Robert Slattery is a writer living in Western North Carolina. He enjoys music and all sorts of other things.
Human Rights – California based musician, Justin Dillon, is leading a social media campaign to inform citizens about the prevalence of slavery and slavery-fueled goods in our society. Dillon, recently given a 200k grant from the State Department, has created a website that estimates a person’s slavery footprint (like a carbon footprint) based upon goods and lifestyle. The site connects the supply-chains to our every day life, and reveals the hidden costs in the things we buy and the ways we live. The results are unsettling.
Slavery Footprint is a member of an anti-slave labor coalition that recently received an $11.5 million donation from Google. The kind of financial aid the State Department and Google have provided, along with changes in California law should result in a significant improvement in labor conditions for workers around the world. Clean labor practices are encouraged but rarely come about without force. Gap, Nike, and Ford have each changed their labor practices after public embarrassment.
Change can only come from awareness, and Dillon’s approach is one to honor. By recognizing the costs of the goods we buy rather than the prices, we may better serve those people who make the things that make our lives easier.
Read more at the Associated Press.