I remember the first time I was introduced to the concept of child labor. It was the October of my sixth-grade year during my language arts class and we were learning about the rampant use of child laborers on cocoa plantations in Cote d’Ivoire. I was not ignorant of the fact that as a child attending a nice public school who lived with both of her parents in a nice home with warm meals and access to learning resources that I had a lot of privilege. But I found it unfathomable that there are people who purposefully deprive children of their right to, well, a childhood. What was worse, in a way, I was enabling those very people who were exploiting children.
What were most kids thinking about in October? Halloween—a time for thrilling chills and more importantly, chocolate! It was certainly what I was thinking about during that time. After learning about the heinous atrocities that child laborers experience, I felt sick at the dark irony that another child had to suffer at the cost of my enjoyment. How was it fair that I could enjoy the sweet that was a product of another child’s labor and tears? How was it even possible for something that an unjust to be tolerated?