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US Ambassador Brings Anti-Slavery Fight to Vatican

U.S. State Department(VATICAN CITY) -- A U.S. ambassador will give a talk at the Vatican Wednesday about modern day human slavery and what the church and companies can do to stop it.

Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, who heads the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, says the U.S. needs the church's help in stopping companies from using low or no-pay slaves.

Experts estimate that globally as many as 20 million human slaves make the things we buy because most of us don't ask why some of the prices are so low.  To that end, CdeBaca says people need to ask the question about where products come from.

"Ask the question, 'Was the cocoa that went into this chocolate bar picked by a nine-year old child in West Africa who is being beaten up if they try to leave the farm?'," he says.

By making them aware of the problem, CdeBaca believes most people would refuse to buy these products made under slave-like conditions and companies would change up their production practices.

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ABC News Radio