4th Day of Freedom : Let’s make some changes in our buying habits. Most people do not realize that we as consumers help fuel child labor/Labor trafficking. A majority of the things that we purchase and consume have some type of slave labor behind it. So this weekend do something about it! Buy a Fair Trade product, whether it’s Fair Trade Coffee or sugar or even Chocolate. Take it a step further and encourage a friend to buy a Fair Trade Product. Please visit FairTradeUSA.org for a list of Fair Trade Products. Small changes such as this can help make a difference.
If a United States citizen were to plant crops, sell them and be given a wage far lower than what the product was worth because distributors were taking more than their fair amount of the profits, there would be an uproar. In the United States, people might not always get the justice they deserve, but at least they have a platform to speak on. In other countries, that we rely on heavily to supply us with crops that we use daily, there aren’t always such places to voice unhappiness about wages. Not only are people not given fair payment, but often times the production or harvesting of products and foods we buy is done with child labor and labor trafficking. By purchasing Fair Trade products you can help to put an end to utilizing child labor and trafficking. Trafficking is a business almost entirely fueled by greed. If people decided they were only going to buy products produced and harvested fairly, imagine the impact that would have on the traffickers. If no one is buying the products their victims are making or harvesting, then what use do they have for acquiring more laborers or keeping the ones they have?
Not everyone who makes products or farms is a trafficking victims though. Sometimes it’s simply just farmers in developing countries doing the best they can to support themselves and their families and they’re being cheated out of all of the money they should be earning. It’s easy to forget that food, clothes, shoes, sporting equipment, etc, doesn’t just show up on our stores’ shelves. People make or grow all of the products we use daily. How would you feel if you spent your savings on producing a crop to ship to the United States and were paid a fraction of what it was worth. If you were trafficked to harvest that crop you might not be given a wage at all.
Technology has made it so easy to find and connect with dozens and dozens of companies that sell Fair Trade items. The more you learn about trafficking, the harder it will be to stomach knowing that you are purchasing products made by trafficking victims and you will want to join the Fair Trade movement. So go online and check out:
and see how you can help ensure people earn what they deserve for the work they do that we so desperately need!
By: Danae Zimmer