Are you ready for V-Day? Did you make your dinner reservations? Did you pick out some chocolate for your sweetheart? If you answered yes to the last question, here’s another one, have you thought about where and who picked the cocoa to make your delectable treats?
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There’s a good chance that it came from the West African cocoa bean farms being harvested by children — and the children that are most likely trafficked to these agricultural hubs are reportedly from some of the poorest regions and countries in Africa, like the Ivory Coast and Ghana.
Relevant Magazine reported that the Ivory Coast and Ghana are estimated to produce roughly 60 percent of the world’s cocoa, using 2 million children to pick the bean. Yes, the same cocoa used to make the Valentine’s Day candy in your local grocery store.
Human trafficking is a global problem that impacts men, women and children.
According to the A21 Campaign:
Forced labour often occurs when the formal sector meets the informal economy. Nail bars and car washes are prime examples of established industries where unofficial or casual practices may take place, as well as agriculture, cannabis cultivation, construction, food processing, factories, food services, and on fishing boats.
The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million victims of forced sexual exploitation. Victims of sex trafficking include men, women, and children.
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According to Australian Evangelist Christine Caine’s non-profit, there is an estimated 27 million children across the world who are trafficked annually.
And the average age is usually 12 years old.
The capacity to create change lies within each of us. YOU can make a difference in the world. #A21 pic.twitter.com/tqvtJUhml9
— A21 (@A21) February 8, 2017
The selling, purchasing and using of children, men and women for long work hours at a time is illegal. To help save the millions that are stuck and have no voice, the Australian based organization has developed a 4P plan that is focused on raising awareness by talking to groups and church communities about PREVENTION, offering PROTECTION to those who were able to get out of the human trafficking industry, work towards PROSECUTING the people who use modern day slaves and PARTNERING with everyday people to keep more vulnerable humans out of the underground and life destructing industry.
This Valentine’s day take a few minutes to send a loving message to someone who has fallen victim to human trafficking, and consider getting more information about the company behind your chocolate heart.
YOU can personally encourage a survivor of #humantrafficking in our #A21 home this Valentine's Day. Learn how: https://t.co/sKygZduV7s pic.twitter.com/QJ5BT4827C
— A21 (@A21) February 12, 2017
(H/T: Relevant Magazine)
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