46 – Knowledge of Harms: A Demand Reduction Strategy

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Demand reduction is key to ending trafficking – and it’s not only about sex trafficking. Sandra Morgan, the Director of the Global Center for Women & Justice and Dave Stachowiak, one of the Center’s board members, discuss how child labor trafficking and forced labor show up in many of our purchasing decisions, whether we realize it or not. Sandie & Dave also discuss strategies for how to take action to make a difference in a very complex and challenging environment.

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Dave: Your listening to the ending human trafficking podcast this is episode 46. This week’s topic is the knowledge of harms and reduction strategy. Welcome to the ending human trafficking podcast. My name is Dave Stachowiak

Sandie: and my name is Sandie Morgan.

Dave: this is the show where we empower you to be a voice and make a difference. Well greetings to you from the global center of women and justice here at Vanguard University. I am pleased to be back here again with Sandie. Our agenda for today’s show is we are going to be responding to a question from a listener about the California transparency law chain audits that we had originally talked about in episode 17 and one of our listeners had asked what I do if I’m outside of California. So were going to take a look at that today to answer that question were going to look at harms models so Sandie will walk us through that and also are hope today is that we get us all thinking outside the box on some demand reduction strategies particularly around labor trafficking in relation to kids. There’s a lot for us to cover today. It’s important for us to understand so that we can begin to get better perspective. You know we talk about sex trafficking a lot, but labor trafficking is just as big an issue and how can we address that too?

Sandie: Well just to kind of frame this a little it first of all when we talk about demand reduction in Human trafficking well immediately go to the buzz about getting men involve in anti-pornography and demand reduction for sex trafficking and that is an important issue and we have addressed it on this podcast before in order to do so in the last podcast where we interviewed Esther and Camille and they talked about the children and the men and the women who are slaves in coal time mines. Which this mineral is used in my electronic equipment what am I going to do about that. And so it began to kind of bubble in my mind thinking about how do we address demand reduction and the California transparency act did a great job here on helping us learn how to use supply chain audits to create social responsibility, social responsible merchants that means that if they are doing business in this state they have to provide us with a report that will show us they are slave free or the level of possible exploitation that might be involved. The products that are on the shelves of big companies like Wal-Mart, Kmart, and these stores they have this available on the website. You’re not in California and the company you want to shop with doesn’t have it available on the website, what are you going to do. So, I wanted to look demand reduction, we learned a long time ago that with spending more of the household income than men because they tend to be the ones who do the shopping. So how does someone who’s doing shopping how do they factor in Demand reduction strategies into everyday choices to end trafficking?

Dave: And this is big for us because we all can influence through our everyday choices that can be important just as important. It changes our habits and what we consume all of us have these choices. But when we know and were empowered, we can make a different choice.

Sandie: and we can be intentional about that and not all products are in certification trail it’s expensive to become part of a fair-trade company and get certification for your products. And if you’re in a developing country are you even going to have access to that there are a lot of products besides coffee and chocolate, so what do we do? And when we look at the demand reduction model one of the most well-known is the model that is used to reduce harm. This has been implemented on our war on drugs and in schools, short term prevention strategies but the ideas of reducing harm is really the basis of it and the idea that we understand that harm than we will make different choices, the social marketing media campaign back in the 70’s was about the harms to your lungs, environment and children and a lot of people didn’t make sacrifices to change themselves and I remember my father in law who was a smoker from the time he was a little kid. He was like well it’s been my choice but when he had grandchildren, he looked at the harm for a little grandbaby in his living room and he took his cigarettes outside and eventually he just quit because it was important for the future of his kids.

Dave: It’s interesting you mention that because my dad did the same thing, he smoked till my mom became pregnant with me and then he stopped.

Sandie: See we do things because we understand the harm.

Dave: Yeah, it’s fascinating and so that has been certainly the attitude that smoking is dangerous and has been massive in the last 20 years.

Sandie: It has literally been criminalized because you have laws you can’t smoke in a hospital, airport, all these places because we know what the harms are. So now let’s take that to a demand reduction strategy on it I think empathy is important to understand the harm because it’s their harm to you buying products produced by slave labor to you? As long as you don’t know than but how do you begin to use this strategy as a demand reduction tool. In Human Trafficking name 5 or 10 products that involve modern day slavery, but our department of labor is required every year to produce a report the list of goods produced by child labor. The purpose is to raise awareness of slave labor, child labor and promote efforts to address them.

Dave: So, this is the answer to what can I do if I am out there outside of California? I can go and get ahold of this report.

Sandie: In this report you will see opportunities to understand what kind of trafficking is happening. The research has been very good. The list of products will be really surprising to you. The number of child labor checkmarks is incredible. Bricks are made in Afghanistan with child labor and forced labor. Carpets are made with child labor. Production of coal since it goes in tiny places, they prefer children working in coalmines. How does that impact us?

Dave: It can get overwhelming Sandie you know I’m sitting here in this beautifully lit room. Both of us holding devices that have the mineral that we know is mined with child slave labor and so this is one of those things if you try and take it all in you will just paralyze yourself. How I might make different choices?

Sandie: Many people know that diamond mines are a place where children and adults are slaves. In Argentina garments are produced from child labor. We have to include policy makers and merchants for supply audits.

Dave: there are priced differences that drive this. Case in point I’m aware of these conditions we have this holiday called Halloween and I was looking for chocolate that is fair trade and it was so much more expensive than the stuff you could buy cheaper and is likely that child labor was involved.

Sandie: I can’t afford fair trade chocolate when I was younger, so I just bought sugar, so I bought wrapped sugar and in Brazil sugar cane they have child labor. Children in slave labor are used for cashews.

Dave: What can we do without getting overwhelmed?

Sandie: Understanding supply chain audits and educating businesses. I was really impressed by McDonalds because they did supply chain audits. Support legislation that requires this.

Dave: Be a voice go out ask questions and talk to local businesses. So really let’s connect with owners on supply chain so people in these roles can utilize it.

Sandie: Let’s start thinking out of the box on what are influence is that can change this.

Dave: We would love to hear from you on how to reach out and engage so you can be a voice. Sandie before we go today, I want to say one of the ways you can help right now is to get more people who understand to listen to this show. And we will see you all again in 2 weeks.

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