SIGN A PETITION DEMANDING THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RELEASE ITS LIST OF SLAVE-MADE PRODUCTS!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Lisette Arsuaga 213-365-1906 ext 118

In 1998, when the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) first opened its doors in Los Angeles, few people in the U.S. were aware that slavery was still alive and well in the modern, Western world. There was no comprehensive policy or legislation to combat human trafficking on our soil, and social services for survivors of modern-day slavery were hard to come by.

Now, more than 10 years later, the movement to end human trafficking has taken tremendous strides. Legislation has been put into place—thanks, in no small part to the work of supporters, clients, and staff of CAST—that safeguard the rights of trafficking victims. The most ground breaking of these, was the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, whose revision by Congress in 2005, among other things, stipulated that the Department of Labor provide a public list of “problem” products that may be produced by slave labor. This list never materialized, and in 2008, the TVPA was again revised, giving the department a deadline of one year to make the list public.

It is now the middle of 2009. Still, there is no public list.

But, a list does exist. Polaris Project's Executive Director Mark Lagon saw it, back when he was the US’s active anti-trafficking Ambassador. In an editorial, written as part of his campaign demanding the Department of International Affairs and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis release this list, Lagon says:

“I know the list has been examined by US Embassies and US diplomats loathe to complicate our relations with other governments by suggesting slave labor exists in certain sectors of their economies… [but the publication of this list] puts pressure on all companies in a sector to make sure they don’t have slave labor in their supply chain.”

It is imperative that the American public know where trafficked and slave labor exists in our supply chain. Only then, can we use our consumer power to support companies that are slavery-free—and withhold our dollars from companies whose products are made on the backs of slaves.

Please, join CAST in signing this petition demanding Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and the Department of International Affairs release this long overdue, slave-made goods list.

Sign the petition below!