I won the 3G iPhone cell phone case from CafePress pictures above in a giveaway last year. Never used it and thought it would be a great item to give away for the Hearts Should Be Free event.
Hearts Should Be Free is a giveaway event to spread awareness of modern slavery. Many people don't realize that slavery still exists today, yet there are as many as 27 million people enslaved today around the world.
Today I want to talk about how slave labor contributes to many of the products we find on our store shelves. Sadly, forced labor contributes to many of the products we use and much of the produce that we buy. In recent years slave labor has been used for making clothes, for mining diamonds, mining gold and other minerals (including those used in our electronics), farming coffee beans and cocoa, harvesting tomatoes (right here in America), and many, many other areas of farming and manufacturing.
I want to be clear...it isn't that companies go out and seek out slave labor. But poor monitoring of a company's supply chain can allow forced labor to"sneak in" to the supply chain unnoticed. However, when large companies put in mechanisms to monitor and improve the working conditions throughout their supply chain, it can have a huge impact.
Since this giveaway is for an iPhone case (and I'll assume if you're entering you have an iphone), I'd like to share a couple related aps you can download to your phone.
The Fair Trade AppI'd also encourage you to visit Chain Store Reaction, a website where you can write letters to companies urging them to take a stand against slavery, and can see their responses.
When you buy Fair Trade you know that you are buying a product that provides a living wage to workers all down the supply chain and that monitors it's working conditions. This also helps guarantee that these products are not made with the work of slaves. The Fair Trade App helps you find Fair Trade items near you, and allows you to help build their database by adding fair trade items you find for sale in your area.
The Free2Work App
This app allows you to look up products to see how they rate on to trafficking and other labor abuses. Though it only has a few hundred products listed so far, and though the bar code scanning is a little buggy, I still like this app as it allows you to browse companies by category to see their rating, and so is a great way to find some of the companies who are already doing things to help rid their supply chain of slavery.
I'd also like to point you towards a couple articles related to Apple and it's labor policies....
Should Apple Make a Conflict Free Minerals iPhone
Slavery is rampant in the Congo, where revenue from the mines funds the militias which are a war there. This Forbes article questions whether abstaining from buying conflict minerals is the best course of action, and highlights the complexities of this issue well.
Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory
While this program by This American Life (through NPR) is NOT about slavery, I felt it was relavant and wanted to include it. This three act look at labor policies in China is EXCELLENT and, yes, even entertaining. This program is in three section, or "acts, " which can be listened to together or separately. While it doesn't deal with slavery directly (all the workers in the factory Mr. Daisey visited were payed a salary and could quit any time they wanted) it does highlight the importance of workplace monitoring, and the third act contains insightful commentary on workers rights and labor conditions around the world.
Now, on to the giveaway...
HOW TO ENTER
Just fill out the entry form below. Giveaway ends February 29. Open worldwide, 18+ only. Form may take a minute or two to load.
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