In general, I’m not big on government reports. But when that report shows me how to do a better job living out my faith, I’ll take the time to investigate. Avoiding slave labor is one of the ways I want to live out my faith. If it’s something you want to avoid as well, I highly recommend the U.S. Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor and Forced Labor, published on-line in 2010. In case you don’t feel like perusing the report (though it’s not that dry – it even has pictures), here is their summary of the key products linked to slave/child labor:
“The most common agricultural goods listed are cotton, sugarcane,
tobacco, coffee, and cattle; the most common
manufactured goods listed are bricks, garments,
carpets, and footwear; and the most common mined
goods listed are gold, diamonds and coal.”
The report contains detailed charts of where child labor and forced labor were discovered for each product (like the one on cotton shown below). You can view the on-line report here.
If you are a visual learner, here is a similar list with a lovely little picture slide-show, compliments of the Huffington Post.
Next time you shop for one of these 12 things, consider taking a look at which countries are known to use slavery and avoid buying a product from that location.
12 products to investigate.
12 products to invest a little more in.
12 products to walking more justly with God.