Blog Articles

By - Brian Iselin

Published : 17-07-2018

Slavery; A Billion dollar industry and how to end it.

Man, as witnessed through history, is his own worst enemy and nowhere has this been truer than in the practice and use of slaves and slavery. Since the days of Mesopotamia where records indicated the use of such tactics dating back to ancient people, we have found ways to take parts of our species and subject them to working under duress.

The world has seemingly turned a blind eye to slavery since the abolishing of slavery in America in 1865 with an unsaid consensus that the worst was behind us but thanks to research and courageous journalism we now know otherwise.

Currently, 46 million people are living in slavery.

46 MILLION!! ….To put that into perspective that’s the populations of Iceland, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Serbia, Austria, Switzerland, Israel, Singapore, Denmark, Norway, Congo, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Mauritania, Jamaica, Namibia, Qatar, Lesotho, Latvia and fourteen other nations COMBINED!! We, in essence, are talking about more than a third of the world’s countries in Chains, literal and metaphorical.

To better understand slavery a definition has to be stated and agreed upon so as to avoid the ‘Grey area’ argument. Slavery refers to any situation in which an individual is forced to work against their own will. This definition creates a broad umbrella under which a lot of systems of operation fall under; from archaic buying and selling of slaves for households to the spider web-like slavery in modern industry and it is in the latter where our organization intends to end the vicious state of affairs.

Industrialization that was started as a way to take man to the next level of productivity and development has proved to be the single most biggest propagator of slavery. When the age of industrialization began, the idea was to increase efficacy and reduce cost of production but as is with most good intentions it got corrupted in the end. The push for profits has made corporations to look for shortcuts in the production process legally or otherwise that undoubtedly almost always leaves a trail of blood, pain and suffering at some point.

In response to this, slavefreetrade’s mission is to eradicate modern slavery by enabling and motivating business to clean slavery from their supply chains. We do this by informing and mobilizing consumers, investors, suppliers, insurers, and governments to demand slave-free products. Our mission to enable business to clean up their supply chains is for them to achieve a level of integrity whereby their products and services can be certified as slave-free.

This is not just empty rhetoric either; a systematic analysis of the Company’s/ies’ chain will begin from the very bottom; at the source of the raw materials that are used to make the end product. Ever since the discovery of slavery in the Cocoa fields of West Africa in early 20th Century there was a realization amongst the more socially aware of the impact of modern commercial activities on the population around the area where the raw materials where being extracted, these practices were later on found to have been mirrored in Asia, Eastern Europe, South America and parts of North America. The realization of the rapid spread and seeming ignorance to the epidemic that this was causing caused a small group of scholars and human rights activists to take up the fight against corporations that were perpetuating these practices.

Unfortunately these practices have not ended and few companies are willing to even look into their production chains to root out this unjust practice all because of profit. To put it into perspective here’s a few figures;

  • Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90.
  • Modern slavery is a multibillion-dollar industry with estimates of up to $35 billion generated annually.
  • People in forced labor lose at least $21bn each year in unpaid wages and recruitment fees.
  • The International Labor Organization calculates that 90% of the 21 million are exploited by individuals or companies, while 10% are forced to work by the state, rebel military groups, or in prisons under conditions that violate ILO standards.

These are shocking statics by themselves, now add the fact that most people in modern slavery are women and children and we have a situation with unfathomable repercussions socially let alone financial.

Slavefreetrade believes it is time we put issues like these in the past and help foster a world where everybody is emancipated and companies respect humanity and human rights. Slavefreetrade’s mission aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development goal 8.7 and is to eradicate modern slavery by enabling and motivating business to clean slavery from their supply chains. We do this by informing and mobilising consumers, investors, suppliers, insurers, and governments to demand slave-free products.