If you’ve ever wondered where your clothing is made or how it’s produced, this shocking new report will certainly make you ponder. According to a new report by the Walk Free Foundation, the fashion industry is the second-largest sector, after technology, to support modern slavery practices.
The Global Slavery Index’s 2018 report reveals that over $125 billion of fashion garments created via some form of modern slavery are imported annually to G20 countries. These countries, which also account for 80 percent of world trade, include the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.
In 2016 alone, over 40 million people across the globe were living in modern slavery, with women making up over 70% of that statistic. Modern slavery conditions could include forced labor, debt bondage, human trafficking and more. According to the report, the top three countries with the highest rate of modern slavery are North Korea, Eritrea, and Burundi.
Recent reports have also exposed inhumane conditions and practices in some clothing factories in Bangladesh, China, and Vietnam.
The hidden truth of this report is that we all indirectly support modern slavery by being consumers. So how exactly do we take a stand against modern slavery? By supporting brands that are transparent about their supply chain, and by becoming more informed consumers.
As the report stated, “too often, the onus of eliminating modern slavery is placed only on the countries where the crime is perpetrated. They certainly have a responsibility, but they are not alone in this regard. An atrocity as large and pervasive as modern slavery requires a united, global response.”
The United States is considered the second most active country in pushing legislation that addresses modern slavery.