Gallery: How Many Slaves Work for You? New Online Tool Measures Your Impac...

Bought a smartphone lately? What about a computer, T-shirt, or even a cup of Joe? Chances are, slaves made them. The Emancipation Proclamation may have abolished slavery in the United States nearly 150 years ago, but forced labor is still alive and well in the rest of the world. No matter what the brand, everything boils down to the supply chain: the people who pick and mill your cotton, mine the tungsten and gold, and harvest the coffee beans. And they're all working for you. At least 27 million bonded laborers exist worldwide, according to Slavery Footprint, a new website and mobile app that measures the role forced labor plays in supporting our lifestyles. Most of us would like to assume the answer is zero, but even the most conscientious of consumers aren't exempt—according to the calculator, this writer has 22 slaves forced to work against their will.

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Developed by the Call + Response anti-slavery campaign, with funding from the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, the site seeks to demonstrate how forced labor, both at home and abroad, is equal to modern-day slavery.

The good news? You can help end slavery by writing to your favorite brands and demanding third-party audits of their supply chain.

Sprinkled throughout the site are unsettling statistics about slave labor and human trafficking “Every day, tens of thousands of American women buy makeup,” one factoid claims. “Every day, tens of thousands of Indian children mine mica, which is the little sparklies in the makeup.”

From China to Africa, the outlook is pretty grim. The good news? You can help end slavery by writing to your favorite brands and demanding third-party audits of their supply chain. The site even does most of the work for you with pre-drafted letters to popular companies like Apple, L’Oreal, H&M, and Zara. It’s time to end slavery—for real, this time.

+ Slavery Footprint

[Via Fast Company]

5 Responses to “How Many Slaves Work for You? New Online Tool Measures Your Impact”

  1. sprintze says:

    Unfortunatly, “This side was designed to be viewed on standard desktops, laptops and tablets only” – not on a very much standard netbook, apparently. If anyone could give them feedback on my hehalf on that, thank you. Because, it would be a pity if they wouldn’t reach the majority (as it seems to me) of university students around me.

  2. nimmzee13 says:

    i couldnt get it to work. it just kept jumping around, would love to participate, let me know when the survey is going to work

  3. xyz says:

    so you think there are no slaves in the united states ….!well your wrong there are a lot of people that are underpaid ….and there are people that take medicine just to do there job without it they could not do the job….so you see there are slaves in the united states….

  4. peacefrog says:

    Very interesting !
    Too bad the dots for concerned countries on the final map aren’t placed correctly (not on the actual country !!), I hope they fix it, it’s kind of embarrassing.

  5. uncanny says:

    So, no matter how much( or less) you consume, it’s supposed that there is a slave, from the underdeveloped countries, toiling for you ? Well, news-flash, folks. It’s not. My clothes are handmade by regional craftsmen, from fibers obtained out of hemp, flax, ramie or wool. All of it from my homeland.My electronics are made in Hungary and Japan. And paying for sex…..c’mon….

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