Human Resource Management: Case-Study on 'Slavery in the Chocolate Factories'


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Human Resource Management: Case-Study on 'Slavery in the Chocolate Factories'

  1. 1. Student ID: k1270095 Human Resource Management Assignment Abstract One key component of Human Resource Management (HRM) is outsourcing (Heathfield, 2013). Hence, this assignment would like to mention a problem about child labor and child trafficking based on a sample as a case-documentary "Slavery in the Chocolate Factories" to bring some insight and understanding of practice human resource management in ethical and human right (Santarchy, 2011). The issues above have an enormous impact on the business activities and organisation management in multiple aspects not only to local but also to global. From the theory and concepts involved, as well as useful information, this assignment's purpose is to evaluate the case revolves around and makes plans to solve the problem for the local authorities as well as stakeholders (e.g. companies, members of society whom have responsibility on those issues). The settlement which is considered as the most effective is not hiding the truth about child labor and requires accountability from individual governments to organizations that concerned. HRM Assignment Child labor issues are being discussed and debated pressing in today's society. Indeed, as consider for an example of a case-documentary "Slavery in the Chocolate Factories" from youtube (Santarchy, 2011), the number of child labor nowadays is increasing in many countries, especially in Africa countries which has been and will continue to be a difficult topic to assess on the right side or wrong side. This paper, under the perspective of a manager, will show how to conduct and resolve this important issue that to not evade the truth and accountability requirements of the business organizations which been involved and local government's method based on the implementation of child protection laws. Backed by the references and related learning, however, it cannot avoid the arguments and views from the personal opinions of the writer. First is a summary of the main aspects from case-documentary. The issue revolves around the child labor and child trafficking in the countries (e.g. Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger) of Africa who worked in the chocolate industry. With undercover as using hidden camera and exchanges information with local people and Interpol, the documentary film gave an evidence that children (ages 7-15) had to work in the cocoa plantations and became an economic source for poor families in Ivory Coast, Africa. This is according to not human right as unethical. Governments and the stakeholders did not take responsibility and give the Words count: 878 Page 1
  2. 2. Student ID: k1270095 Human Resource Management Assignment reasons for denial on the issue. The organisation which bought cocoa, such as Nestle, Kraft, also quibbled and refused to see the proof about the child labor issue. It has been suggested to have solutions on that. Figure 1. Statistic on Working Children and Education (DOL, 2012) Based on the information from UNICEF (2003), it can be considered as optimal with six possible solutions for this problem. First is to understand and comply with the law and international legal standards for the protection of labor rights and children. The criteria should relate directly to business and explains why the priorities and operational procedures of the organization that be made clear and transparent. Second is to evaluate the different types of standards and rules on corporate social responsibility (CSR) with particular reference on the organization and stakeholders (e.g. businesses, trade unions, local government and the United Nations). Third is to give the evidence of such measures with the media, the press to force the government and other organizations have started to implement a solution. Fourth, learning how to solve this problem in the past or have occurred previously in a number of countries represented victims of child labor such as India and China. Fifth is to execute a number of sanctions if organizations or stakeholders make mistakes and shortcomings in matters of child labor. Sixth is building a sense of responsibility to the community to help solve the child labor problem. Words count: 878 Page 2
  3. 3. Student ID: k1270095 Human Resource Management Assignment Figure 2. International Conventions and Selected Laws on Child Labor and Education (DOL, 2012) To implement the six methods above, it has been argued to first analyze the reasons that children have become a source of labor. This is definitely a very controversial issue because according to the ethical standards, this problem is wrong. However, on the other hand, child labor is the supplies for their whole family. Besides, as Nieburg (2013) mentioned in his article, alongside measures to solve this problem, the chocolate industry, including Nestle, Barry Callebaut and so on had pledged $10m to support this case but there were nothing that been solved. Figure 3. (Source: Nieburg, 2013) Words count: 878 Page 3
  4. 4. Student ID: k1270095 Human Resource Management Assignment With the fourth workarounds that described above, it may consider and learn according to United States Department of Labor, with some remedies to promote the elimination of the worst forms of child labor in Côte d'Ivoire such as using laws and regulations, coordination and enforcement, policies and social programs [See Figure 4]. Figure 4. The actions would advance the elimination of the worst forms of child labor in Côte d’lvoire (DOL, 2012) Words count: 878 Page 4
  5. 5. Student ID: k1270095 Human Resource Management Assignment According to UNICEF (2005, p.7), it was stated that "trafficking of children links all countries and Regions in a web of international crime". The solution might be to build a protective environment that requires commitment and responsibility for children rights from all members of society. Adding to this point, it can also be the implementation of campaigns and social development, as well as development initiatives that aimed on helping and protecting children and young people or having the appropriate sanctions for for the unethical actions. Figure 5. The Protective Environment (Unicef, 2005, p. 25) Words count: 878 Page 5
  6. 6. Student ID: k1270095 Human Resource Management Assignment Long-term prevention of child trafficking requires factors make children vulnerable to trafficking must be removed. According to the NSPCC (2013), the strategy of the UK government focuses on four areas of antitrafficking as follows: Figure 6. (Source: NSPCC, 2013) Taking everything into consideration, it can be considered that the child labor issue has affected not only local problems but also globe’s business operations and management. According to the case-documentary (Santarchy, 2011), there was 42% cocoa in the world today that be imported from Ivory Coast; nonetheless, the government as the companies which buy and use cocoa pretended not knowing or ignoring those problem. Although this paper has pointed out some recommendations to solve the child labor and trafficking issues, it still remains many unsolved problem in the distant future which is more difficult to be settled. In addition, ethical standard revolves around small and narrow boundaries between right and wrong. Overall, the best solution which this paper has shown that to bring the truth out to the public and requires the responsibility from government to the involving organisation as to all members of the community and society. Words count: 878 Page 6
  7. 7. Student ID: k1270095 Human Resource Management Assignment BIBLIOGRAPHY Finch, N. (2011) 'Child trafficking in the UK in the context of international legal protection'. In: Chandran, P. (ed.) Human trafficking handbook: Recognising trafficking and modern-day slavery in the UK. London: LexisNexis UK. pp.211-226 Guthrie, J. (2001) ‘Child slavery allegations played down - cocoa production chocolate makers say 'illegal practices' are not widespread’, Financial Times, 18th April, p. 02 Heathfield, S. M. (2013) ‘What is Human Resource Management’ *Online+. Available at: [Accessed: 29th November 2013] Jones, J. (2012) Human trafficking in the UK: a focus on children. Child and Family Law Quarterly, Vol.24, Iss.1. pp 77-94 McRedmond, P. (2010) 'Defining organised crime in the context of human trafficking'. In: Wylie, G. and McRedmond, P. (eds.) Human trafficking in Europe: character, causes and consequences. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp.181-197 Nieburg, O. (2013) ‘Industry pledges reach $10m on cocoa child labor but ‘job is not done’, 18th March 2013 [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 29th November 2013] NSPCC (2013) ‘Child Trafficking’, August 2013 [Online]. Available at: resourcesforprofessionals/childtrafficking/child-trafficking-introduction_wda96894.html [Accessed: 27th November 2013] Ranee, K. L. P. (2005) 'Sacrificial lambs of globalization: Child labour in the twenty-first century', Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, 37(3), pp. 421-464 Santarchy (2011) ‘Slavery in the Chocolate Industry’, Youtube, 23rd January 2011 [Online video]. Available at: [Accessed: 27th November 2013] Schrage, E. J. & Ewing, A. (2005) ‘The Cocoa Industry and Child Labour’, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 18, pp. 99-112 Slomkowski, K. (2005) ‘Chocolate’s Dark Side’, The Environmental Magazine, November/December, p. 33 The Dark Side of Chocolate (2010) Alternatives Journal, 36, p. 5 UNICEF (2002) ‘Human Trafficking’ [Online]. Available at: english/protection_12467.htm (Accessed: 27 November 2013) Unicef (2003) ‘Child Labour Resource Guide’, 4th June 2003 [Online]. Available at: Child_labour_resource_Guide_UK_NatCom.pdf [Accessed: 29th November 2013] UNICEF (2005) ‘Combating Child Trafficking’ [Online]. Available at: IPU_combattingchildtrafficking_GB.pdf [Accessed: 30 November 2013] USDOL (2012) ‘Côte d’Ivoire - 2012 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor’. Available at: [Accessed: 29 November 2013] Words count: 878 Page 7