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Forum Post: How Many Slaves Work for You?

Posted 1 year ago on March 19, 2013, 5:26 p.m. EST by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Here's a fun little interactive for you. Note: on the left side of each page there's a gear. Click on it to refine your input. And read the accompanying blurbs on each page for some interesting, and disturbing, statistics (also check out the rest of the site):

http://slaveryfootprint.org/#gadgets

Although the accuracy of the above interactive can be called into question (for example, it doesn’t specify whether your electronics are new, used, or free, or whether your veggies are store-bought or home-grown) the point is more, I think, to raise awareness to the scope of the problem. And, as one of our wiser posters pointed out to me, even if it is off by a wide margin, one slave is one too many.

Human trafficking is second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable illegal industry in the world. Recent estimates put the annual value of human trafficking at USD $32 billion a year, but that number is hard to quantify. According to Wikipedia:

". . . it is argued that many of these statistics are inflated to aid advocacy of anti-trafficking NGOs and the anti-trafficking policies of governments. Due to the definition of trafficking as a process (not a singly defined act) and the fact that it is a dynamic phenomenon with constantly shifting patterns relating to economic circumstances, much of the statistical evaluation is flawed."

Regardless, the facts are sobering. From the sweatshops of Bangladesh, the jungles of Indonesia, the sleazy motels in America's heartland, to the mansions and estates of London and New York, approximately one out of every three hundred people on the planet, an estimated 27 million people, are living in some form of human bondage (although the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates a more conservative 21 million). Equally troubling, according to some sources, less than 1% can be identified. The US State Dept, in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report estimates that 600,000 to 900,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year. About 70% are female, half are children, and 18,000 of these poor souls arrive here in the United States. Also,