Made in Slavery
Do you remember the first time you applied for a job or maybe when you applied for your DREAM job? This opportunity meant hope! It meant independence! You suddenly have this hope of working towards something that you enjoy doing, are good at, and are able to provide for yourself and your family. It’s exciting to think about your new workspace, coworkers, and environment!
But, what if when you got there, it wasn’t what you expected...
The job you read about and applied for is not the one you’re being trained for. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
You now find yourself working 12-14 hours per day in inhuman conditions with little to no pay. For millions of people, this narrative is a serious reality.
Did you know that the coffee you’re drinking, clothing or jewelry you’re wearing, or the electronics you use, could have been made by a slave?
Victims of labor trafficking make an alarmingly high number of consumer goods and food products that are imported to the United States and produced domestically. What we might not realize is that along the supply chain of the products and services we purchase, there could be practices of forced labor.
Stated by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, “As economies around the world integrate, it is faster and easier for goods produced with forced labor to enter the global market. In the U.S., labor traffickers exploit and enslave both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens.”
When we buy items and services made with slave labor, (because it benefits our wallets) we provide labor traffickers with a profit incentive.
In non-fancy terms...we could be supporting modern-day slavery. Yikes! The good news is that it doesn’t have to stay that way! How? By buying fair trade.
Fair trade is an approach to business that ensures respectful work environments, safe work conditions, and fair and prompt pay.
Before purchasing food, products, or clothing, look into the integrity of your favorite companies and hold them accountable to fair trade standards.
By buying fair trade, you decrease the demand for slave labor!
How do you know if what you’re purchasing is fair trade? Great question. There are many ways to find out. Like previously stated, you can look into the business practices of the company in question by going to their website and seeking out that information.
You can keep a lookout for the fair trade logo on items you purchase. When you shop, I highly encourage you to look for any of these logos:
We can exercise due diligence in our purchasing choices by being mindful of the effects they have on labor trafficking victims. We can fight for them by not supporting the practices against them.
To learn more about fair trade, visit these sites:
To learn more about labor trafficking, visit: https://humantraffickinghotline.org/type-trafficking/labor-trafficking