Consider for a moment what you would do if you found a letter from a victim of human trafficking in one of the items you bring home from a local discount store. While we often think of those being trafficked as women who are forced to work as prostitutes or who are kidnapped and brought from one country to another. However, those who are forced to work in conditions that provide less than a living wage are also victims of human trafficking.
So, what exactly would you do with a letter in your hand, like the one Julie Keith found in her Halloween decorations?
Here are our suggestions.
- Send copies of the letter to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch as well as other labor watch groups.
- Contact newspapers and other media, so that other people in your community can learn about the same injustices that you have uncovered.
- Make the choice to take a stand. This does not mean rushing to the country where the laborer works. Instead it means that you avoid purchasing items that you are not confident have been ethically made.
- In lieu of purchasing more items and contributing to the continued exploitation of workers overseas, make the choice to buy second hand items when possible.
- If you must buy new, choose ethically sourced items that have met the rigorous guidelines for that certification. You can feel confident that items were not made by those who were exploited.
Your purchasing choices will impact the business owners who are exploiting their workers because as demand drops, those business people will be forced to do better. It is time for shoppers to make their voices heard when it comes to forced labor.
The purchases you make from Shop To Stop Slavery endorsed companies are free from forced labor. Check out the stores we endorse here.