata, India, and sold her to a brothel. She was forced to become a sex worker. She was later arrested in a police raid and sent to a local women’s shelter. 

Human trafficking is perhaps one of the most unimaginable practices in existence in today’s world. However, it is real and it is happening even outside my very own doorstep in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Just this morning when I picked up the newspaper, I read the startling news that the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul has been ranked the 13th largest center for child prostitution in the country. Thankfully much is being done to combat sex and human trafficking in Minnesota thanks to the newly signed piece of legislation called the Minnesota Safe Harbors Law.* Yet much more needs to be done in this combined metro area of close to 3 million people, and even a larger battle remains on a global scale.

Nearly no place in the world is untouched by human trafficking. Furthermore human trafficking can occur within and outside of international borders occurring in a variety of industries ranging from sex trade, to forced child labor and child soldiers. Oftentimes the victims are kidnapped against their will or inadvertently taken from their families who believe their children are going away to get an eduction where in reality they are being sold into a life of servitude and slavery inside a brothel.

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