June 19, 2021 Press Release
Contact: Terry Collingsworth, Executive Director
email@example.com Twitter @tpcollingsworth
Today is Juneteenth, celebrating that on June 19, 1865, the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation was read to slaves in Texas, the last group thought to have not heard the news. In 1865, slavery was abolished in the United States by the Thirteenth Amendment. Today, millions of people are marching with Black Lives Matter to protest systemic racism and oppressive conditions as Black people are being murdered by police with impunity, and are not being given equal rights to education, health care, economic opportunity, voting and housing. We have much to do.
Slavery is far from finished. Cocoa giants Nestle and Cargill STILL control plantations in Cote D’Ivoire where trafficked children from Mali and Burkina Faso are being forced to work under slave-like conditions to harvest cocoa for these multinational giants. We sued them in 2005 for their ongoing and admitted use of child labor to harvest their cocoa. On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court gave Nestle and Cargill a temporary reprieve and dismissed our human rights case against the companies:
http://iradvocates.org/press-release/nestle/us-supreme-court-dismisses-c.... We will amend the complaint and file it to keep this fight going forward.
In addition to Nestle and Cargill, the other large cocoa companies, including Mars, Hershey, Mondelez, Olam and Barry Callebaut have repeatedly admitted that child labor is persistent in their cocoa supply chains. Since 2001, when they signed the failed “Harkin-Engle Protocol,” they have promised to end their use of child slaves but have failed to do so. This is not a case of the occasional child being found working to harvest cocoa for these multinationals. A recent study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Labor shows an estimated 1.56 million children work in cocoa production in Ivory Coast and Ghana, and 95% of them are engaged in hazardous work. Children as young as 5 years of age face direct exposure to toxic chemicals, the use of sharp tools, handling heavy loads of cocoa, and working long hours and at night. We recently filed a case against all of these companies on behalf of eight formerly enslaved children under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (“TVPRA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1595 et. seq.,
We will continue the legal fight to end Nestle and Cargill’s use of child slaves for as long as it takes. Please help us by taking a few minutes to contact the companies with a direct message that African children’s lives matter and slavery was outlawed in 1865. HERE’S HOW:
Cargill’s CEO Dave MacLennan put out on the company’s twitter ( @Cargill and @CargillEMEA) and facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Cargill/): “We stand with all who have spoken up to say Black lives matter and ‘not ever again.’”
Please respond to this cynical and false assertion of solidarity by posting on the company’s facebook and twitter accounts (they do not give out the direct contacts for officers):
Cargill CEO Dave MacLennon and General Counsel Anna Richo, the Lives of African Children Matter and Slavery ended in 1865! Stop using Black child slaves to harvest your cocoa. Work with IRAdvocates to end child slavery and establish meaningful independent monitoring and certification systems.
Please send this message directly to the email accounts of the officers below and also post on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/nestle.USA/) and twitter (@Nestle and @Nestle USA):
Nestle, the Lives of African Children Matter and Slavery ended in 1865! Stop using Black child slaves to harvest your cocoa. Work with IRAdvocates to end child slavery and establish meaningful independent monitoring and certification systems.
• Nestle CEO Mark Schneider: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Nestle Executive VP Laurent Freixe: email@example.com
• Nestle USA CEO Steve Presley: firstname.lastname@example.org; @NestleUSA
• Nestle USA VP Molly Fogarty: email@example.com
PLEASE ALSO POST YOUR MESSAGES ANYWHERE THAT CAN HELP GET OUR URGENT MESSAGE OUT. THANKS VERY MUCH!