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Children and Slavery

Children are enslaved picking the cocoa beans for our "Chocolate Delights"
We, as consumers, have the power to make positive changes in the world by our purchasing choices.

The Situation

  • There are 400 million children living in conditions of slavery in the world today
  • Many of these children work, manufacturing goods which are then sold to Europe and the West
  • “This slavery becomes indirectly part of our daily lives as the bananas we eat and the coffee we drink could have been produced by the sweat and toil of Latin American and African children. It could also be that Pakistani children have woven the rugs we walk on and the curtains in our windows.” (Vatican news agency Fides)

Children are forced to mine the minerals
used in our cell phones and other electronics


Our Demand

[We have access to so many things that] we forget that we exist in, and indeed, are part of,
a world where women and children are marginalized, where people are treated as commodities, and where profit is valued above all else. This is not only “them” “out there.”

We ourselves demand cheap clothing, fresh fruit at all times at good prices, manufactured goods at the lowest possible cost, and services of every type at the very best bargain. We become desensitized to sex and violence.…

Our own actions and values form the base for slavery’s continuing growth without us ever realizing it. Our political and social policies exacerbate poverty and reinforce social and economic inequality….

As painful as it is, our own consumerism and the social structures built upon the interests and wants of those who have power and resources  [most of us reading this] form a seemingly justified “demand” that makes human slavery and exploitation a tacitly acceptable business response. We demand. The market responds. We rarely consider the outcomes. (Intercommunity Peace and Justice center www.ipjc.org)


Bernardine Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis
450 St. Bernardine Street, Reading, PA 19607      |      484-334-6957      |    © 2012

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