Petition Closed

Over 40,000 slaves are in the U.S. right now, working in restaurants, hotels, nail salons, construction sites, janitorial and landscaping crews, massage parlors, private homes, farms, forced begging rings, and more. And over 20 million slaves worldwide are used to produce the commodities like minerals, cotton, cocoa and steel that go into the products we buy every day. This is unacceptable.

And it’s happening right here at GW.

I cannot in good conscience buy coffee from the cafes, t-shirts from the bookstore, and chocolate from the vending machines because I know they may have been made with slave labor.

I want our community to be part of the solution. I want to bring slavery to an end worldwide. And I’m starting right here. I want to know that the products we buy, the services we use, the food we eat, and the labor we benefit from, are all slavery-free.

Join me in asking President Knapp to make GW a slavery-free campus by the 2014 academic year. Together we can lead the way for other universities to eradicate slavery from their communities, because “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Letter to
President of The George Washington University Steven Knapp
I just signed the following petition:


GW prides itself in delivering one of the finest academic experiences available. But it’s hard to feel good about my time at GW when I know we’re benefitting from modern slavery.

Slavery-tainted computers, coffee, t-shirts and chocolate can all be found on our campus today. Forced labor and trafficked children are hidden in plain sight. Slavery may have been “abolished” in 1865, but it never went away. Currently, there are more than 40,000 slaves in the U.S. and over 27 million slaves worldwide. Human trafficking is a $32 billion dollar industry, and the fastest growing crime in the world.

Mr. President, I want GW to be part of the solution. I’m asking you to commit to making our campus slavery-free by the 2014 academic year:

1. I want to be able to purchase Fair Trade certified food and beverages in our dining facilities, and at a comparable price.
2. I want to know that the cotton clothing for sale in our bookstore is slavery-free.
3. I want to be certain there is no use of slave labor in our campus community -- including construction workers, groundskeepers, janitors, etc. -- and that everyone working on grounds are being paid in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act; and that all businesses that accept GWorld are held to the same standard.
4. I want every member of the GW community to receive information about the National Human Trafficking Hotline, including when to call.
5. I want the university to provide training for GWPD and hospital staff to recognize human trafficking victims and call the national hotline.
6. I want forced begging rings that exploit children removed from our campus.
7. I want publications that play a role in the trafficking of women and children to be removed from our campus.
8. I want to know that all the materials, equipment and supplies we use on campus are slavery-free.
9. I want to know that when the university purchases travel services they use only companies that have signed “The Code,” protecting children from sex tourism.
10. I want to know that the university’s endowment funds do not contain investments in companies that benefit from slave labor either directly or through their supply chains.

Because if we don’t make GW slavery-free, who will?

Stop turning a blind eye to the modern slavery that surrounds us. Make GW a leader in the global movement to end this atrocity, once and for all.