Slavery Still Exists - Here's What YOU Can Do About It

The Walk Free Foundation has created a sobering new interactive report on global slavery. The website greets visitors with this message: “Each year, Walk Free’s Global Slavery Index will produce the most detailed global picture of the numbers of enslaved people available. The Index will also identify factors that shed light on the risk of modern slavery in each country and examine the strength of government responses in tackling this issue.”

An interactive map shows the prevalence of slavery in different countries, creating a powerful visual of a real problem. The index is based on three factors: estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population, a measure of child marriage, and a measure of human trafficking in and out of a country.

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The Index estimates that there are 30 million slaves in the world — more than half of them are in prominent emerging markets like India, China and Russia. The report is attempting to make slavery easier to quantify, so as to put more pressure on companies not to go along with it, per Quartz. In essence, bring the problem out in to the open and make it known.

Some examples of modern slavery on the radar include conflict metals, substances like tin and tungsten, used in electronics. Often they are mined in the conflict-heavy Democratic Republic of the Congo.

According to Quartz, “The US Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a rule forcing American firms to trace the minerals they use to their origins, and while business lobbies have sued to overturn it, industry leaders have begun planning to file the first required reports in May 2014.” That’s a step in the right direction.

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Here’s a few steps you can take to be a part of the solution:

  • Be smart about your smartphone – just because you can upgrade your phone doesn’t mean you need to. Lend your support to the Fairphone and know you’re getting an ethically-made product.
  • When it comes to clothing, try out second hand shops, clothing swaps or fair trade stores.
  • Visit the Walk Free website for a large list of actions you can take now.
  • Share these steps with two friends, and ask them to do the same.

 Image Source: deptfordjon/Flickr

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