Slavery-Free Easter

Slavery free chocolate - Photo: bigstock.com

Photo: bigstock.com

The Sweet and often bitter truth about Easter chocolate

One indisputable truth. Chocolate is delicious. We know this because at Easter Australians spend millions of dollars buying hundreds of kilograms of chocolate to eat and give away.

Another indisputable truth is that the cost of some chocolate is a child’s education, and sometimes his or her freedom. That’s because much of our chocolate is made using cocoa beans harvested by children, often in the West African region.

Almost half of all 152 million children victims of child labour are aged 5-11 years, according to a 2017 report by the International Labour Organisation. And a great many of these children are in the cocoa industry, picking the cocoa beans used to produce chocolate. It’s a fair bet that these children will not get to eat any chocolate at Easter.

The Australian Modern Slavery Act (2018) requires that large companies report about their work to address the risk of slavery in their supply chains. This is a great start, but let’s not leave it to the big companies; we can all now ask for slavery-free goods. 

How to change things

Pope Francis said that “every person ought to have the awareness that purchasing is always a moral – and not simply an economic – act.” 

  • Buy chocolate that is certified slavery-free.
  • Tell others about slavery-free chocolate and encourage them to buy it too. They will discover how delicious it tastes.
  • Enjoy making a difference.

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