Canyon Crest Academy was the first school in the district, and one of the first in California, to be recognized by the fair trade advocacy group.
“We are committed to fair trade education and activities, and we also source fair trade products from our school,” said Sarah Strasberg, one of the CCA students involved in the campaign.
The recognition comes from the Fair Trade Campaigns, which rewards cities, schools and other organizations across the country for promoting fair trade practices, according to its website.
Other schools that have been recognized by fair trade campaigns include Our Lady of Peace Academy and St. Martin of Tours Academy, as well as other organizations such as San Diego’s First Church of the Nazarene and St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.
Goals for CCA students include finding fair trade food in the cafeteria and working with elected leaders on laws that support international social justice.
“Our daily selection has ramifications around the world,” said Karthik Jandhyala, another of the CCA students involved in the campaign. “What we decide to buy or not to buy has a huge impact on the world. We must use this power for good to advance human rights around the world.”
The CCA’s fair trade campaign began in part with support for changes to the Alien Tort Act, which gives U.S. federal courts jurisdiction over certain claims filed by citizens of other countries for alleged violations of international law. The proposed amendment, called the Alien Torts Clarification Act, which was previously introduced in the US Senate, would give workers in other countries the right to sue US companies for human rights violations.
In a recent case, the US Supreme Court voted 8-1 to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that two US companies, Nestle and Cargill, aid and encourage child slavery by buying cocoa from the Ivory Coast. The lawsuit was filed by six people from Mali who said they were victims of human trafficking and being used as child slaves for cocoa production.
But the court ruled that for a case to be won under the Alien Tort Statute, “domestic conduct must be greater than the general corporate activities common to most corporations.”
“Almost all of the activities that they claim promoted and encouraged forced labor — providing training, equipment and cash to foreign farmers — took place in Côte d’Ivoire,” the court concluded. “Reference to general corporate activity such as ‘simply corporate presence’…does not establish a sufficient link between the cause of action sought by respondents and domestic behavior.”
“I want to do my part to prevent this from happening,” said CCA student Chloe Godard.
The students met with Senator Scott Peters and a member of Senator Alex Padilla’s office. They also applied what they had learned in other lessons.
“It’s important for me to strike a balance between being entrepreneurial and being ethical,” said Ding Le, a CCA student.
“Especially with so many of us being high school students and we are graduating this year, it was great to see the juniors and juniors have stepped up,” said CCA student Joyce Lin, “and we hope this club, campaign and honest The trade movement will develop even further after we graduate.”