Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Responsible Consumerism and Human Trafficking

When I started thinking about doing a "buy nothing new" year, I knew that I felt very strongly about not supporting manufacturers that have oppressive and dangerous working conditions, but I really didn't know the full extent of the mistreatment (to put it lightly) that some of these factories exact on their workers.

Apparently, there are 12.3 million people in forced labour or sexual servitude in the world at any given time. 12.3 million people in slavery! According to the International Organization for Migration, human trafficking (better known for its role in sexual exploitation) is also driven by the demand for cheap labor around the world.

Here's a short article about IOM's "Buy Responsibly" campaign:

and some good information (with interactive map!) about what's behind some of the most common products we buy:

This definitely motivates me to not only continue my "buy nothing new" year, but also to make sure I'm looking for that Fair Trade label on the food I purchase.

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