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So you worked your butt off at the gym and rewarded yourself with a chocolate bar. OK, not the end of the world for your butt cheeks but I bet you didn’t know you may just have contributed to child slave labour.

Sadly, and surprisingly very under-reported, more than 70 percent of the world’s cacao production (predominantly in West Africa) is associated with abusive child labor and human trafficking.

The BBC has reported that hundreds of thousands of children are being bought from their poverty-stricken families, or sometimes simply stolen, and transported to the Ivory Coast (where 60% percent of their revenue comes from cocoa) and Ghana where they are forced into slave labour, working up to 100 hours a week.

These girls and boys between the ages of 11 and 16 (though there have been reports of children as young as 5) are exposed to industrial chemicals and the dangers of big machinery. They are NOT PAID and receive NO EDUCATION. Not to mention they are malnourished, mistreated and often have no access to clean water or sanitary bathrooms.

Sadly, little is being done to eradicate child labour in these regions, but you can take a stand by buying FAIRTRADE chocolate.

Australians consume around 6 kilos of chocolate a year per person. Placing us ninth in the world’s chocolate loving nations.

Sadly, Fairtrade chocolate comprises just 3 percent of sales.

We all love chocolate, it’s sensual, smooth, creamy and they say, sometimes better than sex! But not when you know it’s contributing to child atrocities like human trafficking and slavery. Please be mindful next time you treat yourself. Look for certified fairtrade certified chocolate.

 

UnknownYoung boy rakes cocoa beans on a drying rack.

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