Old-Fashioned Gold Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, mix up this magic:
Bowl #1
2 ⅓ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 ¼ cup Fair Trade Certified sugar
Blend with fork or electric mixer.

Ready to whip up some frosting for your cake?
1/2 cup butter
4 teaspoons buttery spread (like Earth Balance)
1 teaspoon Fair Trade Certified vanilla
2 teaspoons cream
4 cups Fair Trade Certified confectioners sugar
1/3 cup Fair Trade Certified cocoa
Mix, frost, and enjoy
Bowl #2
½ cup (very softened) butter
1 ¼ cup milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons Fair Trade Certified vanilla
Beat the heck out of this by hand or with an electric mixer.
Slowly add flour mix, continuing to beat the whole time.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or more. Makes one layer of super moist, spongy, cake goodness

Child labour continues to be rampant in India: US report

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child-labour_200Washington: Large scale child labour persists in India, mostly in the agricultural sector and the informal economy despite initiatives by the government and instances of commercial sexual exploitation of minors are oft reported, a US report on the issue said on Wednesday.

According to the India section of the annual report of the Department of Labor, children are exploited in the worst forms of child labour with a majority working in agriculture, including in the production of rice and hybrid seeds.

Children who work in agriculture may carry heavy loads, and apply harmful pesticides, it said.

India has increased funding for and coordination of an extensive network of programmes to address the worst forms of child labour, but the menace persists particularly in agriculture and informal economy, said the report.

Only in India

“Forced child labour exists in domestic service, agriculture, and manufacturing. India lacks a minimum age for work and sets a low age for hazardous work, hindering efforts to address the problem,” the report said.

A large number of children also work in the informal economy, with child labour increasingly found in home-based production rather than organised factory settings.

Children are also found engaged in work on the streets which may include vending food and other goods, repairing vehicles and tyres, scavenging and rag picking, shoe shining, car washing, and begging, besides in construction and domestic service, it said.

“Most children working in domestic service are girls aged 12 to 17 but some are reportedly as young as age 5 or 6. Many work very long hours and suffer abusive treatment.

“Waste picking is prevalent among children in castes and tribes that have traditionally suffered from societal discrimination,” the report said.

The document said there are reports that “children have been recruited to serve as soldiers by armed opposition groups in zones where armed conflict is occurring, such as in Chhattisgarh”.

Service industries that employ children include hotels, food service, and tourism, and children also quarry sandstone and other material, break stones, and polish gems.

It also cites children being involved in manufacturing matches, bricks, carpets, locks, glass bangles, fireworks, bidis, footwear, garments, brassware, and other metal goods.

Noting that the commercial sexual exploitation of children remains a problem, the report said an estimated 1.2 million children engage in prostitution.

“Cases of child sex tourism continue to be reported. India is a source, transit and destination country for minors trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour in domestic service, agriculture and activities such as begging, driving cycle rickshaws and hotel services,” it said.

A Call to Action

Tell the House of Representatives to Pass the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2010

On December 9, 2010, the U.S. Senate passed S. 2925, the “Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2010.” Now this critically needed legislation passes to the House where it must be adopted and passed by December 17, when Congress is expected to adjourn for the year. Calls are urgently needed to House members to make this legislation the law of the land before the legislative session closes. Learn more here.

Experts estimate that at least 100,000 children are sex trafficked in the U.S. every year. These children experience violent trauma, manipulation, and are often arrested and detained in juvenile detention. There are currently less than 100 beds nationwide in shelters prepared to provide the specialized care young trafficking victims need and deserve. If passed, S. 2925 would provide increased support and protection for child sex trafficking victims across America by providing 6 block grants of $2 million to $2.5 million each, spread out regionally. This will ensure that every part of the U.S. has safe and appropriate services and shelter so that young sex trafficking victims can recover, rebuild their lives, and stay free from further exploitation. It would require that 67% of funds are dedicated toward direct support services and shelter for child victims of sex trafficking. The remaining funds may be used to increase law enforcement resources and combat demand to reduce the number of children across America that are trafficked for sex. Learn more about the legislation here.

We have come too far to let this opportunity to increase support and protection for child sex trafficking victims pass us by.

Calls are the most effective and powerful way to urge Congressional action so pick-up the phone and call your House member today!