Here’s the truth: 27 to 30 million individuals are enslaved worldwide. And no, it’s not just “poor wages” or “unfair conditions”. It’s true slavery.  If you’re not one of those roughly 30 million people, you have a duty to stop enslaving them… “Wait? What?” You exclaim, “But I’m not enslaving anybody!” That’s true to a certain extent —  and it’s also very untrue.You may not have known you were enslaving possibly 60 people a day. But now that you know better, you can do better.

So before we get to specific solutions, take a look at this TED Talk from Kevin Bales  so you can get a feel for the problem:

 KEVIN BALES : HOW TO COMBAT SLAVERY 

So Kevin doesn’t specify what you should or shouldn’t buy in your everyday life, but he does get to the heart of the problem which is,

What he’s describing is an economic problem which becomes an “economic crime”. Notice how Kevin says these are people who cannot walk away. This is “real slavery” and those affected have “no pay”.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW 

So how can you help? How can you do everything in your power to end this problem? The answer is simple:  DON’T BUY ANYTHING  WHICH HARMS.  It’s the central theme of our CARE Concept.  Look at everything you buy and decide if it hurts or helps.  Here’s a starting place…

TOP PRODUCTS THAT HARM

This video discusses some of the products above in more detail… 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Review everything you buy and try not to buy so much “stuff”. (Do you really need the ‘latest’ iPhone?) Know that when you unconsciously buy anything, you are most likely supporting slavery… The bottom line is that you must be aware of what you are buying and caring about how it affects people. When it comes to certain products like coffee, chocolate or even fish, you want to look for fair for life and fair trade labels. When it comes to textiles and fabric, you want to avoid “fast fashion” and look for companies that take accountability and describe in detail their sourcing/manufacturing practices. THE BOTTOM LINE IS: WHAT YOU BUY MATTERS AND CHANGES THE WORLD.

PS:  This article describes how half of the world’s slaves are located in India.

PSS:  This map shows where the slaves live worldwide and also describes how the “world’s most vulnerable populations for enslavement is Haitian children…”

Because we haven’t been able to discuss all the products that harm (and more importantly – their manufacturers!), we will soon be featuring a more detailed article on specific products and companies you need to boycott…Stay tuned!

 
The featured image is a photograph from Lisa Kristine’s modern slavery collection. Lisa is a humanitarian photographer. Her work is beautiful and you can check out her full collection here.
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