This Thanksgiving week: act against child slavery in our food system!

It's Thanksgiving week, and we have a veritable feast of actions you can take on behalf of vulnerable workers!   

This week is both the inaugural End Child Slavery Week and 3rd annual International Food Workers Week. We promote both of these important initiatives, with their distinct but overlapping objectives, because they touch so many of our campaigns; especially the plight of children who labor on cocoa farms in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

As many as 1.5 million children work in the cocoa sector in these two countries, which produce about 58% of the world’s cocoa supply. They lose out on their educations, are exposed to hazardous working conditions, and may or may not be paid. Children on cocoa plantations, particularly in Cote d’Ivoire, may be trafficking victims from neighboring Mali or Burkina Faso.

These abuses are fueled by the poverty wages cocoa farmers in these two countries make: less than $2 a day. At ILRF, we are working to change that. We will release a report on Dec. 17th that will outline industry and government recommendations on how to turn this situation around. In the meantime, we are mobilizing people to spread the word about this injustice.

Our Fair Share for Cocoa Farmers candy wrappers include easy-to-follow info-graphics explaining some of the unfair economics that suppress wages for cocoa farmers. Please print them off and place them around chocolate bars you may be giving as gifts this holiday season. Sign up to receive alerts about more actions you can take as the campaign unfolds.

Hungry for more actions you can take this week?

  • Sign the petition to end child slavery! We hope to get 5.5 million signatures, equal to the number of children estimated to be enslaved around the world, by the end of the week.
  • Check out the list of actions you can take for workers along the food chain! And make sure you check out these great videos of Food Worker Heroes in action from our friends at the Food Chain Workers Alliance.
  • Events will be happening at Walmarts around the nation on Black Friday to highlight terrible wages and working conditions at the retail giant. Attend a protest in your area!

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and loved ones. But before you dig in on Thursday, please take a moment to engage in these important actions going on this week. And check out our Fair Share for Cocoa Farmers action page to make sure the chocolate you buy this holiday season is free from abuses like child labor!