Thursday, March 10, 2011

Please Sign This Petition

Twelve-year-old Christian is an expert on gold.

That's because for several hours a day, he extracts gold from the ground of the Peruvian Sierra region – something he's done every day since he was seven. Christian knows the dynamite he uses each day is dangerous. He knows the cyanide he's forced to handle makes him sick.

Christian was profiled in a recent Anti-Slavery International report, and there are thousands of children like him forced to work in the perilous and exploitative gold industry. And the gold he mines becomes jewelry for sale in Target stores across the United States.

Gold is mined by child and slave labor in 17 countries around the world. Children as young as five have been found working in gold mines, and children under 14 are regularly forced to handle dangerous chemicals and perform backbreaking labor. Much of this gold ends up in jewelry and consumer electronics sold in the U.S.

To fight child labor in the gold industry, more than 70 national and international jewelry retailers have signed onto Earthworks' “No Dirty Gold” campaign, which helps companies avoid sourcing gold from mines that exploit children, enslave adults, or do significant environmental harm. Target is one of the few major jewelry retailers who has failed to commit to a higher standard.

That means Target is financially supporting the people who are exploiting children like Christian. Tell the company to cease its bad behavior.

After months of campaigning and tens of thousands of letters from members, Target representatives have agreed to "consider" joining the "No Dirty Gold" campaign. They say they'll talk with Earthworks, but they can't commit to anything.

While Target execs drag their feet, Christian and thousands of other young people keep working in gold mines.

We need Target to join the “No Dirty Gold” campaign and agree to stop supporting a gold industry that exploits children and enslaves adults. And we need them to do it now.

Tell Target to stand against dirty gold and child labor, and for kids like Christian around the world:

Thanks for taking action,

- Patrick and the team

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