Demand That Mondelez End Child Labor in Cocoa Production

There have been many efforts across decades to hold major cocoa companies legally and otherwise accountable for their ongoing use of child labor in their supply chains. But these companies persist in prioritizing short-term profits fueled by the cheap labor of exploited children and ignore the considerable negative long-term financial impacts of their persistent violation of human rights.
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Our Goal

Tulipshare and Advance ESG request that the Mondelez Board of Directors comply with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 by taking immediate and effective measures to eradicate child labor from the company’s supply chain by 2025. This includes a request that the Board of Directors issue a public report within one year of Mondelez’s 2023 annual meeting describing if, and how, Mondelez’s Cocoa Life program, Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS), and planned implementation steps will put the company on course to eradicate child labor in all forms from the company’s supply chain by 2025.

Why It's Important

Despite industry promises to the contrary, child labor in the cocoa producing industry has been steadily increasing. A recent US Department of Labor-funded study found that 1.56 million children are harvesting cocoa in Ghana and Cote D’Ivore. This is two decades after the major cocoa companies promised to end their reliance on child labor in the 2001 Harkin-Engel Protocol. Many children are trafficked from Mali and Burkina Faso to work under slavery-like conditions. Forced child labor routinely results in extreme bodily and mental harm, and in nearly every case, it cuts children off from schooling and health care, restricting their fundamental rights and threatening their futures. Moreover, United Nations officials estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these issues, funnelling millions of children into the workforce, including ten-year-olds working on cocoa plantations in West Africa.

This clear violation of human rights also adversely impacts a corporation's ESG ratings, thereby inhibiting investors, worsening their risk management, increasing their costs, reducing their revenues and lowering their share price. With blockchain and distributed ledger technology, companies now have a safe and transparent tool to effectively monitor and police their supply chains and there is no longer any financial excuse for forced child labor to be a part of any company's supply chain. Studies have documented that implementing a progressive child labor policy has an overall positive effect on revenue.

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