Although today is the first ever World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the issue of human trafficking is hardly a novel one; rather, this crime has sadly survived and thrived for thousands of years.
As people streamed out of the Kara Walker installation "A Subtlety" on a recent Sunday afternoon to buy an ice cream cone from one of the trucks idling outside the old Domino Sugar Factory on the Williamsburg waterfront, I wondered how many thought about the jarring contradiction...
Americans love shrimp. In fact, we love it so much that we eat it more than any other seafood, and almost more than tuna and salmon combined. However, that love comes with a price -- and a steep one at that.
Slavery touches us all, no matter where we live or how law-abiding we are. It is found in the clothes we wear, the products we buy and the food we eat. This has been underlined in the last few weeks by a series of powerful investigations into the horrors of the Thai fishing industry.
The latest authoritative report from the International Labor Organization shows that we have been badly underestimating just what big business this evil is, generating a shocking $150 billion profit per year.
The award of a federal government contract is contingent upon a laundry list of complex, lengthy, substantial assurances. Through those assurances, i.e. regulations, the USG has the leverage to shape corporate policy and is doing so quite purposefully for human trafficking.
Slavery is happening across the globe and it ends up in your home. It could be the jewelry you're wearing, the shrimp you had for dinner, the shoes on your feet, the phone in your pocket, or the Christmas decorations adorning your tree.
As we thank God for the many people and their hands that produce our food, we can be thankful for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Fair Food Program. Publix Supermarket needs to hear from us that it is time to change.
In China, artificial flowers, bricks, Christmas decorations, coal, cotton, electronics, fireworks, footwear, garments, nails and toys are all known to be produced by forced labor. And China is far from being the only country on the list.