Modern Slavery (And What To Do About it)
"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right." - Martin Luther King Jr.
Photo by Parij Borgohain
Human rights are at the core of everything I've built here. And the fight is far from over.
People today, all over the world, are still enslaved.
Credible reports show slavery, human trafficking and debt bondage are unequivocally present in the home decor industry.
The Facts To Back It Up
Organizations like the Guardian and Unicef, the Asia Foundation, Stop Child Labor, the Walk Free Foundation and Forbes report prolific use of child labor in the rug and cotton industries.
SOMOAmsterdam reports in its fact sheet that children are employed at all stages of the supply chain in the textile industry. It reports countries most notorious for this include India, the Ukraine, China, Bangladesh, Egypt, Thailand and Pakistan.
Even the US Dept. of Labor has an official report on forced labor and child labor by industry and by region across the globe.
Who Buys This Crap? (We Do)
The worst part is, according to Unicef, that one of the leading buyers of these slavery-made items is the US.
Many of us buy things from retailers trusting their "ethical" by default. But that's simply not always true.
Most retailers do have policies against these practices. But due to complexities of supply chains, slavery is so easy hide.
Accountability Hub reports for example that the manufacturers in India know these practices are illegal, but continue because it's profitable and prosecution rates for these crimes is very low.
Simple Ways To Help
1. A Healthy Dose of Skepticism
To start, we can all start having a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to product ethics.
It's time to start asking where our products are coming from and why they are so cheap.
If we can't answer the question, try to seek out something you can verify.
2. Find Fair Trade Goods
To be considered fair trade, a manufacturer must comply with regular audits to ensure (among other things) NO forced labor or child labor is in use.
Fair Trade products are also an awesome way to find products that are also eco-friendly and work toward ending poverty. So it's a win-win.
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Home Decor For Human Rights
Not Boring Home offers ethically made home decor, impacting lives across the globe. Every single purchase helps support orphan care and human rights.