Child labour: the modern slavery

The obscenity of a society that closes its eyes in the face of the major issues

Child labour is one of the most obscene issues in our society, one of those problems people don’t want to see. Even though prohibited by legislation worldwide, the number of children exploited is growing. According to Unicef, 2021 registered the first increase in two decades, with cases rising to 160 million worldwide because of covid-19.

There is a consistent number of countries where child labour is not forbidden. Poverty and discrimination are the main causes, but conflicts and the pandemic gave a big hand in spreading the situations that degenerate into this modern slavery.

Child labour: modern slavery for the western world

Exploited children produce goods that supply the stores in the western world. Or call it that side of the world where people ignore or pretend to ignore every issue. Whichever it is, having the newest mobile device or a fancy car is better than knowing the truth about the little hands who extracted materials used to produce our toys.

And so, we dedicate each day to specific matters giving them the priority for that day. Specifically, the world day against child labour was on 12 June.

Therefore, on an annual basis, we see impactful graphics and beautiful words that end up in nothing. They just become content for social media, but nothing ever changes.

These kinds of stories are as old as the earth. So, if we aren’t able to eradicate them, but we still abuse children’s rights, we have serious problems.

There will be no sustainability without ethical labour. And if sustainable products are a priority, child labour comes first.
How can we talk about sustainability when the number of children involved in production chains has increased over time?

There is an organisation that is working to change things consistently, it’s called Still I Rise. Their projects aren’t endless. Indeed, they work to solve problems in a specific place, and then they move on. Also, education is their focus, and they open schools.
Please, check them out here and donate if you can!

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The hypocrites

Modern slavery is a topic we frequently discuss because it is horrific and unacceptable. Even more, we are concerned by the context of hypocrisy around it.

Brands are the new gods. Sell people a famous brand, and you’ll get silence and blindness in return.

However, as members of an evolved society, we cannot turn our heads to the other side pretending nothing happens.

The exploiting system based on forced labour and minority oppression has a direct link to superbrands. Not only fashion brands, to make it clear. Indeed, every field finds benefit and — profit — in this rotten practice. In fact, there’s no better way to maximize profit.

Even though we are a drop in the ocean, we think it’s important to put out our words to help raise awareness about this issue.
Popular magazines shed light on it, but people don’t like reading. Or they don’t care enough about things that do not affect them personally. Which, by the way, is a scary attitude.

So, how can you make the message resonate with a large audience?

modern slavery - via Enes Kanter
Modern Slavery – via Enes Kanter

Here comes Enes Kanter, an NBA player. We admit we know nothing about the sport he plays. Zero. But that’s not the point. In fact, we admire him for his bravery in showing up consistently in support of human rights. For many that tend to hide, there are a few who talk out loud.

And so, it was with immense pleasure that we saw his recent posts about the Uyghur minority, forced labour camps and brands hypocrisy, asking Nike’s accountability.

We need more brave humans like Enes Kanter to speak the truth to reach the masses. Just like we need more people that open their eyes and feel touched. Fundamentally, we must find a way to put an end to this exploitation.

Hypocrite Nike - via Enes Kanter
via Enes Kanter

If, as humans, all we could do was develop new forms of slavery in order to feed our fake needs, we have failed.

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