Slavery-free Commerce

“We’ve got to do everything we can to make sure that slavery doesn’t reach into our lives and touch us. We can fix the problem without blasting the bottom line. And we can make the consumers a lot happier when we do so.” –Becoming a Slavery-Free Business video

Slavery in Your Shopping Cart and Retirement Account

There is slavery in every shopping mall in America. From clothing to computers, coffee to cell phones—a wide range of consumer products are tainted by slavery.

Slaves in sweatshops are forced to manufacture household goods. Child slaves are forced to harvest commodities and raw materials under brutal conditions in mines and on plantations.

Our retirement accounts grow on the backs of slaves when portfolio managers invest in companies that are tainted by slavery. That’s how slavery flows through the global supply chain and into our lives—economics and profit drive modern slavery.

Everyone can help remove slavery from our lives—business leaders, investors, and consumers.

Creating Slavery-free Commerce

  • Businesses should clarify to all employees, suppliers, and subcontractors that slavery will not be tolerated.
  • Investment managers should conduct thorough research to know which companies are working to end slavery in their supply chains and then invest accordingly.
  • Consumers should make it clear to businesses they patronize that they want slavery-free products.
  • Investors should let their portfolio managers know that it’s too big a risk to be involved with companies that do not root out slavery in their products.

Helping Businesses See Slavery

Free the Slaves has produced an insightful eight-minute documentary, Becoming a Slavery-Free Business, to help companies confront the challenge of slavery in their products. It reveals the real and devastating impact of supply-chain slavery on people throughout the world.

Becoming a Slavery-Free Business is intended to…

  • Educate corporate officers and procurement staffers about why government regulators are requiring businesses to investigate and disclose slavery from their product supply chains
  • Expose the consequences of slavery in a global economy to attendees at conferences and employees at team meetings
  • Complement a company’s written directives and training materials for compliance with state, federal, and international requirements

Be a Conscientious Consumer

Free the Slaves is a partner in the Know the Chain initiative, which investigates corporate compliance with a groundbreaking law in California that requires major companies to investigate and disclose slavery in their products. By visiting the Know the Chain website, you can learn if the places you shop are taking a stand against slavery.

Free the Slaves believes that the California approach should be applied nationwide. See our Global Advocacy page for details.