Category Archives: Fair Trade

Free2Work Smartphone App Lets Shoppers Fight Slavery

by Amanda Kloer

The Not for Sale Campaign is giving shoppers the chance to fight slavery with their smart phones this holiday season. The Free2Work app give consumers a handy guide to how their favorite brands fare in preventing slavery and other serious abuses in their supply chains. Now you’re just a touchscreen away from making every purchase support freedom and fairness for workers around the world. Continue reading

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Being Social For Social Justice

By MGJack

Do you Blog, Twitter, Facebook or MySpace for social justice? Would it not be great to go to just one place and add your post just once and it goes everywhere you have a social presence? I have come across an up and coming service called Hubze that will do just that for you. Please read how Hubze could really help you spread the word about your social justice cause .

What is Hubze?

Just imagine this. Would it not be great to have only ONE place you had to go online to be social? Right now many of us have to perform the overwhelming task of signing onto and posting to all our social networking sites. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FriendFinder, Ning and all these other social networks…and the truth is…it is a lot of work. I mean should social networking not be fun and easy to do so we in fact do it. Add to that the fact that many of us use social networking as a business application promoting our business and building are brands.

How do we fix this? Enter Hubze. Hubze plans to simplify your life by giving you a platform where you only have to go to ONE place to enter any content. One place to blog, update, share, chat, email, market and search. One place to simplify your online life.

Hubze is not going to be just another social network. Hubze is not going to be just another online marketing system. Hubze is going to be the ONE STOP SHOP you need! And at Hubze simplifying your online life is only the beginning.

Hubze is all about what it’s founders call “Elegant Organization” This concept allows you to bring all of your social interactions into one place. Twitter, Facebook, Direct Matches, Linkedin, BetterNetworker, Myspace, etc. and post to all of them at the push of a button from one single platform. The Hubze MeCard is only the tip of the iceburg here and will be the first of many other services to come. Recently Hubze let out of the bag that they will provide a service that will allow anyone to customize the look and feel of there Facebook page similar to the customization folks enjoy in MySpace. The HubzeCard will always be a free service for all who sign up. For more information on Hubze and to get the HubzeCard service free go to: www.hubze.mgjack.com  for full details. You must be invited by another Hubze member like me so Click and join for FREE.

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Chocolate Paves the Path to the Dark Side

by Angela Longerbeam

When the Easter Bunny visits your house this year, will he be complicit with the slave trade? Before delivering treats to more fortunate children, did he hop on over to Africa’s Ivory Coast and make sure trafficked children weren’t harvesting his cocoa? That Easter Bunny. We love him, but he sure is a slacker sometimes. 

News has swirled around for awhile now regarding labor practices in the chocolate supply chain. In spite of signing the Cocoa Protocol back in 2001 and thereby promising to move toward slave-free chocolate production, companies like Hershey seem to be okay with kids farming their cocoa. It is heavy labor in and of itself, unsuitable for children, and made infinitely more exploitative with no pay and a daily serving of abuse. They either support these labor practices directly, or else they support it indirectly, by looking the other way. 

Eating chocolate is bliss, and so, of course, is ignorance. 

The demand for transparency and ethical business practices have surfaced through petitions and organized boycotts. Fair trade chocolate brands are becoming more prevalent and popular all the time. But we, as concerned consumers, only have as much knowledge on the subject as chocolate companies allow -– and no company in its business-sensed mind is going to make itself look bad. 

That’s why a journalist from Denmark, Miki Mistrati, has gone undercover to see what’s really happening on the Ivory Coast’s cocoa farms in a new documentary called The Dark Side of Chocolate.  

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Apple Admits Child Labor & Sweatshops Used to Build iPhones

by Amanda Kloer

Yesterday in their annual report, Apple admitted that it had identified at least 11 children working in overseas factories which produce iPods, iPhones, and computers. In addition to the child labor, illegal and exploitative working conditions for adults exist in some of Apple’s factories as well. Surprisingly, Apple made these findings public themselves in their most recent annual report. But are they doing enough to prevent the exploitation of children and workers in their factories?

In addition to the factories that allowed underage children to work there, some of Apple’s other factories have been called “sweatshops.” The company admitted that just over half of its overseas factories ignore the company policy that employees cannot work more than 60 hours a week. And the factories in China, where the majority are located, regularly break Chinese labor laws which prohibit employees from working more than 49 hours a week. Only 65% of factories were paying the wages and benefits due to workers, and 24 factories in China violated minimum wage laws. One factory even fabricated documentation to hide their underage workers and workers’ rights violations from Apple. Apple has now stopped using that factory. Continue reading

Fair Trade Flowers for V-Day!

by Sarah Parker

It’s V-Day my friends! And like any good last-minute shopper, you know that flowers make a great a gift. Did you also know that those beautiful flowers from your local florist or grocery store may have come from Columbia, Ecuador, or Kenya?

Flowers are flown in from these countries year round, where warmer climates, cheaper labor, and lax pesticide laws allow for low wholesale prices and higher profits. As you can imagine, these conditions are ripe for slave labor conditions. According to The Toronto Star, not only are there concerns about working conditions in the industry, but commercial flowers produced in South America have been reported to be some of the most toxic, chemically-treated crops in the world. Women and children are the main cut-flower workers and can suffer not only from health and safety hazards, but also sexual harassment, abuse, and low to no wage conditions.

Different countries have instituted their own voluntary “green” certification initiatives and fair labor regulations for cut-flower workers; programs like Florverde in Colombia, Sello Verde in Ecuador, and the Kenyan Flower Council. Each has a different set of standards depending on their country’s own regulations. Some of the programs spend more time promoting themselves than they do caring for the workers they supposedly protect. And since kids are harmed by pesticide poisoning much quicker than adults, they need to spend less time on marketing and more time actually meeting the International Code of Conduct. Continue reading

STOP THE TRAFFIK:Take Part in START FREEDOM

START FREEDOM a campaign for young people

Stop The Traffik

A global campaign for schools and young people who will become aware of the issues surrounding human trafficking and realise the power to make a difference. Please go to www.startfreedom.org and download the Start Freedom resources. Teachers, there are great resources here to discuss this important world wide issue in the classroom.

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ICE participates in Human Trafficking Awareness Day in South Florida

Reposted From: ethiopianreview.com

MIAMI – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Homestead Police Department (HPD), the Miami Dade Police Department (MDPD), and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida (SDFL) participated in Monday’s national Human Trafficking Awareness Day to inform members of the community about the horrors and the prevalence of human trafficking and how to report it to law enforcement.

“ICE is committed to working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to inform our communities that this 21st century form of slavery exists in this day and age throughout the country and law enforcement is dedicated to rescuing victims and holding traffickers accountable,” said Anthony Mangione, special agent in charge of ICE’s Office of Investigations in Miami. “Because this heinous crime is extremely well-hidden, we need to help educate members of the public about human trafficking, and encourage them to keep alert for possible human trafficking victims.”

On Jan. 11, as part of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, special agents and victim advocates of ICE’s Office of Investigations in Miami along with officers and detectives of the HPD, MDPD, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office SDFL held an informational forum presented to school staff and counselors, parents and middle and high school students that are part of a Miami Dade’s Public School Program located at the Redland Housing in Homestead, Fla. Additionally, ICE special agents and HPD officers conducted outreach to farm and day laborers by giving out brochures and informational materials on human trafficking at labor drop-off and pick-up locations in downtown Homestead. Students also had the opportunity to participate in a leadership and rock climbing wall at the school. Councilman Elvis R. Maldonado is sponsoring and supporting this event on behalf of the City of Homestead.

Human trafficking is a tragic, serious cross-border crime, and ICE is the lead U.S. federal government agency responsible for investigating and dismantling human trafficking organizations. It is estimated that 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked around the world each year. These victims are trafficked into the commercial sex trade, and into forced-labor situations throughout the world. Many of these victims are lured from their homes with false promises of well-paying jobs; instead, they are forced or coerced into prostitution, domestic servitude, farm or factory labor, or other types of forced labor.

The greatest challenge in combating human trafficking is victim identification. Surprisingly, many people are unaware that this form of modern-day slavery occurs every day in the United States. Victims may end up in a foreign country; are often unable to speak the language, and have no one to advocate for them. Traffickers often take away the victims’ travel and identity documents. They tell their victims that if they attempt to escape, their families back home will be either physically or financially harmed.

ICE is asking for the public’s help to remain alert to recognize and identify victims of modern-day slavery who are in our midst. They are domestic servants, sweat-shop employees, sex workers and fruit pickers who were lured here by the promise of prosperity. Ultimately, they are forced to work without pay and are unable to leave their situation. ICE is committed to giving them the help they need to come forward and help us end human trafficking with vigorous enforcement and tough penalties. As a primary mission area, ICE has the overall goal of preventing human trafficking in the United States by prosecuting the traffickers, and rescuing and protecting victims.

In 2008, the South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force (SFHTTF) was created. The task force is housed in the ICE Office of the Special Agent in Charge Miami and consists of agents and officers of ICE, FBI, State Department-Diplomatic Security, Miami Dade Police Department, Homestead Police Department, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. The SFHTTF investigates all instances and allegations of human trafficking in the South Florida region which includes cities as far south as Key West and as far north as Fort Pierce.

Additionally, the SFHTTF works closely with non-governmental and social service organizations in its human trafficking efforts. These organizations routinely forward information regarding potential victims and trafficking networks to the task force for investigation. The task force works with organizations to provide training to other law enforcement agencies and conduct outreach to other governmental agencies, such as foreign consulates, for the purpose of identifying potential victims that they may encounter at the local consulate offices.

(Source: ICE)

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