Modern slavery is been practised across the world contrary to popular belief. With individual and collective actions from everyone, the right to freedom can be enjoyed by all.
The most recent global slavery index estimates that there are 40.3 million women, men and children caught up in it, of whom 24.9 million are in forced labour and 15.4 million living in forced marriages. One in four victims of modern slavery is a child.
But what exactly is modern slavery?
It is the control of one person by another for economic exploitation, sexual use or psychological benefit, involving forced labour exploitation, forced sexual exploitation, forced marriage, state-imposed forced labour, forced child labour or child soldiering.
Traffickers may be family members, employers or strangers, but each exploits the vulnerability of victims are motivated by low risk and high reward.
In order to detect, investigate, prosecute and eliminate modern slavery, here’s what you can do;
Learn from survivors:
Survivors have first-hand experience of the tactics used by slave traders and what it takes to escape slavery. Using their experience and wisdom, anti-slavery advocates can improve their services across disciplines, from rescue tactics and rehabilitation to identifying root causes of vulnerability and situations where the risk for abuse increases.
A good place to start is to understand what’s happening in your own country and locality. Whether you have been interested in modern slavery for a while or you first learnt about modern slavery today, now is the time to broaden your knowledge and build your awareness. There is a wealth of resources on the internet to tap into.
Support anti-slavery organisations:
Like any other cause that becomes important to you, one of the biggest things you can do is get behind the people who have been fighting this battle for a while. They’re the ones with the experience and the network to make an impact on your behalf. In the fight against Modern Slavery, there are a plethora of organisations to choose from.
Use your voice and speak up:
When issues are this big and this complex, they require us to come together. And when we unite as a people against a common cause then anything is possible. You can take that a step further by sharing campaigns with your own social network and having conversations with your immediate friends and family.
Ask questions at your local council, place of work and if you run a business, then it may be time to look at your own processes. It might get a bit uncomfortable as sometimes the truth hurts and it’s difficult to hold up the mirror with absolute integrity and honesty. But a huge cause of slavery is a lack of transparency, so until we start being truly honest with ourselves it’s likely nothing will change.
Support with your wallet:
If cash is king then let’s use our money to support businesses and organisations that are progressive in their attempts to treat everyone in their supply chain with dignity and respect.
Shop ethically both onsite and online:
Slavery is everywhere. It is in the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the products we use. It is woven into complex supply chains, making it difficult for companies to identify. Identify the products that are at high risk of slavery – coffee, chocolate, fish, fast fashion, palm oil – and make an effort to buy from brands that have slave-free supply chains.
Finally, reach out to your government representatives. It is their job to listen to and represent you. Tell them what you know about modern slavery and ask what they and their government are doing to combat modern slavery.
Do you have any question or comment? Please share with us in the comment section.