ALBANY, N.Y. October 14, 2009 - New York State United Teachers has launched a statewide initiative to raise educators' awareness of Reverse Trick-or-Treating, an annual campaign highlighting child labor abuses and social justice issues. Through the initiative, union leaders hope to inspire classroom discussions about the prevalence of child labor worldwide, and the importance of social justice and fair trade.
The concept of Reverse Trick-or-Treating is simple: On Halloween night, after receiving a "treat," trick-or-treaters offer a gift in return - a small, fair-trade chocolate bar and a card promoting the use of fairly traded products.
"This program gives teachers the opportunity to involve students and community members in a truly worthwhile social justice cause, particularly with regard to child labor," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi, explaining that forced child labor is still common in cocoa production overseas.
"It's our hope that teachers will use this campaign to educate students about child labor and show how purchasing fairly traded products speaks out against the practice," said NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Lee Cutler, who is working to introduce the program into New York schools. "We want to help students see beyond their own communities and realize that we're all a part of one world, a global community."
Reverse Trick-or-Treating is an initiative of the human rights advocacy group Global Exchange. For more information visit www.reversetrickortreating.org.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state's community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.