How to spot signs of slavery. It’s also in your countries too! Who can you contact if you suspect it/what should you do?
Despite being illegal in most countries, slavery remains a major global issue, affecting an estimated 40 million people worldwide. It's not just happening in far-off countries either - it's also present in many developed nations. Slavery can take many forms, including forced labor, bonded labor, and human trafficking. The fashion industry is one of many industries where slavery is known to exist, so it's important to know how to spot the signs of slavery ,what to do if you suspect it and to be sure you are working with ethical clothing manufacturers.
1. Know the Signs: Slavery can be difficult to spot, but there are certain signs that can indicate its presence. These include:
Workers who appear to be underpaid or working long hours with no breaks
Workers who live in cramped and overcrowded living conditions
Workers who appear fearful, malnourished, or physically abused
Employers who withhold passports or other identification documents
Employers who use force or coercion to keep workers from leaving their jobs
2. Research Brands & Ethical Clothing Manufacturers: Do your research on the brands you buy from to see if they have policies in place to prevent slavery and forced labor in their supply chains. Look for brands that have signed onto the Ethical Trading Initiative or have been certified by Fair Trade organizations. These organizations work to promote fair labor practices and protect workers' rights in the global supply chain.
3. Support Ethical Brands: Support brands that are transparent about their supply chains and labor practices. Choose brands that have clear policies against slavery and forced labor, and that pay their workers a living wage. Supporting ethical brands can help create demand for ethical labor practices and put pressure on other brands to improve their labor practices.
4. Report Suspected Slavery: If you suspect slavery or forced labor in any industry, it's important to report it to the appropriate authorities. In many countries, there are hotlines you can call to report suspected slavery or forced labor, and you can also contact NGOs or other organizations that work to combat slavery and human trafficking.
5. Be a Responsible Consumer: As a consumer, you can also play a role in reducing slavery in the fashion industry. By purchasing clothing from ethical brands and second-hand stores, you can help create demand for ethical labor practices and reduce the demand for products made using forced labor.
In the United States, the National Human Trafficking Hotline is a good place to start. This hotline provides resources and support for individuals who have been trafficked, and also accepts reports of suspected trafficking. In the United Kingdom, the Modern Slavery Helpline is another resource that can be used to report suspected slavery. Many other countries have similar hotlines or organizations that can provide support and resources for those who have been trafficked or who suspect trafficking.
Slavery is a major issue that affects millions of people around the world, and it's important to know how to spot the signs of slavery in any industry. By researching brands, supporting ethical brands, and reporting suspected slavery to the appropriate authorities, individuals can help make a difference in the fight against slavery. By being a responsible consumer and reducing demand for products made using forced labor, individuals can also help create demand for ethical clothing manufacturers and contribute to a more just and equitable world. Masala Threads only works with verified, fully checked factories which treat workers with respect and dignity. To learn more Get in touch and learn how to have a completely ethical and transparent supply chain for your brand.