As far back as humanity goes, people have bought, sold, and enslaved other people.
“But not anymore right? Didn’t we abolish slavery in the 19th century? I know there are people and children who still work in questionable conditions. Sweatshops and the like. But buying, selling, and trafficking human beings? Surely that is something that only happens in wildly different cultures, far from my influence?”
The truth is there are 27 million slaves in the world today.
The highest number of slaves than at any other point in human history. And no matter how good you think you’re being, if you own any modern appliance or wear clothing, chances are those products have been touched by a slave somewhere in the world.
That smart phone. That T-shirt, computer, cup of coffee… That’s all stuff we buy, and that’s all stuff that comes from slaves.
It’s called the supply chain, and the fact of the matter is that brands (even reputable brands we know and love) don’t or can’t always know where the materials in their products come from. What about the cotton in that T-shirt? The tantalum in that smart phone? The beans in that cup of coffee?
That’s where you find the slaves. In the fields. In the mines. In the raw materials processing. These are people forced through violence into labour without pay, without choice, without rights, and without a voice.
They’re working for me. And they’re working for you too.
That’s where The Slavery Footprint comes in. It is an online survey (that I believe everyone should take) thats central objective is to raise awareness of the issue, and get people engaged in the fight against slavery.
In a very interactive and funky way (not that that’s important) it breaks down your “slavery footprint” by the products you use, and asks questions about your lifestyle and consumer habits: How large is your living space? What kind of food do you like? How many cars do you drive?
My score was 62.
Depressing and enlightening at the same time.