Slavery was officially abolished in the United States in 1865. Most other countries had either already obliged or they followed suit. In the Declaration of Independence, the United States declared everyone's "unalienable rights" to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
As a result, it often seems as if we've come so far, leaving slavery in the past and giving everyone the right to their own life. However, this is only a facade. Jarringly, there are roughly 30 million slaves in the world today—and 60,000 of them are in the U.S. Even in cases where people aren't enslaved in the U.S., we still have a hand. So many of the goods we buy come through supply chains that originated in modern-day slavery practices, including trafficking and forced labor. While the U.S. has done more than any other country to combat this, the U.S. still spends three times more money than the next country, Japan, on imports of the 5 most at-risk (linked to modern slavery) goods.
Despite our proclamations and efforts to combat slavery, we are still entrenched in a system where modern-day slavery can flourish. Considering this horrible situation we find ourselves in, it's important that we take the time to discuss potential solutions to our massive modern-day slavery crisis.
In my opinion, increased transparency would be a great first step, so that we can make conscientious about the items we buy, knowing where they originated. In addition, increased accountability is critical, so that companies whose supply chains are party to modern-day slavery face the consequences. Laws can be put in place to ensure that both of the aforementioned factors be taken into account.
Any other ideas? Let's discuss.