The number of Americans aware of the abuses of child slavery grows daily, and Immaculata High School students are instrumental in informing people of this issue. The over 250 million enslaved children worldwide are not forgotten, hundreds of organizations are working to win their freedom.
In 1997, under the guidance of Dr. Joseph Muzas, the Technology Director at Immaculata, the US History II honor class developed a web page and newsletter entitled Child Slave Labor News. Class of 98 students, Chris O'Hare and John DeRosa spearheaded the program. The original website, created and designed by Michael Romero also received much positive feedback. Columbia University, Florida International University and University of Michigan are just a few of the schools that have contacted Immaculata in support of their program. The website was redesigned by Class of '06 student Matthew Tom-Wolverton in Nov. 2005 to update the look and feel of the site. The students maintain contact with dozens of labor groups and others fighting this evil in society. Thanks to Miss Irene Mageletta's purchase and donation of a publisher program the students were able to create an impressive newsletter. Thanks also to Mr. William Shanahan, of Shanahan Stationary Supplies (shanahans.net), for publishing all the issues at no charge.
In late November 1998, the National Labor Committee had a candlelight prayer protest in front of NIKETOWN and DISNEY on 57th street in NYC. Immaculata student newsletters were handed out at this protest - hundreds of the Child Slave Labor News were distributed. The students have received a few dozen comments from that rally. Louise Thompson, of Madison Avenue, NYC remarked: "It is splendid! How can I subscribe?" Adrienne Henson of the Bronx also wrote requesting a subscription and more information. The newsletter has really evolved under last year's editor Donna Rossi. She and her various assistant editors deserve credit for assuring the professional level of the newsletter.
One goal of the newsletter is to make people aware of alternatives "It is possible to buy distinctive gifts without endangering the welfare of others." said Class of 99 student Margee McDonald, "For example, how about handmade jewelry and dreamcatchers. Aspen Trading Post is a company based in Colorado that makes these items available. You can access them on the internet at http://www.aspentradingpost.com. Many people enjoy giving cuddly stuffed animals to their sweetheart. Avoid large companies that produce their toys in foreign countries. Teddy bears are available through British Motoring Teddy Bears at www.tiac.net. This company, based in Massachusetts, sells handmade original bears." Classmate Steve Hawryluk offers this alternative to child slave labor "In today's world, many of the goods bought by consumers in every country are produced through methods of child slave labor. However, there is one organization involved in putting an end to this terrible act. This company is called Rugmark (rugmark.org), an international program attempting to end child slave labor in the the production of carpets in factories in South Asia."
Class of 99 student Ed Fisher, in his research on Chentex , a contract company used by Wal-Mart, Kmart and JC Penny, learned "...so-called employees of Chentex are actually slave laborers, they are forced to work overtime and are locked inside the factory compound These workers earn a base wage of .19 cents an hour, and work 12 hour workdays 6 or 7 days a week." Brett Peterson, a class of 99 student, summarized the purpose of the newsletter: "Many people do not know how prominent child slave labor is in today's society. Small children and adolescents are carrying out horrific lifestyles all over the world. Our purpose is to bring this problem to people who may not be familiar with the extent of child slave labor or even know that it exists."
More and more people are helping these victims of modern slavery. Some states, cities and counties are taking action to ban the purchase of goods made by slaves. The archdiocese of Newark is currently working on forbidding the purchase of any slave made goods in its parishes. By the year 2000 all contracts in the archdiocese will have the anti-slave clause in them. Take this hint from the students of Immaculata: " be an aware shopper, look at labels, avoid buying products that are imported from countries that support slave labor, especially child slave labor."
The purpose of this website is to give users instant access to the news that we find out, and to keep the user informed with assorted information, including various links and organizations to contact.
We strive to provide truthful and accurate information about the conditions of labor all around the world. We invite any individual or company to question our material and correct us, as long as they provide the proof that we are incorrect. All material has come from reputable sources and checked in every manner possible.
Information for each article is obtained off the Internet and from publications by organizations fighting slave labor.