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AIBU to ask how many slaves are working for you?

(61 Posts)
MiniTheMinx Mon 19-Nov-12 17:38:16

Discovered today that I have 55 slaves working for me. I have clothes, electrical goods, food and other goods in my home that have been made using slavery.

There are over 27 million slaves in the world today, many of them children. They exist in all parts of the world.

To discover how many slaves you have working for you you can do a survey here at the top of the page there is a link that says "how many slaves work for you"

Ferngirl Tue 20-Nov-12 14:25:23

I scored 92!

I'm sure it was because of my wardrobe, but its all second hand and from charity shops!

Loved the graphics though.

Justforlaughs Tue 20-Nov-12 14:08:39

I tried really hard but couldn't get it to work properly, scored 100 slaves! but I know that wasn't accurate, I couldn't even enter my children properly. It was interesting though, thanks for sharing. It is very easy to forget where our produce/ christmas presents etc come from.

GrendelsMum Tue 20-Nov-12 12:52:28

Thank you PurpleQuiche.

There was an excellent Radio 4 Woman's Hour dram highlighting some of these issues lately.

purplequiche Tue 20-Nov-12 12:34:49

Mini I think there are several reasons why the public are not informed about/ don't recognise these issues:

- The numbers are quite small, there are estimated to be 200 children trafficked into the UK every year (for various forms of exploitation, so catering, other forms of forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, begging, street crime etc), these manifest as small isolated cases dotted all over the country.

- We (as a nation) are so paranoid about border control that the media choose to protray these kids as illegal immigrants. So if you watch those fly on the walls documentaries on Living for example, where they show sniffer dogs jumping into the back of lorries at Calais it will be framed as pesky immigrants wanting to come here to work in the black economoy when in fact many will be children who are groomed, coerced and forced here by 'agents'. Its pretty standard for the girls (and some boys) to be raped on route, the kids who are picked up often present with PTSD and other mental health problems, some will have been orphaned street kids with clear cognitive issues but UKBA and the Police often fail to recognise their own child protection duties and treat them as criminals. There is one case in a regional newspaper at the minute that I could absolutely blow the top off if I were allowed to.

- I go all over the country delivering training on this issue but we specifically target professionals as these kids are so hidden and isolated that members of the public are unlikely to come across them, there is therefore little value in targetting the public. We focus more on social workers, police, UKBA, health visitors, walk-in centres, abortion clinics, travel and tourism agencies etc.

MiniTheMinx Tue 20-Nov-12 12:09:43

X posted with purplequiche thank you purple, interesting and very worthy job and heart breaking too. If we have kid's being exploited in catering here, how come this isn't known. What can ordinary people do that would really help?

MiniTheMinx Tue 20-Nov-12 12:05:49

I thought the graphics were very good, it was entertaining in it's own right and whilst the survey is not indepth and is very general I think it draws peoples attention to the fact that so many people are still being exploited as slaves. I thought slavery was made illegal 150 years ago. And that our consumption and the greed within the markets drives this. And yes it seems to be an American site so it assumes American patterns of consumption and quite disconcerting for me, Clinton got behind it when it was launched, not sure if that is good.

I am going to sign up to take action, what ever that involves??? I know that one of their actions is to get consumers to write to companies asking about the chain and how they ensure they are ethically sourcing.

I read The Silent Takeover: Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy by Noreen Hertz a little while ago, where she concludes that because the corporates and the party of Wall street now have so much power, the only way we see democracy working is in how people shop and their interaction directly with businesses. I think the boycott against Tescos during the DWP lies over Workfare shows that consumers can have quite a lot of clout.

purplequiche Tue 20-Nov-12 12:03:07

Its interesting how people assume that if you buy British you are not relying on slave labour, the Morcambe cockle pickers anyone?

I work in the anti-trafficking/ slavery field and recently heard of over 30 slaves being kept as 'chicken catchers' on a British farm. According to one report:

"It has been reported that the catching teams worked on farms supplying eggs to McDonald's, Tesco, Asda, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's. They also worked on farms supplying Noble's Happy Egg brand"

We also have children and young men being exploited in the construction trade, kids exploited in restaurants/ catering, Vietnamese kids kept as slaves growing cannabis and in nail bars to name just a few.. trafficking and slavery is not something which just happens overseas.

Jingleflobba Tue 20-Nov-12 11:56:08

So what do we do?
If we boycott companies that use 'slave' labour the company stops using that supplier. Potentially hundreds of people out of work and the big company just moves onto another supplier who also uses unethical working practices. There will always be someone ready to jump into the breach using cheap methods.
Am off to do the test now.

garlicbaguette Tue 20-Nov-12 11:43:24

I'm not surprised about that, wannaBe. If a company has committed itself to operating in tighter circumstances - probably having to sell at higher prices and shoulder smaller margins - and forked out for improved working conditions, healthcare and education for the suppliers, obviously they won't want Slavery Inc. barging in and taking their supply away from them!

wannaBe Tue 20-Nov-12 06:31:07

I read an article on fairtrade once - it's a complete misnoma because the fairtrade farmers are tied to the companies - they are allowed to sell to no-one else because of watertight contracts. so fairtrade is no less unethical...

McKayz Tue 20-Nov-12 06:19:29

Or the West African Franc is the same.

Really shouldn't use brain this early in the morning.

McKayz Tue 20-Nov-12 06:00:31

I can't do the test on my phone.

40p is 326.28 Central African francs. DH works out of Abidjan sometimes. I'm used to working out stuff like that now.

SaraBellumHertz Tue 20-Nov-12 05:52:36

Three figures - based on the fact that I have a large family and a large home and possibly the wardrobe doesn't help

It all seems a bit pointless and makes huge assumptions based on quantity with no calibration for the choices one makes. E.g. I buy an awful lot of British made goods but the survey seems to assume I purchase clothes only that have been manufactured in Pakistan.

ripsishere Tue 20-Nov-12 05:17:27

OK, I did it. Brilliant graphics.
Apparently, I have 64 slaves working for me. I wish one would do the pile of ironing and mop the floor <lazy fuckers>

BigBirdisSaved Tue 20-Nov-12 02:58:47

I got 70. I don't suppose it takes into account that many of our clothes are secondhand or sewn by me (often from recycled second hand clothing). Yes we all have bikes but 3 of the four were secondhand. I do have an iphone though and we have macs. Bad big bird, bad big bird.

Can I be forgiven if I say I bought fair trade chocolate and coffee today? What if I say a lot of our food is semi-local because we live in California?

kittyandthegoldenfontanelles Tue 20-Nov-12 02:02:05

Flim, the first question asked where you lived and placed you on a world map.

After that I was asked, age, gender, ethnicity I suppose because I has to colour myself pink or brown, then if I had children, then to fill in my house. That was it for me...surely there were more questions?

Flimflammery Tue 20-Nov-12 01:37:06

Has no-one noticed that it's a US website, so it assumes US shopping and lifestyle patterns?

ripsishere Tue 20-Nov-12 01:27:45

I didn't see a survey.
I do try to buy ethically and locally where possible. Unfortunately in Malaysia there are few opportunities.
I use our local wet market when possible and buy locally grown tea for DH even though it is miles more expensive than imported PG tips.

garlicbaguette Tue 20-Nov-12 01:15:04

37. I'm average. I signed up for 'take action' but it remains to be seen what action I've signed up to!

It is beautifully done. Thanks, Minx - I'm glad I waited for it to get back up smile

mortimersraven Tue 20-Nov-12 00:44:45

What a beautiful survey! The graphics are ace!

50 sad

Agree with bogey, ethics are expensive. But not all companies go for the lowest price with no regard for the people working there. Part of my job is to audit our Asian suppliers to make sure the staff aren't being exploited. I can sleep at night knowing our customers are buying fair ethical products at sky high prices

garlicbaguette Tue 20-Nov-12 00:39:37

... and that website's down, so I haven't done the Q.

garlicbaguette Tue 20-Nov-12 00:38:16

Ethical consumption doesn't have to be massively expensive. The problem isn't consumer pressure for lower prices (the UK is not particularly cheap), as much as retailer & wholesaler pressure for wider margins. When Tesco's buyer drives down the price of a supplier's produce - which s/he is bound to do by the terms of the job - Tesco doesn't reduce the price of those goods to you, it just pockets the difference (and wriggles out of tax, but that's another thread).

If consumers seriously refused to buy stuff that was not both reasonably ethical AND reasonably priced, middlemen would have to find a way to take the hit. Since it's extremely hard to get this concept across to mass market consumers, legislation could do the job quicker. That ain't gonna happen any time soon, obv, so the better approach is to actually read the bumf on your food packaging and do some background checking. Aldi and Lidl carry a surprising amount of 'fairer trade' foods, as well as ethically farmed/caught meat and fish. They would probably respond well to enquiries about the provenance of the other goods they sell, too.

But we Brits make noises, not changes. Got an iphone/ipad? I bet you decided not to read the suicide factory stories before you bought the new one.

Since you ask, my phone & laptop are Japanese, though some of the components were made in China and India under what I suspect are dodgy conditions. Anyway, OP, I'm still cross with you for saying women don't understand economics!

Bogeyface Tue 20-Nov-12 00:21:11

I didnt make it passed page one one of the survey, it was too glitchy.

Bogeyface Tue 20-Nov-12 00:20:22

We go for the cheapest because we know we can. We know that Tesco, Asda et al will do anything to keep our custom and if that means screwing over a 7 year old in a developing country then thats fine as long as the shareholders still get their payout.

And yes, exactly, the profit is still the same. The cutting of costs is passed down to those who cant fight it, the workers.

kittyandthegoldenfontanelles Tue 20-Nov-12 00:15:51

I can't have completed the survey surely? confused

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