Today is anti-slavery day in the UK but you might think that in 2011 there's no way that slaves could be working for you. It's illegal, right?
Yet the website and app, Slavery Footprint , shows that slavery lurks behind your every smartphone and bargain clothing purchase.
Justin Dillon, the site's founder, told Wired: “If you took 100 smartphones and lined them up, we could tell you with near 100 per cent probability that on average, each one of those phones had at least 3.2 people exploited in the making of the phone.”
Slavery Footprint puts a figure on the number of people who have contributed, unpaid, to your lifestyle (not including your mum or the intern).
With a modern design, and educational tone, Slavery Footprint asks questions about every aspect of your lifestyle. For instance, do you drink tea or coffee? Do you own a car? How about a smartphone?
For each answer, you get a snippit of how slavery is built into your life. When answering questions about our home, the site tells us 'more than 200,000 children are forced to work in India's carpet belt of Uttar Pradesh'. while in the diet section, the site says 'bonded labor is used for much of Southeast Asia's shrimping industry, which supplies more shrimp to the US than any other country. Laborers work up to 20-hour days to peel 40 pounds of shrimp. Those who attempt to escape are under constant threat of violence or sexual assault.'
When the quiz is complete, the site then assigns each product with a score that's based on data supplied by five reports from bodies including the International Labor Organisation, Trafficking in Persons Report and The Freedom House index. Your score is then compared to others, and you are prompted to act.
“The website is a useful way for people to see how easily they can be connected to modern slavery and the sheer variety of industries implicated with forced labour. Raising awareness is an important first step in tackling this problem and I hope anyone who uses the website is encouraged to take action to help end slavery once and for all.”
Paul Donohoe of Anti-Slavery International said: “The Slavery Footprint website is a useful way for people to see how easily they can be connected to modern slavery and the sheer variety of industries implicated with forced labour. Raising awareness is an important first step in tackling this problem and I hope anyone who uses the website is encouraged to take action to help end slavery once and for all.”
Anti-Slavery International have also created a website that makes it easy to track how your purchases may encourage slavery. ProductsOfSlavery.org tracks forced labour and child slavery across the world, with bright yellow bubbles appearing on a map of the globe to indicate reports of slavery.
Find out how slaves contribute to your life via Slavery Footprint's site or app.