Halt the import of cocoa harvested by child slave labor!

Halt the import of cocoa harvested by child slave labor!

1,043 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!

Why this petition matters

Help end child slavery in the chocolate industry. Please sign this petition telling the US Customs and Border Protection to halt the import of cocoa from Côte d'Ivoire under the US Tariff Act of 1910 Federal Statue 19 U.S.C. 1307.

The US Department of Labor lists cocoa from Côte d'Ivoire as a commodity harvested by illegal child slave labor. The US Department of Labor has the number of exploited children at 1.6 million. Unfortunately, this number has risen over the 20 years since the industry promised to remedy this situation. Farmers only earning ¼ of a living wage for their crop result in abject poverty. Abject poverty results in child labor and environmental problems.

We have something that would surely make a difference toward the eradication of child slavery but it’s not being executed. Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise produced, wholly or in part, by convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor, including forced or indentured child labor. Importers of detained shipments have the opportunity to export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

This isn’t a new request. The CBP has received numerous requests to take action. In fact, over two years ago Slave Free Chocolate signed a letter written by International Rights Advocates and Corporate Accountability Labs which outlined every aspect of this situation in detail. This letter, signed by 100s, has been sitting on some desk gathering dust for over two years now. Follow-up inquiries by many have also gone unanswered.

        “There is no place for forced labor in today’s world, particularly in the U.S. supply chains […] It undermines not only the U.S. economy but our commitment to upholding human rights throughout the world.”

AnnMarie Highsmith, CBP Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner

The PBC was effective with gloves from Malaysia, stopping the importation of nitrile gloves tied to forced labor on November 4th, 2021. This act led to necessary changes. Let’s try this with cocoa.

Slave Free Chocolate and many human rights groups in the US and globally believe this action will be instrumental. Stopping these cocoa beans from entering the US will require the bean customers to take the necessary actions to ensure their supply chain is free of child slavery. Starting with paying a lot more for their beans. This is the one thing they’ve been avoiding. It’s been 21 years since the industry signed the Harkin-Engel Protocol, a commitment to eliminate child labor, so it’s safe to say all initiatives have failed as the situation has just gotten worse.

Please sign the petition asking the US Customs and Border Protection Agency to do their job. Nobody wants their chocolate tied to the Worst Forms of Child Labor and trafficked child slavery.

1,043 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!