(PRWEB) March 10, 2002
Free the Slaves
For Immediate Release:
Slavery Expert Interviewed on Child Slavery in Cocoa Industry on Dateline
-- Historic Protocol Signed by Cocoa Industry to Eradicate Slavery --
Washington DC Â March 8, 2002: Free the Slaves, a non-profit organization dedicated to the eradication of slavery worldwide, announced that its director, Kevin Bales, will be appearing on the NBC television show Dateline, Sunday, March 10rd to discuss child slavery on cocoa farms in West AfricaÂs Ivory Coast. (The show was originally scheduled to broadcast March 3rd.)
Dr. Kevin Bales, the worldÂs leading expert on contemporary slavery, was an adviser to the filmmakers who produced ÂSlavery: A Global InvestigationÂÂthe Peabody Award winning documentary that first broke the story of slavery in cocoa in September 2000. Based on BalesÂ Pulitzer nominated book, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy, the documentary includes footage of Malian boys recently rescued from slavery in the Ivory Coast, an interview with their slaveholder and a hidden camera view of the filmmakers going undercover to buy two young slaves from Mali.
Â Most people donÂt know that there are over 27 million slaves today,Â stated Bales. ÂAnd many slave-made goods enter the United States unbeknownst to the companies and consumers that purchase them.Â
The chocolate industry responded to the news of child slavery on cocoa farms in Africa by putting together a comprehensive protocol that lays out a specific timetable to determine the extent of the problem and to establish a system ensuring that cocoa is grown without abusive child labor or forced labor practices.
Â Our industry is working closely with elected officials and experts in agriculture, development, labor and child welfare issuesÂhere in the U.S., in Europe and in AfricaÂ, remarked Larry Graham, President of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association. ÂTheir support will help us achieve our goals.Â
ÂItÂs a historic breakthrough that an entire industry has banded together and formed a partnership to eradicate slaveryÂ, continued Bales. ÂWhatÂs most unique about the protocol is that it includes all stakeholders working in collaborationÂthe cocoa industry, U.S. and Ivory Coast governments, organized labor and non-governmental agencies such as Free the Slaves. IÂm confident that the cocoa industry is on board to make a difference.Â
For more information on Free the Slaves or child slavery in the cocoa industry, visit http://www.freetheslaves.net or call (202) 588-1865.