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July 03, 2014

Are You an Enabler of Human Trafficking?

By Sophie Kasakove

In May the International Labor Organization reported the profits of human slavery to be roughly $150 billion, with $99 billion from commercial sexual exploitation, $34 billion in construction, manufacturing, mining and utilities, and $9 billion in agriculture.

But who specifically is benefitting from the forced labor of 21 million slaves worldwide? The Oakland-based startup Slavery Footprint identifies the food, electronics, and clothing companies that profit from slavery, holding these companies—and the consumers that patronize them— accountable.

To raise awareness about modern slavery, Slavery Footprint built an online quiz that determines users “slavery footprint” based on diet, shopping habits, technology use and more. Questions are interspersed with useful facts and figures about the goods we consume (for example: “1.4 million children have been forced to work in Uzbek cotton fields. There are fewer children in the entire New York City public school system.”)

The results of the quiz are compelling despite the inexact nature of the results; factors such as where users purchased their food or clothing are not accounted for.

After receiving an estimate of the number of slaves that work for you, the website presents a list of companies that use forced labor, allowing users to send online notes challenging these companies to investigate and act on the use of forced labor in their supply chains. Take the quiz to see your own contribution to human trafficking and follow our campaign to learn about how we are working to disrupt the criminals who profit from this horrific practice.