To what extent are you using slave labour?

Image from Wikimedia commons

Most of us consume more than our parents and grandparents.  We buy more, we buy clothes and food for much less than our parents and grandparents paid, we buy new electronics because it is generally cheaper than repairing them, and the list goes on.  Most readers are also aware that our consumerism is being subsidized by the use of labour that takes advantage of underprivileged communities, exploiting children and adult workers more than others.

This great tool developed by Justin Dillon's Fair Trade Fund, engages us by taking us through what we consume and identifying how each of us is complicit in using underpaid and unpaid labour i.e. slaves.  The site also has an action center and an app so that after learning about your slavery footprint,  you can take to demand change and corporate action.  

Few people in the world live a life unconnected to slave labor. I calculated my total and was shocked to find that 69 slaves work to sustain my day to day consumption, despite 'ethical purchasing choices'.  We can all up our game and Slavery Footprint has petitions you can sign to encourage companies to join and become slave labor free, and a list of companies you have to check out that have ethical sourcing and do not take advantage of workers.

What you buy and consume has a huge impact on the world. Check out Slavery Footprint to calculate your impact on slave labor in the global market and see where you can make changes to lessen slave labor in the world.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.