We see it on the television. On the pages of newspapers. But that’s about as much impact those children, women and men stolen or sold into slavery have on our everyday life.
Or is it?
Let’s look a little closer…
7am: Wake up. Drink beautiful smooth Colombian coffee, the beans of which were picked by seven year-olds.
Check emails on your smartphone, which, like almost all forms manufactured technology, has had a disastrous history of using contractors under slave labour conditions.
8am: Get dressed in new Quiksilver and Metalicus clothes bought yesterday.
(Both brands receive poor scoring on ethical worker practices according to the Baptist World Aid’s Ethical Fashion Guide).
9am: Tidy house ready for the house cleaners, from Poland/Brazil/China…..Wonder, yet again how the young man got his limp which seems to get worse each week, and think about how the older man in charge has a brutal edge to him.
9.30am: Drive car on tyres made from rubber. Perhaps a Cambodian child missed meals, sleep and education to extract this rubber; which is transporting your kids to their school, with their full lunch boxes.
10am: Food shopping. Put in trolley a wholesome Lilydale organic chicken, from the Sydney Baiada factory, for lunches, which has been exposed allegedly using poorly and unpaid, and sexually exploited workers (see Four Corners report). If you add bananas, beans and oranges, you are buying produce which is noted for its use of slave labour. What about my nice looking bag of salad which is produce of Australia? Yes, especially that.
11am: Get nails done at nail bar. Get sick of the Vietnamese man, hovering over your shoulder, talking harshly to the young Vietnamese woman doing your nails.
Lunchtime: Cook fish for lunch. It might be dolphin friendly now, but is it free from using child labour? Possibly not.
Read local newspaper over lunch – flick quickly past the advertising of “beautiful Asian women” in the back pages. Are they there voluntarily?
2pm: Wash sheets, made of beautiful Egyptian cotton, picked by children suffering generations of debt bondage.
3pm: Have a break, and search up your next holiday in Thailand – a country with one of the highest rates of children and women trafficked for prostitution in the world.
Snack on some chocolate, with cocoa originating from Africa. Was the child that picked it made ill by the exposure to pesticides? Or worse still, injured by the machete’s used?
Finish the last two pages of your book on your Amazon Kindle – which scored a D in the Baptist World Aid’s Ethical Electronics Guide.
6pm: Sit at the dinner table, made with American oak, which could have been forested using slave labour.
Chastise your children for not eating their vegetables, with the words right out of your mother’s mouth about “the starving children in Africa”. But, what about the “unpaid migrant worker in Victoria?”
7pm: Finally sit down for the day; turn on the TV to 60 Minutes and hear William Tyrell’s mother saying “William was stolen.”
But, has he been the only stolen or traded person to touch your life today?