Valentines Day is for lovers, especially lovers of chocolate, but here’s a fact that you may not know – Nearly half of the world’s chocolate is produced in the Ivory Coast of Africa, much of it with child labor.
That’s according to The Brookings Institution’s Molly Curtiss and Jenny Perlman Robinson, who write:
“While both the Ivorian government and the cocoa and chocolate industry are working to eradicate child labor, the sector is far from achieving this goal. Children in Côte d’Ivoire continue to engage in the worst forms of child labor in the cocoa sector, sometimes even as the result of human trafficking. In 2018, there were an estimated 2.1 million children working in cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana alone.”
The country is ranked #78 as “moderately free” by the Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom, which points to encouraging reforms in some areas but notes the rule of law remains in jeopardy due to corruption in the judiciary.
But here’s another thought on this Valentine’s Day: James 1:27 tells us that “religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Finally, here’s something Jesus said about children at Matthew 18:3-4: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Political, judicial and economic reforms are important but they in turn are largely shaped by the cultural and religious presuppositions of the people.
Bet you didn’t see these coming. Just some things to think about today (and every day).
Photo above is by Monique Carrati of Unsplash.