Help End Child Slavery - Send This to Chocolate Companies

Update on Our Anti-Slavery Campaign (see our previous post, Slavery and Chocolate)

The International Labor Rights Forum has provided a website where you can send a letter to the major chocolate manufacturers (Hershey, Mars, and Nestle) holding them accountable to their commitment to the Cocoa Protocol to end child labor.

Go here to take action on stopping child labor in the farming of cocoa.

Dear [ Decision Maker ],

Since 2001, chocolate consumers around the world have been very concerned about the conditions facing cocoa farmers in West Africa. Reports of the worst forms of child labor and trafficking, as well as the general poor economic and social conditions facing farmers, continue to emerge many years after your company signed on to the Harkin-Engel Protocol.

I am aware of the initiatives your company has supported through various chocolate industry associations. I know about your funding for projects throughout West Africa (such as the International Cocoa Initiative, the World Cocoa Foundation and the Sustainable Tree Crops Program), the government survey project and the verification process through Verité and the International Cocoa Verification Board. I am also aware of the industry commitments announced in July 2008 including increasing "certification" throughout Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire's cocoa sectors in 2010 which will "ideally, over time... indicate an improvement in the status of child and adult labor practices." Despite all of these programs, I still do not feel assured that the chocolate I buy from your company is made by workers and farmers whose rights are fully respected.

Now I want to know what YOUR company specifically is doing to ensure that your cocoa beans are not made using the worst forms of child labor and other forms of exploitative labor. Can you please tell me the specific commitments and supply chain management initiatives your company is using to ensure you are complying with international labor standards?

After eight years of scrutiny, I look forward to learning more about the specific work you are doing to ensure that your candy bars are made without trafficked and/or child labor.

[Your name]
[Your address]

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