January 24, 2021

Success! Costa Rica ratifies the Forced Labour Protocol

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By Carlo Ladd, Freedom United

November 22, 2020 News Digest
Freedom United campaign success as Costa Rica ratifies Forced Labour Protocol

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Ben & Jerry’s pledges to pay cocoa farmers living wage

In a bold move to address longstanding issues of exploitation and poverty in cocoa supply chains, ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s has committed to paying cocoa farmers in West Africa a living wage. The effort, which is supported by partnership with Fairtrade America, will pay farmers a premium to supplement the low wages they receive for their labor.

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INTERVIEW: Why does Freedom United use the term ‘modern slavery’?
In a fascinating in-depth interview with Neil Howard of Beyond Slavery and Trafficking for openDemocracy, our Executive Director Joanna Ewart-James discusses why we use the broad term “modern slavery” and argues that it is central to successfully mobilizing action against forced labor, forced marriage, and other forms of exploitation.
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Last week, I spoke at an online event in Italy on the importance of ratifying the Forced Labour Protocol. Forced labor in Italy—bolstered by organized crime—has become an increasingly serious problem over the past decade.

Despite having the highest rate of modern slavery among E.U. founding member states, it will soon be alone among these allies in its failure to ratify the Protocol; Luxembourg, the other outlier, is currently in the process of ratifying.

My comments were part of the online event “Mafia Vecchie e Nuove” (New and Old Mafias), itself part of Legalitria 2020, an annual national anti-mafia festival. Other speakers include Rosa Brignone, director of Freedom United partner organization Time for Equality, and Dino Mangialardi of Amnesty International.

Watch the event in Italian here (English subtitles available).

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