21st Century Slave Trade?

Social responsibility is something that seems to keep coming up in many various conversations and reading material that we have seen lately. Social responsibility defined is “an ethical ideology or theory that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large.” One of the nation’s largest retail stores has put together many programs to help out neighboring communities, such as giving a percentage of sales to local schools and sponsoring a free museum entrance on the first Sunday of the month. So, when I came across an article that CNN.com had on their homepage Wednesday regarding global slavery and what we can do about it, I felt compelled to pass it along to you.

The article is part of the ongoing “Freedom Project- Ending Modern Day Slavery” from CNN. The article starts by addressing sheer numbers that have captured my attention. Estimates range anywhere from, ten to thirty two million people that are caught up in some sort of slavery today. That’s right ten to thirty-two MILLION! Experts in the field say there are two main reasons for this discrepancy. The first reason is that the people they are counting are, by definition, a hidden population. There is often shame, fear, and embarrassment associated with this issue and those that are caught up in it keep to themselves. “The second problem is more of a theoretical one where the definitions are not specifically in place. We don’t have a common definition as to what slavery is.” I think the most encompassing definition comes from Roger Plant, who formerly worked at the ILO, when he said, “when you get into work or service without the freedom of choice and you can’t get out of it without punishment or the threat of punishment.” The biggest consequence of incorrect data is not knowing the full scope of the problem or where it’s concentrated. This can lead to poor decisions on where to focus resources and how best to solve the problem.

That leads us back to the beginning. What is our responsibility in all of this? What can we do and will our small part really make a difference? We, at PrintAutoMail, know the importance of stopping the cycle of slavery. We contribute and volunteer with those companies that have that in mind. Another initiative that seems to be gaining ground in combating slavery is the fair trade movement, which seeks to govern work conditions and wages. I think when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you educate yourself and resolve to DO SOMETHING!

What about you? What are you doing to promote the general welfare of humanity at large? Leave a post and let us know your thoughts and concerns. Let’s stand together to get the awareness out and DO SOMETHING!!

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