The dark side of chocolate

As Easter approaches and sales of chocolate increase, so does concern about the ongoing problem of child labour in the cocoa industry. Recent programs in Switzerland, Germany and Denmark have taken a closer look at the cocoa industry and where our chocolate comes from. This week, a documentary called, “The Dark Side of Chocolate” premiered on Danish television on 16 March and it investigated the continued allegations of trafficking of children and child labour in the international cocoa industry. Also this week, in Germany, a current affairs program examined the use of child labor in the cocoa industry in Côte d’Ivoire. In light of this recent media attention, which has included some positive coverage of Fairtrade, FLO would like to take the opportunity to address the ongoing reality of child labour in the cocoa industry and explain what we in the Fairtrade movement have been doing to increase our own efforts to combat it. Scope of the problem We agree that there has not been enough progress towards the eradication of child labour in the past ten years. It is an unacceptable fact that children around the world are being employed and exploited, forced to work in abusive and dangerous conditions when they should be at school or on playgrounds. Children are bought, sold and traded within and across national borders. Those who live in abject poverty are especially vulnerable.

* An estimated 218 million children are involved in work around the world.

* 126 million work under the worst forms of child labour.

* More than one million children are employed in the cocoa farming sector in West Africa.

* Between 200,000 and 800,000 children under the age of 18 are trafficked each year in West Africa alone.

Make a differnce.

www.fairgotrading.com.au

www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au

www.fairtrade.org.uk

www.oxfamshop.org.au

http://www.fta.org.au

covered in balloons

We love oysters

Feed me cancer

A never ending fairy tale

A fairy tale is a story featuring folkloric characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. The fairy tale is a sub-class of the folktale. These stories often involve princes and princesses, and modern versions usually have a happy ending.

Once upon a time a King and Queen had a beautiful daughter, and held a big party to celebrate. They invited all the fairies in the land to come to the party, but they forgot to invite one old fairy.

On the day of the party all the fairies granted the princess wonderful wishes, except the old fairy, who had come even though she didn’t have an invitation. She cast a spell on the princess, saying that when the baby grew into a young lady, she would prick her finger and die of the wound. Luckily, all the other fairies got together and changed the terrible spell, so that instead of dying, the princess would fall asleep for a hundred years when she pricked her finger, and then be awoken by the kiss of a prince.

The King and Queen tried to make sure that there was nothing sharp in the palace, but one day when she had grown up she found a needle and pricked her finger. She immediately fell into a deep sleep. The fairies then cast another spell, which made all of the people in the palace except the King and Queen also sleep for a hundred years, until the princess awoke.

So a hundred years passed by and then one day a prince was riding his horse when he came across the palace. Going in he discovered everyone asleep. When he saw the princess he knelt down and kissed her, and she immediately woke up, as did all of her servants. They were married and lived happily ever after.

Snow White was the daughter of a beautiful queen, who died when the girl was young. Her father married again, but the girl’s stepmother was very jealous of her because she was so beautiful.

The evil queen ordered a hunter to kill Snow White but he couldn’t do it because she was so lovely. He chased her away instead, and she took refuge with seven dwarfs in their house in the forest. She lived with the dwarfs and took care of them and they loved her dearly.

Then one day the evil queen was told by her talking mirror that Snow White was still alive, and she changed herself into a witch and made a poisoned apple. She went to the dwarfs house disguised as an old woman and tempted Snow White to eat the poisoned apple, which put her into an everlasting sleep.

Finally, a prince found her in the glass coffin where the dwarfs had put her and woke her up with a kiss. Snow White and the prince were married and lived happily ever after.

Cinderella lived with her stepmother and two stepsisters, who were jealous of her and treated her very badly. She had to spend all day, every day doing work around the house.

One day an invitation arrived from the prince, who was having a ball. Cinderella had to help her stepmother and stepsisters make beautiful dresses for the ball, and on the night they went off and left the poor girl alone.

She was very sad, but suddenly her Fairy Godmother appeared and turned Cinderella’s old clothes into a beautiful gown. She turned a pumpkin into a golden coach and some mice into lovely black horses and a rat into a coachman. So Cinderella went to the ball, but her Fairy Godmother warned her that she had to leave the ball by midnight.

When the prince saw Cinderella he thought she was so beautiful that he danced with her all evening. Suddenly the clock began to strike twelve, and Cinderella remembered what her Fairy Godmother had told her. She ran out of the palace and was in such a hurry that one of her glass slippers came off as she was racing down the stairs.

The prince found the slipper and ordered his servants to go out into his kingdom and make every girl try the slipper on until they found its owner. Eventually they arrived at Cinderella’s house and discovered that the slipper fitted her.

They took her back to the palace and she married the prince and they lived happily ever after.

This has to change

At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.

According to UNICEF, 25,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.

Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted. The two regions that account for the bulk of the deficit are South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

If current trends continue, the Millennium Development Goals target of halving the proportion of underweight children will be missed by 30 million children, largely because of slow progress in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Number of children in the world
2.2 billion
Number in poverty
1 billion (every second child)
Shelter, safe water and health
For the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are:

  • 640 million without adequate shelter (1 in 3)
  • 400 million with no access to safe water (1 in 5)
  • 270 million with no access to health services (1 in 7)
Children out of education worldwide
121 million
Survival for children
Worldwide,

  • 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (same as children population in France, Germany, Greece and Italy)
  • 1.4 million die each year from lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation
Health of children
Worldwide,

  • 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized
  • 15 million children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS (similar to the total children population in Germany or United Kingdom)

Approximately half the world’s population now live in cities and towns. In 2005, one out of three urban dwellers (approximately 1 billion people) was living in slum conditions.

I dream of barbie

The Barbie doll is one of the most successful toys of the 20th century and, arguably, the icon of female beauty and the American dream.  According to the manufacturer, every three seconds a Barbie doll is purchased. Barbie has been said to touch every girl’s life. There continues to be disagreement over the messages the Barbie doll sends and the toy’s place in the lives of young girls. The extant literature about Barbie dolls tends to be opinionated and based on essays and popular media articles. Some claim that the toy represents the paradigm of adult female beauty to which young girls learn to aspire. It has been argued that Barbie dolls reflect a highly sexualized image and circumscribe girls’ play by emphasizing prescribed roles and patterns of interaction. It is feared that by dramatizing stereotypical feminine roles during play, girls will internalize and later embody such roles.