Petition Closed

 

This is a non-political petition.

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In summary, children as young as 8 years of age are trafficked onto plantations and forcibly kept there to work in harsh conditions for long hours. They are given no pay or opportunity to attend school. In many cases, they are beaten for "poor" performance, or if they try to leave the plantation.  

The farming practices used on the cocoa plantations are rarely sustainable. Cocoa farmers may cut down the trees--which prevent soil erosion and provide critical wildlife habitat--on their land in order to use as much space as possible for growing cocoa plants. They may also attempt to increase yields by stepping up toxic pesticide use.

The boys on the plantations, as well the families from which they were trafficked, have no chance of breaking the cycle of poverty if they are denied education, and given no money to save. This unsustainable, and horrific, human rights violation is well-known by first-world chocolate corporations. They do little about the issue, most likely because the slavery-picked cocoa beans are cheaper to purchase than if labor wages were paid to workers. For example:

 "Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland are fighting against a provision in the Farm Bill which would provide importers with a voluntary way to demonstrate to consumers that their products are harvested without the worst forms of child labor or forced labor." 

 

 

Letter to
Penn State University
The students, faculty, and community members affiliated with The Pennsylvania State University are deeply troubled by the prevalence of chocolate on campus that is known to contain slavery in its supply chain. A most recent report on this grave issue is available through the Payson Center of Tulane University, here: http://childlabor-payson.org/Final%20Fourth%20Annual%20Report.pdf

In summary, children as young as 8 years of age are trafficked onto plantations and forcibly kept there to work in harsh conditions for long hours. They are given no pay or opportunity to attend school. In many cases, they are beaten for "poor" performance, or if they try to leave the plantation.

The farming practices used on the cocoa plantations are rarely sustainable. Cocoa farmers may cut down the trees which prevent soil erosion and provide critical wildlife habitat on their land in order to use as much space as possible for growing cocoa plants. They may also attempt to increase yields by stepping up toxic pesticide use.

The boys on the plantations, as well the families from which they were trafficked, have no chance of breaking the cycle of poverty if they are denied education, and given no money to save. This unsustainable, and horrific, human rights violation is well-known by first-world chocolate corporations. They do little about the issue, most likely because the slavery-picked cocoa beans are cheaper to purchase than if labor wages were paid to workers.

Penn State is a major purchaser of chocolate. If Penn State were to switch to buying fairly made chocolate, more farmers in the developing world will be free from modern day slavery and be guaranteed a fair price for their labor. The undersigned agree to purchase fairly made chocolate as it is available on campus.

We request that Penn State:

Commit to buying slavery-free chocolate

Prioritize companies that are doing more toward tracking the welfare of cocoa farmers

Making slavery-free practices a priority when picking new candy vendors

Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you, and working closely with you on this issue in the future.

Respectfully submitted by the concerned community.