Safia Minney writes:
There is a poster at one of my favourite Fair Trade projects that always haunted me.
Warning villages to beware of human traffickers and to protect their children from them. I couldn’t imagine how in this beautiful village of craft industry children and young women could be vulnerable. But sure enough, as I carried out my research for my book Slave to Fashion, I found a recent case of a desperate mother whose son had disappeared in the middle of the night. All she had had from him in 4 months was a call from India where he had been taken there to work. He had thought his wages would be sent to support her, now she was beside herself that she would never see him again.
To follow the root of human traffickers means going to the villages of India and Bangladesh to hear how families made vulnerable by poverty and sickness fall prey to criminal gangs. It was sickening to see that these families often had nowhere to turn, realising that the local police were often also corrupt and they would be lucky to see the child again – the dream of earning a decent wage and sending money home was an illusion. Human trafficking is modern slavery and its cause is poverty and lack of law enforcement.
I am deeply grateful to Freeset and the people featured here who stood up to tell their stories and show the difference that Fair Trade and a good livelihood in rural areas make to prevent Human trafficking.
Please watch and share this video and read more in my book Slave To Fashion about modern slavery in fashion supply chains.
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