Just Kai frequently quotes three numbers:
Where do these numbers come from? As forced and child labour are almost-universally illegal, the numbers come from investigations and NGOs rather than official government statistics. In addition, except for the first, they are numbers we have derived from published statistics. Here’s how that was done.
They also note that 15.4 million of these people are in forced marriages, with the remainder in forced labour.
In 2017, the International Labour Organisation and the Walk Free Foundation (the people who do the Global Slavery Index) produced a report entitled Global estimates of modern slavery: forced labour and forced marriage.
on page 32 it lists the percentage of those 16 million who are involved in various specific industries. We have picked out the following as being people involved in the production of physical goods for sale:
Other sectors responsible for enslaving significant proportions of the 25 million people in forced labour are the sex industry (5 million), domestic service (3.8 million), construction (2.9 million), accommodation and food service (1.6 million) and the military (0.6 million). All figures except the sex industry one come from multiplying percentages and absolute numbers from the report mentioned at the beginning of this section.
From these numbers, we have calculated that 19% of the world’s cocoa is produced by children in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire:
(708,000 + 891,000)/(1,100,000 + 708,000 + 2,300,000 + 891,000)*0.6
However, this doesn’t represent all the cocoa produced by children. Detailed numbers for other countries aren’t available, but the US Department of Labour tells us that child labour also occurs in the cocoa industries of Brazil, Cameroon, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. They tell us that at least 8,000 children work in the Brazilian cocoa industry, although prevalence data for the other countries isn’t given.
Even if the prevalence of child labour in these countries is low, it can’t be negligible, otherwise the US DoL wouldn’t have noticed it. So, we are assuming at least a futher 1% of global cocoa is produced by kids in these countries, bringing us to our figure of ‘around 20%‘.
Anecdotally, we have heard from a cocoa plantation owner in Brazil that child labour is near-universally practised on cocoa farms there, so we feel our number is likely an under-estimate.