Monday, 17 November 2008

Don't Trade Lives

Hey all,

As a part of World Vision's 'Don't Trade Lives' campaign, I will be going to Canberra with 149 other young Australians as a part of Vision Generation's 'Trek Against Trafficking'. This trip is mainly about learning strategies to campaign in our own communities and raise awareness of the serious issue that human trafficking is. SO, I thought what better way to raise awareness then to do a little spiel on here for you all. I would put some pictures in but I don't know how, anyone care to enlighten me? And I'm not sure if a 'review' is the right place to put this in or what...I'm not tech savvy.

Anyway, most of you probably haven't heard of the 'Don't Trade Lives' campaign and what it's all about. Basically, World Vision is campaigning against human (particularly child) trafficking and exploitation in the a number of industries (cocoa is first and now, then it'll be the sex trade and the fashion industry.
Now, trafficking in the cocoa industry, I hear you say with possible doubt and scepticism. I admit I didn't know much about it myself til recently however it has been a prominent issue. 70% of the worlds cocoa (used in both chocolate and coffee) comes from West Africa, primarily Ghana and the Ivory Coast. This industry enslaves over 200,000 young children, often trafficked and sold by their parents so they can afford to eat. They work in ridiculously poor conditions; they're exposed to hazardous chemicals, work up to 100 hours a week, use machetes and receive little or no pay.

But what can we do? I hear you scream in anguish. We can, as consumers, hold the chocolate manufacturers accountable. This is what the 'Trek Against Trafficking' is all about. We (the 150 people) will travel to Canberra at the end of November taking with us 15000 petitioned postcards (we each have 100 to get signed) that call on the CMA (Chocolate Manufacturers of Australia) to create and commit to a plan to combat this slavery and make their chocolate fair trade. It's called the December 1 deadline.

Many people argue this will raise the price of chocolate as it will cost the CMA. However, in reality it would only cost <1%.>

and sign the petition. Rally your friends and family; raising awareness is the first step. Buy fair trade chocolate if you can (I must admit Lindt is hard to resist though). And sign the postcard if you are asked to.

Thanks for listening,
Bec (Age 17)

Thanks Bec...quite a coincidence that my cousin works at World Vision and has worked on this campaign. Thanks for spreading the message. I've added the video for you. Keep contributing to Quicksand and leave the tech savvy to me!


Chocoholic said...

That's a really good point you've brought up Bec. I've already signed the petition and hopefully your article will encourage others to do likewise. Hopefully the CMA will adhere to the deadline this time; it's already missed the deadline twice. Anyway best of luck, and hopefully you'll be able to enlighten us some more when you get back!

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