News & Updates
Monday, June 12, is the day recognized by the International Labor Organization as World Day Against Child Labor. Every credible organization working on the issue agrees that child labor remains a crisis for humanity, with most estimates that more than 200 million children are in the workforce, and many of them are working in the supply chains of major international companies. With these overwhelming numbers, it is too easy to say, “what can I do?” and then do nothing except click on some Facebook page to show your disapproval for child slavery. Well, there is plenty that all of us can do, and today I am asking you to do just one, simple, relatively pain-free thing on June 12: Boycott chocolate products that are not certified to be child labor free.
On May 18, 2017 on behalf of affected Colombian communities, a coalition of human rights groups called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the complicity of executives at Chiquita Brands International in crimes against humanity. To date, no executive has been held to account despite the company’s admission that it funneled millions of dollars to Colombian paramilitaries that killed, raped, and disappeared civilians. If the ICC takes up the case, it would be the first time it moved against corporate executives for assisting such crimes.
Chiquita’s Colombia-based staff questioned the company’s payments to illegal armed groups, and asked whether Chiquita had gone beyond extortion and was directly funding the activities of leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups, even while top company executives became “comfortable” with the idea.This is the second in a series of stories jointly published by the National Security Archive and VerdadAbierta.com documenting how the world’s most famous banana company financed terrorist groups in Colombia.
The New Chiquita Papers are the result of a seven-year legal battle waged by the National Security Archive against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and later Chiquita itself, for access to tens of thousands of records produced by the company during an investigation of illicit payments made in Colombia.
The Archive has used these records to identify individual Chiquita executives who approved and oversaw years of payments to groups responsible for countless human rights violations in Colombia, but whose roles in the affair have been unknown or unclear until now.