Governments, businesses and individuals all have a role to play in ending this practice. Consumers in particular have the power to help combat human slavery through their purchases. When rug buyers demand the GoodWeave label, they send a message to manufacturers that a childhood is more valuable than a carpet, taking away the financial incentive for them to employ kids. Instead of perpetuating trafficking and other forms of slavery, GoodWeave’s industry partners and their rug-buying clients are helping employ adult rug weavers and educate thousands of kids like Sanju–providing a rich return on investment to society.
Momentum in the anti-trafficking movement, which GoodWeave helped pioneer 15 years ago, is growing, from California’s new anti-slavery legislation to Google.org’s first-ever grant portfolio to end modern slavery. And for consumers, there are a growing number of initiatives like Shop to Stop Slavery, Free2Work, The Emancipation Network and the Slavery Footprint to help research the products they are buying and learn about ethical alternatives. Together, we can not only help trafficked girls like Sanju Maya beat the odds, but also change the odds for the better, and for good.
 Kara, Siddharth. Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia. October 2012. Estimate includes 19.2 million bonded laborers, 3 million trafficked slaves and 8.3 million forced laborers.
Photo: Sanju Maya (left) at Hamro Ghar with a fellow GoodWeave student, May 2012. Photo by U. Roberto Romano.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.