Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

John Cramsie




slavery, environment, cocoa, economics


While awareness is spreading about the 29 million people around the world who are currently enslaved, there is often a lack of understanding about what slavery is like today versus our common conception of slavery under the transatlantic slave trade. After exploring the connection between the abolition of slavery in the past and the introduction of coercive labor practices under colonial rule, I explain how slavery never truly ended and elaborate on the most common forms of contemporary slavery found today. This includes a case study focused on coercive labor in cocoa production. Using a solution oriented approach, I address the economic, social, and political conditions that allow slavery to continue to thrive and highlight the consequences of slavery, such as the far too common accompanying environmental destruction. Relying on the knowledge of how abolition has failed in the past, I suggest actions that governments, international organizations, businesses, and consumers need to take in order to end contemporary slavery.