I have to confess that I'm handing out ordinary commercial big business chocolate tonight. But not next year. I've taken this article to heart. It's called "Thousands of Kids Will Give Chocolates Back Tonight, With a Message" and here's how it gets started:
Sounds like the right thing to do to me. Someone needs to speak up for the children of the world. And if the parents got a fair wage for their labor, the children wouldn't have to work.
NEW YORK - Traditionally, it’s the kids who receive sweets from the elders on Halloween, but that years-old ritual is getting a makeover this year in hundreds of communities across North America.
Anti-poverty activists say thousands of children will go door-to-door tonight handing out chocolates to adults in some 300 cities across the United States and Canada.
Their decision to turn the ritual on its head is part of an international campaign to highlight the plight of tens of thousands of children who are forced to work on cocoa plantations instead of going to school in developing countries.
Campaigners said on Halloween costumed children would fill streets to hand out samples of “Fair Trade Certified” chocolates as a reminder to local communities that there exists an alternative to traditional chocolates, which usually rely on child labor or other abusive processes abroad to grow and harvest the cocoa for their candies.
Calling their campaign “Reverse Trick-or-Treating,” activists said it would address the persistent problems of chronic poverty in cocoa-growing communities, abysmal working conditions, and the massive abuse of child labor in the West African nation of Cote d’Ivoire in particular, where 40 percent of the world’s cocoa is produced.
The campaign is sponsored by human rights advocacy groups including Global Exchange, the International Labor Rights Fund, Co-op America, and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, along with Fair Trade chocolate companies Equal Exchange, Sweet Earth, and Theo Chocolate to raise awareness among children and grown-ups about Fair Trade Certified chocolate as a solution to labor abuses in the cocoa industry.
Fair Trade Certified farmers are required to abide by international labor laws that prohibit illegal child labor. In addition, the Fair Trade system ensures that farmers receive a fair, stable price for their cocoa and that environmentally sustainable farming practices are applied.