Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking Advocate for Slave-Free Seafood Label

December 1, 2017 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Tocommemorate the United Nations International Day for the Abolition of Slaveryon December 2, 2017, the Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against HumanTrafficking (CCOAHT) is askingseafood producers, distributors and seafood retailers to make public, throughpackaged product labeling, their efforts to fight human trafficking in theirproduct supply chains. According to CCOAHT, consumers are not receiving enoughinformation needed to make moral purchasing decisions.

CCOAHT,which is facilitated by Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conferenceof Catholic Bishops, consists of over 30 national and international Catholicagencies working to eliminate the plight of trafficked victims. Its pursuit ofethical consumerism seeks to echo the Vatican's commitment to "proof" its ownsupply chains from slave labor.

To support therequest for slave-free seafood labels, CCOAHT distributed a survey to itsnetworks, asking consumers if slave-free labeling would affect purchases. Over2,200 people responded and the results showed that 99% of consumers wantcompanies to take steps to engage in ethical business practices, 98% want theirpackaged seafood to be labeled, and 97% said labels would influence theirpurchasing decisions. 

"Catholicsare becoming increasingly aware of the collective power they possess asconsumers to press for positive change in the lives of those who catch our fish.As my CCOAHT colleagues have remarked, 'we are asking the seafood industry todo better. The companies that do will be supported by consumers'", said HilaryChester, Director of Anti-Trafficking at the U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops.

Theconsumer survey built upon a 2016 Lenten postcard campaign organized by CCOAHT.  Members' networks mailed 15,000 postcards toU.S. seafood retailers urging them to examine their supply chains and commit toa product free of slave labor. CCOAHTmembers will highlight survey data in upcoming dialogue with seafood supplychain shareholders.

Foradditional details about Labeling for Lent, refer to: Consumers Want the Choice to BuySlave-Free Seafood.

Keywords: U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Coalition of Catholic organizationsAgainst Human Trafficking (CCOAHT), Migration and Refugee Services, Vatican,United Nations InternationalDay for the Abolition of Slavery, seafood producers, distributors, retailers,human trafficking, product supply chains, slave labor, seafood labels, ethicalbusiness practices, Catholic consumers, Hilary Chester, Lenten PostcardCampaign, survey data.


Media Contact:
Judy Keane