9 March 2010


When most people think of slavery, they think of it as part of our history rather than our present. But slavery continues today.

Two Australian social justice organizations Good Shepherd Mission & Justice and the Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans have combined to launch a Fairtrade Easter Chocolate campaign to stop child trafficking into West African cocoa plantations.

The initiative is part of a worldwide campaign to end the trafficking of humans, particularly the slave trade of young people who are sold to cocoa farmers in Cote d'Ivoire, Africa.

Cocoa, which comes from the cocoa bean, is one of the main ingredients used to make chocolate and about 40 percent of the world's chocolate is made from cocoa grown in West Africa. Tens of thousands of children are forced to work on these plantations as slaves and many are trafficked from nearby poor countries.

'We hope that more and more people will use their money to buy Fairtrade chocolate at Easter, and support those chocolate manufacturers who have gone Fairtrade. Supporting Fairtrade ensures cocoa farmers get two things - a fair price for their crop, and a premium for their community to spend on a community project' said Roberto Morales from Good Shepherd Mission & Justice.

This campaign will also send a message to chocolate producers who do not use Fairtrade chocolate.

Late last year Cadbury, the subject of an international campaign, announced that its Dairy Milk blocks in Australia would be fair trade in 2010 whilst in response to a similar Christmas campaign by Stop the Traffik Nestle announced that its 4 finger Kit Kat bars in the UK would be fair trade from Jan 2010.

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