The Intersection of Corporate Social Responsibility and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex: Exploitative Child Labor in Côte d’Ivoire’s Chocolate Industry


This article examines the role of the chocolate industry in the exploitation of children on cocoa farms in Cote d’Ivoire. Under the guise of corporate social responsibility (CSR), the chocolate industry has used its power in the United States to shape policy and program-level initiatives to address the worst forms of child labor, while protecting its business interests and disregarding poverty as the root cause of the problem. The non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) limits the ability of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) to effectively implement programs that address poverty. The increasing CSR funding to INGOs prevents them from holding the chocolate industry accountable. Further, this article discusses the unique contribution of the social work profession in creating the social and structural change required to mitigate the negative consequences of the relationship between CSR and the NPIC.

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