STOP THE TRAFFIK: The Chocolate Campaign

General January 30, 2007

How much chocolate do you eat in a week?

One form of trafficking is the use of children to harvest the cocoa beans on farms in Cote D’Ivoire. These children are likely to be working to make your chocolate.

STOP THE TRAFFIK “Traffik Free Guarantee

Where did all the chocolate come from?
Nearly half the world’s chocolate is made from cocoa grown in the Cote D’Ivoire, in Africa.

12,000 children have been trafficked into cocoa farms in Cote D’Ivoire.
When we buy chocolate we are being forced to be oppressors ourselves as we have no guarantee that the chocolate we eat is “traffik free”.

“Traffik Free Guarantee”.
We want all chocolate companies to be able to stamp onto their chocolate wrappers a guarantee that the cocoa beans have not been harvested by trafficked labour. We can then choose to eat chocolate with a Traffik Free Guarantee.

Case study

Diabate and Traoré had left their village in Mali to go to Ivory Coast looking for enough money to afford a bicycle, but they were sold to a man who had paid 50,000 West African Francs (about £50) for the two boys and he wanted the money back – in labour. The boys from Sirkasso met about twenty others in the same predicament and learned that no one was ever paid. They slept in a rectangle-shaped mud hut that initially had windows but when some boys found they could escape during the night, the windows were sealed shut. Diabate and Traoré remember eating mostly bananas, though they would gobble up the cocoa beans, as others did, whenever they got the chance. Many months passed, and the boys forgot what the purpose had once been for this adventure. Life became a struggle to exist, then hardened to despair. They gave up thinking of escape. They were under constant threat of beatings if they were caught trying to flee – and they had seen several boys treated savagely – they were actually spooked by a belief that they were under a spell.

Read more in Carol Off’s book “Bitter Chocolate”

STOP THE TRAFFIK is calling for people everywhere of all ages to force the chocolate companies to give a guarantee that their chocolate is Traffik Free. Will they commit to print a “Traffik Free Guarantee” on chocolate bars so we can choose to buy chocolate that is not made through trafficked labour.

By March 25th “Freedom Day” we want the cocoa industry to have heard loud and clear from people everywhere that it is our right to eat “Traffik Free Guarantee” chocolate.

What can you do to get the Traffik Free Guarantee?

We want everyone to enjoy eating chocolate!

An easy way to start:

The only way chocolate companies will take action is if they see their expected branded chocolate sales drop.

The only way that we can stop the trafficking of children in the production of our chocolate bars is to change which ones we eat.

And here’s what to do next:

1 Take a poll amongst your friends in your work/school/community group by asking:
“Do you know that trafficked children are used in the production of chocolate?”
“Do you want to have a choice to buy Traffik Free chocolate?”
“Would you change your chocolate buying to make a difference?”

2 Add to STOP THE TRAFFIK “Traffik Free Guarantee” myspace - blog, pictures, videos - anything you are doing to inspire others.

3 Collect fair trade wrappers and make chains out of the wrappers of fair traded and ethically sourced chocolate and put them round a major building or landmark in your area. Let a local newspaper know you are doing it. Video what you are doing and put the video on YouTube and link it to our STOP THE TRAFFIK myspace.

4 Ask your supermarket and corner shop to stock fair trade/ethically sourced chocolate. Give them The STOP THE TRAFFIK Good Chocolate Guide. Use the draft letter we have put on the web site to shop managers and either send it as written or compose your own. Download the logo of the handprint and print it off on an A4 label (available from high street stationary shops), cut into stickers so shops could use them to highlight products that have a ‘Traffik Free Guarantee’. Or download the poster and see if your local shops that sell chocolate will be willing to join us and to put the poster up in their window.

5 Ask your supermarket to put the chocolate with a “Traffik Free Guarantee” next to the check-outs, so we stop impulse buying of chocolate that has beenproduced from trafficked labour.

6 Talk to hospital staff asking for Traffik Free Guaranteed chocolate in your vending machines/shops. Video the meeting and post it on YouTube with a link to STOP THE TRAFFIK’s myspace.

7 Send an SMS message to your friends telling them to only eat chocolate with the “Traffik Free Guarantee”.

8 Put a display on in your school, church, community group, showing the truth about cocoa slavery. Look at the E book 'Chaga And The Chocolate Factory' and ideas from the ‘Where's does all our chocolate come from? Fight for the Traffik Free Guarantee’ lesson plan.

9 Start a sign up list of your friends and neighbours who will pledge to only eat Traffik Free chocolate in the run up to Easter. Tell us the results on myspace.

10 Video yourself protesting next to a chocolate vending machine, handing out samples of Traffik Free chocolate or pictures or stickers etc.

11 Design and make your own t-shirts. Maybe you can make it a local competition and get everyone to fight for “Traffik Free Guarantee chocolate” and change their chocolate eating habits.

12 Talk to businesses in your area – ask them to change their choice of chocolate in their vending machine. Download the poster for them to put in their office/shop window and stock it with Traffik Free chocolate.

13 Ask your local MP whether he or she condemns the use of trafficked children on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast. Video the answer and post it on YouTube, linked to our myspace.

Fight for a Traffik Free Guarantee on chocolate

Fight for the freedom of those trafficked to cocoa farms

12,000 children may have a fighting chance of a different future if we choose to change what we eat.

www.stopthetraffik.org
sign the global declaration card
buy a STOP THE TRAFFIK key

STOP THE TRAFFIK Coordinating Team
Enquiries: [email protected]

1A Kennington Road, London SE1 7QP
+44 (0)20 7261 4650

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