Washington, DC – On the tenth anniversary of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, Global Exchange, Green America, and International Labor Rights Forum issued the following statement:
“Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, an agreement signed by the country’s largest chocolate companies to put an end to forced child labor in their cocoa supply chains by July of 2005. Chocolate companies committed to this voluntary agreement in lieu of legislation that would have required all chocolate companies to adopt a ‘slave-free’ labeling system.
However, six years after the industry’s initial deadline, and ten years since chocolate manufacturers committed to taking action on this issue, hundreds of thousands of children are still subject to the worst forms of child labor on West African cocoa farms. At the same time, according the USDA Economic Research Service, cocoa imports to the US have soared to 1,222,300 metric tons (up from 999,600 in 2001), and cocoa imports to the US are now valued at $4.3 billion.”
The 3 advocate groups also state that “A Decade Later, Hershey Lags Behind in Eliminating Abuses in its Chocolate”, and have organized a campaign “Raise the Bar, Hershey!”
See full press release by Global Exchange, Green America and International Labor Rights Forum