Slavery is not a thing of the past, an antiquated practice implemented by people we only read about in history books. Slavery is relevant. It is real, and it is happening now. Slavery is a modern-day atrocity that affects all of us every single day.
It’s likely that this information isn’t new to you. Organizations are springing up left and right to combat the issue of modern-day slavery (otherwise known as human trafficking) and that is both good and necessary—there are an estimated 27 million people in bondage today, in places as far-reaching as Cambodia and Thailand and as nearby as Los Angeles and New York.
While the work done by these organizations is valiant and crucial, they need our help to eradicate modern-day slavery once and for all. Non-profits and organizations can provide the infrastructures to help rescue men, women, and children out of bondage, but they need us to join the fight by learning what products we might unintentionally be endorsing that are actually key components to keeping slavery alive.
So, what can we do to help eliminate slavery in our society?
Determine Our Slavery Footprint
Take the quiz on the Slavery Footprint website to see, as the site puts it, “how many slaves work for you.” This is an eye-opening exercise that allows us to shed some light on who is making our favorite products, working in our favorite restaurants, and stitching our favorite clothes.
Do Some Research
Find out which companies are reputable for using Fair Trade policies and practices—and, conversely, see which companies aren’t.
Put Research to Practice
Switch out the products you currently use for Fair Trade alternatives. Take a quick look at a label or at a website before purchasing an item to ensure that it was made without slave labor. Become a conscious consumer.
These practices are so basic and simple, but they can go a long way in eliminating modern-day slavery. By decreasing the demand for products that wouldn’t exist without slave labor, we can take a stand against human trafficking. We can use our purchasing power to express our desire for slavery to cease to exist, once and for all.
Image via Made In A Free World