We might say, this is year 2013, how can slavery still exist in the world?
Have you heard of cotton slavery in Uzbekistan? Do you know the source of cotton used by manufacturers of the clothes you wear?
Have you ever wondered what gives the lovely glitter on your cosmetics? Do you know that the glitter, derived from a mineral named mica, is beaten out of stones in India by child slaves?
Not convinced? Would you have guessed that slavery also happens in Canada? No, not the one in the 1800s. Many Asians, Eastern Europeans and Latin Americans legally immigrated to Canada only to find themselves being exploited and forced to work much longer hours in agricultural and processing plants. Some of the raw materials from slavery in Canada currently include aluminum, jade, platinum and tungsten.
Human trafficking activities are rampant all over the world to supply labour to diverse industries, such as sex trade, mining, plantations, street begging, drug smuggling and the list goes on. The slaves live under constant threats of physical abuse and their documents confiscated.
Take this survey on slavery footprint and you will know how many slaves are possibly working for you. Do pull out the bar on the left to fine tune your results to get a more accurate and fair result. You will also see a personal break-down of areas you could improve on and habits that you might want to consider adjusting.
If we consciously keep track of information on sources of products we use and choose to be discerning consumers, we are chipping in to ending of slavery.
Worried that they will be out of jobs and lose their livelihood when slavery ends? Just ask yourself, if you were a slave, what would you want?
One more thing, if we are obsessed with buying that newest “it” bag or that latest gadget, we may carelessly become urban slaves of materialism.