With Easter coming up, chocolate sales are big business at the moment.
But do you know where your chocolate comes from?
For many children around the world, hard work and no schooling, is their reality.
In some places, children as young as 8 are sold into slave labour or forced to work long hours for tiny amounts of money to help support their families.
Asian Aid is part of Stop the Traffik – a coalition of humanitarian agencies which seeks to end slavery and human trafficking. We do this by educating people about where the things we buy come from and how they are made.
Because the sad truth is that its demand for certain products – from countries like Australia, from you and me – which continues to fuel these industries.
And human trafficking, child labour and slavery are most prevalent in the industries which supply some of our favourite things, including fashion, tea, coffee and chocolate.
The chocolate industry is not based in Asia, which is where our work is carried out. But the issues are similar. For children in Asia the industry may be cotton, tea or sugar. But the impact is the same.
Here’s some scary facts about slavery around the world.
- In 1860 there were about 4 million slaves in the US
- Today, there are an estimated 45 million people enslaved worldwide – meaning there are more people in slavery today than any other time in human history
- Slaves generate more than $114 billion in profits worldwide
So what can we do?
Be aware of the the human cost of the products we buy. Do your research, tell your friends and family. Follow organisations like Asian Aid and Stop the Traffik on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so you can stay informed.
Talk to your family and friends about these issues and spread the word.
Shop responsibly by buying products with the following symbols ….
This Easter I would encourage you all to look into ethical Easter eggs. The good news is there are some great companies out there ensuring their chocolate is slave free and kind to the environment.
Donate to organisations like Asian Aid that help prevent slavery and trafficking by empowering communities.
We undertake child focused development programs which means means we run a variety of projects in towns or villages to help improve the wellbeing of children and their families. This might include education programs, sanitation initiatives, improvement of local buildings.
All of these things helps to keep kids at home, with their families and friends, and reduces the risk of them (or their parents) becoming the victims of slavers or traffickers.
And last, but most importantly, pray. Pray for wisdom as a consumer, pray for compassion and boldness in those companies whose supply chains rely on slave labour and pray for those children and families impacted by this insidious system.
And ENJOY and ethical Easter.
Author: Monica Porte
Monica Porte is Asian Aid’s Communications and Engagement Manager. She is a people and dog lover, adventure-seeker, Bible believer and eternal optimist.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self control.” 2 Timothy 1:7