I suppose the only question I have left is why? Why is exploitation and abuse so prevalent in our supply chains, when did it go so wrong and why is it so hard to stop?
There are a lot of reasons I suppose.
There are those who at the end of the day just don’t care about other people and exploit them happily for their own gain.
There are those who are desperate. Desperate to keep their factories going, desperate to keep a wage.
There are those who are afraid, who are facing pressure from gangs, paramilitary or rebel groups and are doing as they’ve been told.
They are those who don’t want to know. They are obligated legally to look but don’t want the hassle, expense or guilt of finding it.
Finally there are those who try. There are those who search but struggle to even work out who works for them. Talking to a man who works for IJM (International Justice Mission), about slavery and worker exploitation he explained to me that big companies don’t really know which factories supply them because so much sub-contraction goes on. That’s what makes it so hard to catch. There are those who lobby for changes in law and legislation and company policy, and one day maybe the people that try will finally win.
If you want to find out more about exploitation in the supply chain, check out some of these websites: