Chances are if you’re reading this you probably already know that many products that we use everyday pass through the hands of a slave. But have you ever though about what their name is or what they look like? How old they are, what their families are doing?
In a recent documentary following BBC around the world, documentarians travel to the garment industry in India for a closer look at the lives behind our wardrobe. In the short clip above, we witness first hand the lives of victims of forced labor. Here, there are children as young as 8 working 12 to 14 hour days for as little as $1 a week. They were sold into slavery by their parents as payment for debt or because their families were are unable to provide enough food for them. In many cases, child labor is a necessity for families to support themselves.
Once these children enter, it is extremely difficult for them to leave. Often times they are moved around and are unfamiliar with their surroundings, they fear the police, and have no one to look to for aid. As a child spends more time in the factory or workshop, they develop more skills and become more valuable then they are sold again. Trapped and hopeless, these children go unnoticed to most of the world.
There are people who are working to help these children. Bachpan Bachao Andolan is an organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of child forced labor victims. They have rescued around 67,000 children in 30 years from bonded labor in India.
There are ways that you can make a difference too! Think about your favorite stores and ask them if they know where their products come from. Show them this video and let them get to know what the real price of that shirt or those shoes is.