Every so often, stories break about the illegal, degrading working conditions of people who make things that we normally take for granted. These stories are headlined with images of starving children working in mines, or with workers locked into tiny bunks after completing 12-hour workdays, and readers are reminded that their new clothes didn’t just come from a rack at the retail store.
Thanks to globalization, children who work in forced labor practices exist in a world so close to ours, and many times, we are reliant on their labor. 25% of the fish they catch is sold in Europe and North America, and a lot of the minerals used in household products are mined in Asia and Africa.
However, no one wants to think about the conditions in which their laundry detergent or t-shirts were made, but Made in a Free World wants businesses and consumers to adjust their consumption habits and stop seeing human rights abuses as “someone else’s problem.” This anti-slavery organization takes action to labor injustice by bringing public attention to the worldwide prevalence of child and bonded labor through partnerships with businesses and consumers.
Made in a Free World helps businesses and consumers understand the reality of their purchases by using their trademarked supply chain transparency tool, FRDM. Upon analysis, companies can use theses results to adjust their own consumption habits and reduce their slavery footprint.
Made in a Free World attacks the issue of slave labor from both the supply and demand sides to cultivate long lasting change. They work to help free slave laborers and provide them with resources, but also to educate companies about the danger of working with suppliers who abuse labor practices.
Take the eye opening and interactive quiz on Made in a Free World’s website called How Many Slaves Work For You? . The quiz asks users questions on consumption habits and often times, quiz takers are shocked to see their results. Just because we can’t see injustices in another country doesn’t mean it isn’t happening, and we have to change the westernized “out of sight, out of mind” mentality starting here.
By juxtaposing questions about personal consumption habits with habits from people in developing countries, quiz takers are reminded of their privilege. It’s not meant to disenfranchise users, but to inspire them to make a difference and by contributing to Made in a Free World, the lives of these children can be directly impacted.
As a result, Made in a Free World has spread awareness to slave labor, and liberated children from back-breaking labor in developing countries with sustainable solutions.
If you want to learn more about Made in a Free World, you can check out their page on the Universal Giving Website.