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How did we let modern slavery become part of our everyday lives?

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Illustration by Thomas Pullin

  • Society abhors exploitation but we are complicit. The cheap goods and services consumers expect makes exploitation inevitable.
  • Related: Amazon’s Wal-Mart problem: Why low wages, working conditions,  and disdain for culture will hurt us all

Felicity Lawrence, the Guardian

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Mon 2 Apr 2018 | Since the Modern Slavery Act of 2015, British companies over a certain size have been required to report on slavery in their supply chains. Their statements are both shocking and admirable. Shocking because they make clear that the incidence of slavery has become normalised once again – and not just in criminal operations such as the illegal drugs trade or trafficking for prostitution, but in the mainstream economy. The declarations are prefaced with management expressions of abhorrence, of course, but there they are, another note alongside the annual accounts. They are admirable, however, in that transparency must be the first step to tackling this phenomenon.

Last month the National Crime Agency reported a 35% annual rise in the number of suspected slavery victims found in the UK, with more than 5,000 people referred to the government mechanism that supports them in 2017. Labour exploitation, rather than sexual exploitation, was the most common type of modern slavery cited.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/contributor/2007/09/28/felicity_lawrence_140x140.jpg?w=140&h=140&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=bee3bc96374b8d33ddb090bc075ee54fFelicity Lawrence is a special correspondent for the Guardian 

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Related:

Amazon’s Wal-Mart problem: Why low wages, working conditions,  and disdain for culture will hurt us all, Richard (R.J.) Eskow, Salon

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