Across the globe, it is estimated that at least 27 million million men, women, and children are still being economically exploited to produce goods that drive the global economy. That’s roughly the combined population of Australia and New Zealand, crikey!
The abuse spans several industries, plaguing production lines of everything from gold to coffee to clothing, sugar and bricks. Deceptive and coercive recruitment entraps unknowing victims; promises of fair wages and a better life veil the harsh reality of the situation they are entering. To recruit their victims, employers utilize tactics like debt bondage, where workers borrow money to pay various fees associated with their recruitment, and are unable to work off those debts in a reasonable amount of time.
Human trafficking is a business with supply and demand : and the demand is the customers.
Why consumers ?
When you buy a product, you essentially endorse it and everything that went into producing it. So if we as a society truly desire to eradicate human trafficking and modern slavery, then consumers play the key role in ending human trafficking and modern slavery. As consumers, we must explore and implement effective ways to dismantle all fronts – including all consumers activities that encourage and assist in exploitation.
Anyone can join in the fight against human trafficking. Here are ideas a regular person can do to foster a traffic-free world :
Check your modern slavery footprint
Be aware of the situation, analyze your slavery footprint and learn how products you buy are touched by modern day slavery.
2. Be a conscientious and informed consumer
Look up your favourite brands to see how they are doing in Good On You – the world’s largest consumer wide to ethical fashion brands.
Since its foundation in 2015, Good on You assessed over 3000 fashion brands on criteria for human rights, the environment and animal welfare.
3. Be a savvy consumer and only choose for products that are traffic-free
Look for the credible and independent certification such as fair trade, UTZ certified, and Rainforest Alliance are one of the key steps in eradicating human trafficking and modern slavery.
Slave labor is in the supply chains of the items we purchase. In order to end slavery right now, we must start prioritizing where we spend our money.
Shop with businesses that are transparent, examine their supply chains and buy fair trade or locally-sourced products. Support companies committed to paying a living wage and ensuring fair labor practices through your everyday purchases as a conscious consumer.
Basically, choose products that help people, not hurt them
4. Get involved locally
Unfortunately, human trafficking happens in every country in the world. Go deeper and find out who are the most vulnerable to exploitation, what kind of help is offered for survivors, and what your community is doing to eradicate this problem.
5. Spread awareness about human trafficking and modern slavery
Be aware that victims are hidden in plain sight and they can be any age, gender or nationality.
Check out our quick guide to examine the issue of modern slavery in our own communities
Use your power as a consumer to help end human trafficking and modern slavery and Support a Slave-Free Lifestyle in 2020.