Why should Christians feed a company and help it stay in business, “knowing that it is going to use money to support an anti-Christian agenda?”

Hershey and Child Slavery

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  • Hershey and Child Slavery

    I learned something disturbing a few weeks ago about Hershey that I thought I should share with others. I spent a few days at the Hershey Lodge over Christmas and while I was there I learned that someone filed a lawsuit against Hershey, Mars, and Nestle because they profit of of child slavery in West Africa, here’s that story:
    Lawsuit: Your Candy Bar Was Made By Child Slaves

    It turns out this case was dismissed in 2016 because the judges found it to be an ethical issue but not one that legally required the companies to disclose they were using child slaves on their packaging. But, more interesting to me, is that in 2001 the U.S. Congress worked on a bill to add labels to candy packaging that said something to the effect that child slavery was not used on their product. That bill passed the house but, after some successful lobbying it was never voted on in the senate. Instead, an agreement was made between a few lawmakers and the cocoa industry to bring an end to the problem. And 15 years later it isn’t any better, more about that here:

    Harkin–Engel Protocol - Wikipedia

    I won’t be buying any Hersey products any more…I'm going to miss my Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

  • #2
    Nestle already had a poor reputation in Africa. Their promotion of bottle feeding resulted in children's deaths due to a lack of clean water. The boycott over this goes back to the 80's, was lifted and then placed again, but doesn't seem to have much effect.

    I can't say I'm surprised to find corporate giants using cheap labour and child workers. It seems with multinationals, the shareholders don't know or don't care and the board aren't going to look too hard if the figures are right. There's an interfaith group "Sister of the Precious Blood" monitoring them who have found other examples of people dying and environmental damage due to massive corporate profiteering, like Nestle's water extraction from US forests.
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    • #3
      The article states: "The complaints, filed by three California residents, allege that the companies are guilty of false advertising for failing to disclose the use of child slavery on their packaging."

      My first thoughts, what constitutes child slavery? Having a job under the age of 18? I live in California, and I wouldn't want to a raise a child here.

      God bless,
      William
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      • #4
        Originally posted by William View Post
        The article states: "The complaints, filed by three California residents, allege that the companies are guilty of false advertising for failing to disclose the use of child slavery on their packaging."

        My first thoughts, what constitutes child slavery? Having a job under the age of 18? I live in California, and I wouldn't want to a raise a child here.

        God bless,
        William
        The kids are locked in a shed at the end of the day and given a bucket to use for a toilet. Yep, that sounds like slavery to me.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by dcpastor View Post

          The kids are locked in a shed at the end of the day and given a bucket to use for a toilet. Yep, that sounds like slavery to me.
          Sounds like the local homeless shelters which impose a curfew but without running water. Are they locked in or are others locked out? Seriously, I am reluctant to believe that liberal Californians know how to care for other people's children, especially across national/cultural boundaries.

          God bless,
          William
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          • #6
            Originally posted by William View Post
            Sounds like the local homeless shelters which impose a curfew but without running water. Are they locked in or are others locked out?
            I don't believe local homeless shelters routinely beat the residents, while the owners of the plantation admitted to beating child workers on camera. The residents of the homeless shelters are free to try other shelters, but the child workers do not have the freedom to leave. There are also cases where children are simply kidnapped to act as workers, and their parents are unable to recover them. The modern-day slave trade is a major problem, not just in Africa but also worldwide, and there is not enough being done about it.

            The problem is that either the large companies don't know or simply turn a blind eye. All they see is the shiny sales people these organisations put upfront and a good cheap quote and rarely look into how those prices are achieved. I would expect an ethical company informed of this to take action.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
              I don't believe local homeless shelters routinely beat the residents, while the owners of the plantation admitted to beating child workers on camera. The residents of the homeless shelters are free to try other shelters, but the child workers do not have the freedom to leave. There are also cases where children are simply kidnapped to act as workers, and their parents are unable to recover them. The modern-day slave trade is a major problem, not just in Africa but also worldwide, and there is not enough being done about it.

              The problem is that either the large companies don't know or simply turn a blind eye. All they see is the shiny sales people these organisations put upfront and a good cheap quote and rarely look into how those prices are achieved. I would expect an ethical company informed of this to take action.
              Liberals are against nationalism or patriotism, they reject our exclusivity or the American way of life. One of the first nations that abolished slavery, now they want to suggest our way of life over others with far more history? Tribal wars have occurred for thousands of years in Africa, with the conquering tribe taking into slavery the conquered tribe and selling them off to slave traders. Seems to me that liberals face a problem, slavery is more predominant now then it has ever been in the world's history. If society apart from Scripture defines what is right or wrong how does it reconcile two societies that differ in view and disagree with one another? Without turning to Scripture how will liberalism address slavery? Are liberals trying to abolish slavery altogether? Or are they trying to promote the fair treatment of slaves? How does either compare to Scriptural teaching?

              God bless,
              William
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              • #8
                Please tell me you are not defending slavery? The people taking and owning slaves in this situation are rarely Christian, so they won't be following any scriptural interpretations. Kidnapping children for work and sale, not taking them as spoils of war, is not part of scripture: Deuteronomy 24:7 and Exodus 21:16 are quite blunt about the punishments for kidnappers and traffickers.

                You don't have to be a liberal to object to slavery. The Global Freedom Initiative was signed by leaders of Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox faiths as well as Sunni and Shia clerics among others, very few of which are seen as liberals. My church, the Church of England, is campaigning actively against slavery, working with international governments to push through legislation, and trying to defeat it through societal change. If there is no market for goods created in such a way, then one of the main drivers for industrial slavery is removed.

                (I should clarify I am not American, so I'm not familiar with the issue of liberals attacking the American way of life)
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
                  Please tell me you are not defending slavery? The people taking and owning slaves in this situation are rarely Christian, so they won't be following any scriptural interpretations. Kidnapping children for work and sale, not taking them as spoils of war, is not part of scripture: Deuteronomy 24:7 and Exodus 21:16 are quite blunt about the punishments for kidnappers and traffickers.

                  You don't have to be a liberal to object to slavery. The Global Freedom Initiative was signed by leaders of Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox faiths as well as Sunni and Shia clerics among others, very few of which are seen as liberals. My church, the Church of England, is campaigning actively against slavery, working with international governments to push through legislation, and trying to defeat it through societal change. If there is no market for goods created in such a way, then one of the main drivers for industrial slavery is removed.
                  G'day Chatterbox,

                  What I asked for is a liberal position on slavery that excludes biblical teaching (because liberals seemingly want God out of politics). Since liberals believe society is the moral standard bearer, I am interested to know how two societies that disagree (since they each are the standard bearer while truth and morality are relative to an individual or society) will settle their disagreement? This is all while rejecting any moral absolutes.

                  Granted man stealing is definitely against Biblical Law, but not all forms of slavery are. Take for example indentured slavery, or even state owned slaves (prisoners).

                  What I do not believe is the liberal narrative which has a track record of being morally anemic. They want God out of the public square, so again, I'm interested in societal morality and how it tolerates other views which have a far longer history than America. Slavery has existed for thousands of years, and under growing liberalism is more predominant today than ever.

                  So you're saying the way to combat slavery that has existed for thousands of years is to take away the financial carrot in Hershey Chocolates?

                  God bless,
                  William
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                  • #10
                    I am afraid I don't know the liberal position and you'd have to ask a liberal for that.

                    I believe the appropriate response is the one I have already given, but if I stated it in strong enough terms I'd probably be banned from the board. Also I already mentioned scriptures punishment for it, with the Exodus verse, and it is one I wholeheartedly agree with.

                    People do this for money, whether Hershey's or anyone else's. Cut off the money and they'll move to another business, hopefully one that doesn't involved child slavery. Combine that with lengthy jail terms and asset confiscation and eventually you get to a point where it isn't worth the risk. As people found out, buying slaves freedom doesn't work, since the slavers go out and kidnap more to get paid to free them again...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
                      I am afraid I don't know the liberal position and you'd have to ask a liberal for that.

                      I believe the appropriate response is the one I have already given, but if I stated it in strong enough terms I'd probably be banned from the board. Also I already mentioned scriptures punishment for it, with the Exodus verse, and it is one I wholeheartedly agree with.

                      People do this for money, whether Hershey's or anyone else's. Cut off the money and they'll move to another business, hopefully one that doesn't involved child slavery. Combine that with lengthy jail terms and asset confiscation and eventually you get to a point where it isn't worth the risk. As people found out, buying slaves freedom doesn't work, since the slavers go out and kidnap more to get paid to free them again...
                      Granted, I believe the response you gave was the morally correct one for God's people. Remember, people through biblical law can sell themselves as indentured slaves to pay off debt. I actually find this more noble than claiming bankruptcy. Lemme elaborate more on this in just a little bit.

                      I do disagree that people only do this for money, which may have no value to tribes at war with other neighboring tribes in the far reaches of Africa. What are sanctions to them? Isolating them from the world? The thing is, you're introducing lengthy jail terms etc for a society that does not deem slavery wrong, and isn't taking prisoners ideally taking in slaves for the state? How will a liberal society without biblical guidance impose its belief on another society without the conquer and conquest mentality? I find it ironic that liberalism will result in physical force to enforce its ideology, but yet teach that all truth and morality are relative to an individual. Doesn't that seem particularly contradicting? I know my line of reasoning here may be unorthodox, because I'm taking the bible away and asking liberals to articulate relative morality. This is exactly what liberal Americans have done to Christians throughout the last eight years, that is, they have been attempting to silence us under Obama.

                      I don't know if you're familiar with U.S. Tax laws, but it is illegal for a non profit organization to endorse a candidate. Another words, U.S. laws have effectively silenced the churches in the political arena, the voice of America's conscience. Trump promised to do something about these laws, and reinstate our voice. I know some pastors will not preach politics, but at the very least didn't the OT prophets warn the nation over immorality?

                      Indentured slavery, think about it like this. Is it so far fetched to know that our nation is trillions upon trillions in debt? The current generation cannot pay back the debt of our nation. The nation mind as well stamp each birth certificate with a bank using it as a promissory note to pay back what it borrows. The avg citizen will pay back x amount of dollars over the course of a life time? Unrealistic? I heard a democrat address the hill with concern over the population and how much they contribute to society. They stated that the population is not keeping up with the necessary financial contributions. They seemingly implied that it was necessary to cut back on the population to limit the debt.

                      About indentured slavery, what is so wrong about going to work for 60 months to buy a car and pay back the bank or saying hey I'll be your indentured slave for 1 year if you pay off my car? The bible does address this, and also the fair treatment of slaves, and even those that should attempt to escape their commitment. But lemme say nowhere does the bible support racial slavery as demonstrated in American history.

                      God bless,
                      William
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                      • #12
                        Children are used as workers in many countries. Sometime back I heard a report that said children are sewing clothing items for fashion brand Zara in Bangladesh. In Pakistan children are sewing footballs. Big economies are outsourcing their work in small economy countries and children are being used in these industry in order yo cut expenses.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dominique View Post
                          Children are used as workers in many countries. Sometime back I heard a report that said children are sewing clothing items for fashion brand Zara in Bangladesh. In Pakistan children are sewing footballs. Big economies are outsourcing their work in small economy countries and children are being used in these industry in order yo cut expenses.
                          Please elaborate, are you suggesting this is wrong, and if so why?

                          God bless,
                          William
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            I'm loving this conversation. I think the Hershey issue probably highlights an even bigger issue that it is probably happening in other industries as well. But, in some arenas it seems that kids are being paid really low wages to work which is also not the greatest situation but I have never read a report that these kids are locked up at night. So, for myself, I draw the distinction at the actual act of forced work and the inability of the person/child to move about freely. I also think we need to see the distinction that in poorer countries, being able to work for a few dollars a day is better than nothing. But, this does take advantage of those people. I am going to start some research on the different products in my home to see where they are produced because I am curious how far spread this issue really is. I'll let you know if I find anything interesting.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dcpastor View Post
                              I'm loving this conversation. I think the Hershey issue probably highlights an even bigger issue that it is probably happening in other industries as well. But, in some arenas it seems that kids are being paid really low wages to work which is also not the greatest situation but I have never read a report that these kids are locked up at night. So, for myself, I draw the distinction at the actual act of forced work and the inability of the person/child to move about freely. I also think we need to see the distinction that in poorer countries, being able to work for a few dollars a day is better than nothing. But, this does take advantage of those people. I am going to start some research on the different products in my home to see where they are produced because I am curious how far spread this issue really is. I'll let you know if I find anything interesting.
                              I'm sure the liberals would love to increase regulation in these countries and skim from the top. Whenever a transaction happens, someone is making money. You'll have to excuse my reluctance to believe the bleeding heart liberals. As you are observing there is a bigger issue, and I do not believe it can be addressed when God's word is removed from the equation.

                              Our cultures are different, children are quite capable of work. Other cultures might think that is unethical (back to moral relativism), that is, contributing to the household at an early age. Most would rather invest in an area and educate to maximize their earning potential in the Babylonian world system. While I am not promoting isolationism or even child slavery, I am reluctant to call a young laborer in another culture a slave.

                              Just curious, does anyone read Philemon in the New Testament: Philemon ESV - Greeting - Paul, a prisoner for Christ - Bible Gateway

                              God bless,
                              William
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