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I just found out that 59 slaves work for me and my family.
I discovered this fact by taking a short 11-question survey at http://slaveryfootprint.org/. The cotton in my t-shirts, the materials in my iPad, and the chocolate in my Christmas candy may all have been at least in part the product of slave labor.
Modern slavery is a widespread problem that is difficult to pinpoint and eradicate, for many reasons. Most people associate the sex trade with human trafficking and modern slavery, but slave labor exists in other realms.
There are more slaves today than ever, and their labor exists in the supply chain of the consumer goods that so many of us cherish. Many reputable brands, including sources of our clothing, chocolate, coffee, and smart phones depend on slave labor for producing these goods more cheaply than could be done without such labor.
Often, such facts elicit guilt in us, but the point of being aware of the truths about modern slavery is not guilt, but rather taking action. We can be part of a modern-day abolitionist movement.
One action worth taking is to avoid purchasing products that are the result of slave labor, and buying from companies that have eradicated slavery from their supply chain.
To see more about these companies and how to contribute to the growth of modern-day abolitionism, go to http://madeinafreeworld.com/. This alone won’t solve the problem, but it is one small way to contribute to the abolition of modern slavery.
Author: Michael W. Austin, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Kentucky University.