Sunday, August 12, 2007

Slavery Still Exists!

One of my mates Sym was talking me about the issue of slavery in contemporary society. One area I suggested where slavery still existed was in consumerism. Many in the west are enslaved to the idea that the more we have, the more status we hold, or the more happy we are. The problem is with this is that it is a lie. The more we have doesn't mean we are more happy - in fact we are driving ourselves further and further into debt. If you look at New Zealand, we have some of the highest levels of consumer debt in the developed world, we collect more and more stuff to "keep up with the Jones." The other issue with consumerism is that it is causing/creating further enslavement around the world, particularly of poor people in developing nations.

Some stats on slavery - from Trade Aid New Zealand
1999 - It was estimated that 20 Million people were bonded into labour. The tasks of these people include brick-making, carpet weaving, domestic labour, stone quarrying, sex work industries, foot ball stitching, rubber plantations, factory work.

700,000 t0 2 million women and children are estimated by the U.S government to be trafficked across borders each year. Jobs include farming, camel jockeys, domestic labour, fishing, mail-order brides, market stall labour, restaurant labour, and the sex industry.

More than 80 Million children worldwide aged under 14 are estimated by the ILO to work in conditions hazardous to their health. Work includes domestic labour, drug trafficking, fireworks manufacturing, fishing, brick-making, carpet weaving, sex work, stone quarrying, soldiers, cocoa (where does that chocolate your eating really coming from - it makes you think!)

Anyway these are just a few examples check here for more stats on slavery and injustice, it will shock you!

There is something we can do about this.

1. There is a petition to the government to end slavery run by Trade Aid
2. You can buy fair trade products. These can be found at trade aid, in wellington there is a fair trade coffee shop call peoples coffee in Newtown that you can buy fair trade coffee from. If you got to Vic university, restoration coffee ( the coffee shop down nearest to the weir house and the cable car) sells fair trade coffee.

More on this later when I have more time, and can get some further research done!

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