Monday 3 June 2013

How many slaves work for you?

A tough question for a Monday morning, sure. But it's one that shouldn't be ignored. It's a hard truth that many of the raw materials and manufacturing processes on which we rely use slavery in some form or another, either as indentured workers or through debt bondage and economic migrancy gone wrong.

If you're a consumer, then at some point some products in your household have been touched by slavery. If you're a geek, like me, with a ton of gadgets in the house, or cotton clothing in the wardrobe
, or if you like prawns or bananas, or have a tin can in the food cupboard, then you are housing products of slavery. It's pointless to deny it.

It's important to know more about the role slavery still plays in the world, which is why I spent an eye-opening five minutes on Slavery Footprint. It takes you through the contents of your life, from clothes to food to technology, the car you drive, the bicycle you pedal so proudly to the station in the morning. Got kids? Well, they need feeding and clothing, and I bet they have a cupboard full of toys.

The friendly graphical interface takes you through everything, allowing you to finetune the results, before dropping a bomb on your head. Me? I like to think I lead a good life, with a low global impact. I took the survey, answering honestly.

53 slaves work for me.

Once the awful truth has dawned, you're given the chance to find out more, and maybe do something about it. But we should not be complacent. Slavery is still a major force in the global workplace, and our blithe ignorance of that fact doesn't make it any less real or shocking. I urge you to give Slavery Footprint a go, and find out just what your comfortable life is built on.

Slavery Footprint

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