Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Scary Truth About Your Halloween Candy


Excerpt from Huffington Post:

“As Halloween approaches [is here], many of us will be purchasing more than our usual share of chocolate. And while most of us probably make our purchasing decisions based on cost or preference, there is another factor to consider: most mainstream American chocolate companies make chocolate from cocoa sourced in the Ivory Coast, and there is an overwhelming amount of research that indicates that children are working in forced-labor conditions in this region.

The picture below shows a young child gathering pods to harvest cocoa beans. There are hundreds of thousands of children in West Africa who do this back-breaking work. Young children. Children who should be attending school and having a childhood. And they are working for most of the mainstream chocolate providers in the USA. A report from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture about cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast estimated that there were more than 200,000 children working on cocoa farms in hazardous conditions. Some of them have been taken from their families, or sold as servants. CNN reports that chocolate companies claim it is too difficult to track because the farms are so remote. “They say it makes it extremely hard to end child labor and trafficking. They say it makes it hard to find trafficking victims.” And yet, when CNN sent four journalists out to investigate, they found trafficked children on their first day on the field.…”


A New Spin on Trick-or-Treating


Excerpt from The Human Trafficking Project

Reverse Trick-or-Treating
Ten to twenty thousand groups of children will hand chocolate back to adults during their regular neighborhood trick-or-treating rounds this Halloween. The children will distribute Fair Trade certified chocolate attached to a card explaining the labor and environmental problems in the cocoa industry globally and how Fair Trade provides a solution. The event, Reverse Trick-or-Treating, was launched to raise awareness of the pervasive problem of child labor, forced labor, and trafficking in the cocoa fields, to empower consumers to press the chocolate industry for more fair cocoa sourcing policies, to shift the industry toward sourcing Fair Trade certified cocoa, and to inform consumers about Fair Trade companies that are leading the way to industry reform. Fair Trade standards prohibit the use of abusive child labor, contain extensive environmental sustainability protections, and enable farmers to escape poverty.

To learn more, click Here
To order a kit, click Here



Excerpt from Fair Trade USA


Good news: There are now more than 10,000 Fair Trade Certified products available in the United States, and finding those products in stores near you just got a whole lot easier!  The Fair Trade Finder is an application for FacebookiPhoneand Android that helps you find stores that sell Fair Trade based on your location.

This easy-to-use app helps you make every purchase matter by:

  • Searching for Fair Trade Certified products that are sold in stores near you
  • Promoting your favorite Fair Trade Certified products by tagging, photographing and uploading them to the app
  • Sharing your Fair Trade finds with your friends on Facebookand Twitter


The Fair Trade Finder is a crowd-sourced database of Fair Trade Certified products.  That means we need you (the crowd) to help add products to the map.  Here’s how to do it in three easy steps.

1. Download the free mobile app for iPhone or Android or use it on Facebook.

2. Click on the “Add a Product” button and complete the form with information about the product and where you bought it.

3. Add a photo of the product (if you have one).  You product will show up on the map after it has been approved.


The Fair Trade Finder was designed to help increase awareness and purchases of Fair Trade Certified products so that we can make an even bigger difference in the lives of farmers and workers around the world.  Every time you add a product to the Fair Trade Finder, you are helping to support the growth of the Fair Trade movement. During Fair Trade Month, you can do your part by finding and purchasing Fair Trade and then promoting these purchases on your social networks.

We thank you in advance for spreading the word!

Nestle Advances Child Labor Battle Plan


Excerpt from CNN Freedom Project.


An independent investigation into Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain has found numerous child labor violations and kickstarted an ambitious plan to eventually eradicate forced labor and child labor in its production cycle.

The study was carried out by the Fair Labor Association with Nestlé’s support.

“Our investigation of Nestlé’s cocoa supply chain represents the first time a multinational chocolate producer has allowed its procurement system to be completely traced and assessed. For too long child labor in cocoa production has been everybody’s problem and therefore nobody’s responsibility,” said FLA President Auret van Heerden.

It means Nestlé is the first chocolate-maker to comprehensively map its cocoa supply chain – and can work on identifying problems areas, training and educating workers and taking action against child labor violations.

The FLA investigation found violations of Nestlé’s own supplier code, including excessive hours and unpaid workers. It also found 72 percent of injuries were from workers using machetes.

Read the FLA-Nestle report

But child labor remained the primary concern for the FLA which said there were systemic and cultural challenges to overcome in Ivory Coast.

Jose Lopez, Nestlé vice president of operations, told CNN: “There is no way, that long term, a company like ours can accept a situation like this. So it’s a matter of how fast, how well, and how many people have to participate in getting these sorts of problems behind us.

“We are determined to make real impact and hopefully also to be used as a lighthouse to show others that it’s just a matter of getting started.”

He added: “My sense is that what we want to do here is to prove that it can happen. We will work with the World Cocoa Foundation and be in schools, we will work with International Cocoa Initiative and gather the cooperatives and put people there … to give training on the farmers. We will work with the government on the action plan, we will work with the certifiers.

“It is true that what is new is purely an expression of the will to assemble everybody, to break down these silos and to get the action moving, instead of each one of us trying to give his own interpretation and his own answer.”

The FLA recommended Nestlé tell every person in its supply chain about the company’s code of practice which bans child labor, and make sure people are trained and expected to uphold the code.

The FLA also said Nestlé has developed a strategy to improve practices by its Ivorian workers, including producing an illustrated guide to the supplier code by October and, in the longer term, train key suppliers to try to create a workforce dedicated to protecting children.

Van Heerden said: “By inviting FLA to completely map and document its cocoa supply chain, consumers will have the complete picture they need to hold Nestlé, the largest food company in the world, accountable for where its cocoa comes from …

“Now that its supply chain has been mapped, Nestlé will be held accountable for the kind of sustainable and comprehensive changes that ensure a future of responsibly-sourced, code-compliant cocoa.”

Human Trafficking Training Opportunity

Excerpt from Human Trafficking Law Blog.

HHS Rescue & Restore to Host WebEx Training

“Returning Home, Reintegration and
Family Reunification for Foreign
Human Trafficking Victims
in the United States”Monday, November 5, 2012
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is hosting a series of free, online WebEx training sessions on a variety of topics related to human trafficking.

The information session on Monday, November 5, will focus on how the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assists foreign human trafficking victims in the United States and address the following:

·         IOM family reunification services for trafficking victims and their families;
·         IOM assistance for trafficking victims who choose to return home; and
·         Eligibility for IOM services.


Mariana Rendón, Project Manager, IOM

Ms. Rendón works at the IOM office in Washington D.C where she coordinates the Return, Reintegration, and Family Reunification Program for foreign victims of trafficking in the United States.  She was trained as a clinical psychologist at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and she has focused on migrant mental health issues throughout her career.  Ms. Rendón previously worked with the IOM office in Mexico in the Counter Trafficking, Migrant Children and Gender Unit providing direct assistance to victims of trafficking and technical assistance to the Mexican Government and civil society organizations.

Emmanuel Martínez, Case Manager, IOM

Mr. Martinez serves as a case manager with the Return, Reintegration, and Family Reunification Program at IOM’s Washington, DC office where he coordinates services for foreign victims of trafficking in the United States.  Prior to joining IOM, Mr. Martinez served as the Emergency Response Coordinator at the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) in Los Angeles where he provided 24-hour response to victims of trafficking, intensive case management, and trainings to service providers in the United States and Mexico.

How to Register:

To register for the Monday, November 5th, 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) training session, please click on the link below (or place it into your Internet browser):

Prevent Human Trafficking


“Each year, millions of men, women, and children are victimized and exploited for labor and sexual purposes. Hoping for a better future for themselves and their families they are lured by false promises into a life of slavery and deprivation.”

Since 1999, the Prevent Human Trafficking team has been working in South East Asia and the United States to empower individuals and organizations striving to bring an end to this inhumanity.

“Prevent Human Trafficking (PHT) is a Washington, D.C., based non-profit organization working to build a bridge between South East Asia and the United States to prevent human trafficking. PHT empowers individuals, organizations, and governments to tackle the root causes of human trafficking through direct support and technical assistance. PHT uses its expertise and networks to promote best practice and inspire sustainable solutions in the movement to prevent human trafficking.”

Learn more at
Like them on Facebook. Follow them on Twitter.




Encourage your college to adopt one of the following curricula on the issues of human trafficking and modern-day slavery, and ask your professors to include the topic in class.

Excerpt from mtvU’s Against Our Will Campaign.

The Fight for Freedom: 7 Organizations Combatting Human Trafficking


excerpt From the Daily muse

Each of these organizations has a different strategy, but all of them, little by little, are making major strides in ending human trafficking.

Trafficking Policy and Advocacy: Polaris Project

One of the most influential groups working on the issue in the United States, the Polaris Project takes a comprehensive approach to ending modern-day slavery. The organization advocates for stronger federal and state laws, operates the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, provides services and support for trafficking victims, and works with survivors to develop long-term strategies to ending human trafficking.


Second-Generation Trafficking: Prajwala

In India, children who grow up in brothels with their parents often meet the same fate. In order to counteract this dangerous legacy, social activist Dr. Sunitha Krishnan co-founded Prajwala (which means “eternal flame”). Based in Hyderbad, India, the organization rescues women from brothels and then provides them with education, mental health care, and job programs. (Check out Dr. Krishnan’s powerful talk at the 2009 TedIndia Conference.)


Statelessness and Child Trafficking: COSA

Most Hill tribes in Thailand are “stateless,” or not governed by the laws of the country—which makes their women and girls particularly vulnerable to trafficking. After recognizing this, photojournalist Mickey Choothesa and social worker Anna Choothesa created the Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia to provide education, intervention, and support in Hill tribe communities. COSA works directly within trafficking communities to provide trafficked girls with healthcare, social services, and housing in the Baan Yuu Suk Shelter—as well as to bring awareness and education to the traffickers themselves.


Trafficking of Men and Young Boys: Urban Light

A number of organizations help girls in the sex industry, but very few work to aid young men. After a service trip during which she observed the industry in Thailand firsthand, Alezandra Russel realized that boys are often excluded from the human trafficking conversation. So she created Urban Light, an organization that works to help young men break free from child prostitution and sexual exploitation. By providing food, shelter, healthcare, and support services, the group helps restore and rebuild the lives of male victims.


International Sporting Events: Student World Assembly’s Red Card Project

When a large sporting event, such as the World Cup, takes place, fears often arise that trafficking will increase to meet demand from the influx of tourists. Student World Assembly’s Red Card Project mobilizes students from around the world to stage powerful and striking condemnations of human trafficking at these events, bringing large-scale and needed public awareness to the practice.


Child Labor: GoodWeave

The handmade rug industry has one of the highest child labor rates in the world. When GoodWeave began its work in 1994, there were nearly one million children—many kidnapped or trafficked—working on the looms in South Asia, often for up to 18 hours a day. Through its efforts, the organization has not only helped bring child labor in the rug industry down 75%, it has built affiliations with retail outlets all over the U.S. to ensure that all carpets sold are free from child labor.


The Issue of Choice: The Empower Foundation

Not all who work in the sex industry do so against their will—some do so by choice. While the resources of most organizations aim to assist those exploited and hidden in the shadows, The Empower Foundation grew from a movement of sex workers and entertainers who fight for fair and sustainable standards and equal rights in the professions they have chosen. The group runs the Can Do Bar, which offers just, safe, and fair conditions for its workers.

CNN Freedom Project

Global Brands Team Up to Fight Slavery

(CNN) – From Coca-Cola to Microsoft, some of the most recognizable brands in the world of business have joined forces in the fight against human trafficking and slavery.

The International Labor Organization estimates that 21 million people are currently trapped in slavery, with almost every country on the planet affected, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Many of these victims are children, often caught up in sex trafficking and prostitution.

Read More: Women raped by Sinai traffickers find help

Now a group of corporate titans have decided to take action by forming the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking (gBCAT).

The roll call of blue-chip businesses involved is diverse as it is impressive and includes Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil and Delta Airlines, ManpowerGroup, Carlson, LexisNexis, NXP, Microsoft and Travelport….
Read More.

mtvU Against Our Will Campaign: Survivor Poetry



by Jennifer, age unknown (read by P!nk)

I remember who I really am
The gentle and caring person that lives deep within
The one afraid to come out, for fear of being used again
I wonder when they day will come when I can let the “image” go
The day when I will no longer care if someone called me ‘hoe’
The day I can truly be me, and let my spirit free
So the world can see me for who I really am
The side of me that shines
The friendly and compassionate person I used to be
The choices I have made have shaped who I have become
Never will I regret anything I have ever done.

Alicia Keys, P!nk, and Jada Pinkett Smith voice thought-provoking poetry written by human trafficking survivors from Girls Educational and Mentoring Services.

Check out more poetry here.