Slavery-free Easter chocolate campaign

As Easter is fast approaching ACRATH is calling for everyone to consider the ethical dimensions of our purchasesAs Easter is fast approaching ACRATH is calling for everyone to consider the ethical dimensions of our purchases

St Columbans Mission Society supports and promotes the work of Australian Catholic Religious Against the Trafficking of Humans (ACRATH). Columban Leader Australia, Fr Peter O’Neill, is a member of ACRATH. Ash Wednesday, March 2, announced the beginning of Lent and so we once again support and promote the annual ACRATH’s slavery-free Easter chocolate campaign. (see below)

As Easter is fast approaching ACRATH is calling for everyone to consider the ethical dimensions of our purchases; asking us to make sure our Easter chocolate is slavery-free. As Pope Francis says, “Every person ought to have the awareness that purchasing is always a moral – and not simply an economic – act."

ACRATH news writes: “Australians will purchase over $200 million in chocolate this Easter.

“But some of this chocolate is tainted by slavery and comes at the cost of a child’s health, education and sometimes his or her freedom. Much of our chocolate is made using cocoa beans harvested by children, often in the West African region. Many of these children are forced into labour. We can help change this.

“COVID-19 has made children even more vulnerable. School closures have aggravated the situation and many millions of children are working to contribute to the family income.

There is some good news. “The International Labor Organization found that in the last 20 years almost 100 million children have been removed from child labour, bringing numbers down from 246 million in 2000 to 152 million in 2021.”

Let us help to make this year’s Easter a slavery-free Easter and work towards eradicating child labour across the globe.

Columban Fr Kevin O’Neill is a member of the Columban Peace, Ecology and Justice team, Columban Mission Centre, Essendon.

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