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How many slaves work for you?

January 19, 2013
tags:#Barack Obama, #human trafficking, #Made in a free world, #slavery, #Slavery Footprint, #USA
by:FairPlanet Editorial Team
When Barack Obama was re-elected in November last year, human rights activists and nonprofit organisations also hoped for a turn in the Human Trafficking Policy of the United States. Obama had promised to increase the fight against human trafficking in his next presidential period.

As a first step, nonprofit human rights organisations and the president declared January 2013 the National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month.

But there is more to do: The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of the United States has expired in 2011 and since then, resources for nonprofits fighting against human trafficking have been cut. For this reason, US-nonprofits call on Obama to renew the Act and provide resources for continuing work for over 27 million people who are considered modern-day slaves.
In order to raise awareness for these estimated 27 million modern-day slaves, the organisation Made In A Free World created an interactive project on their website called Slavery Footprint. By asking "How many slaves work for you?" their intention is to bring the issue of modern slavery into everyone's daily life and make the users ask themselves: Where is the cotton of my favourite T-Shirt coming from? And the tantalum of my smart phone? And the beans of my coffee?

In eleven steps, the interactive survey inspects almost every sphere of your everyday life: Where do you live? What is in your fridge? How many t-shirts, pants and dresses are in your closet? Do you own jewellery? What technical gadgets and equipment are on and around your desk?
Most likely, the result will shock everyone doing the survey because one thing is for sure: Whatever you do, where-ever you live – there is a number of slaves that work for you by producing the products you own and love. Modern-day slavery is hidden in the mines, on cotton fields, in sweatshops producing the raw materials for our beloved products. These "slaves" work in horrific conditions in third world countries and they are forced to manufacture goods and services which we use every day!
Realising this might be the first step for an engagement against slavery and human trafficking – hopes Justin Dillon, the founder of

The number you get from taking the 11 step questionnaire may be even larger in reality, but the real point of the interactive is to bring to light the atrocities of human trafficking, which are still happening to people in 3rd world countries this very day. However, you can help put a stop to this kind of slave labour...

Take the survey to find out how many slaves work for you. Then, take action by using the Free World mobile app or online action center.

Get informed, browse a website, read a report, or pick up a book (we're big fans of International Justic Mission, The State Department's T.I.P Report, and A Crime So Monstrous)

Shop smart, swap your staple with those that have Fair-Trade equivalents. Coffee is an easy place to start.

Hold a screening. Call + Response is a documentary that uses music to tell the story of sex trafficking.

Know the number. Call the National Human Trafficking Resource center to report a tip or receive help and resource: 1-888-373-7888

Share the wealth. despite its pervasiveness, modern-day slavery remains a little-known fact. Talk to your friends and family about the issue and how they can become involved.

Donate here for
Support the ground project of Made In A Free World
Get the App Free World and get active by asking companies where their raw materials are from.

Text: Caroline Schaper

Article written by:
FairPlanet Editorial Team
Editorial Team