Nature of the Problem
b) “Modern-day Slavery: An Explainer,” by Annie Kelly, The Guardian (UK) (webpage with key definitions; see “for more information” section below for international legal frameworks and definitions).
Case Study Brazil
a) In “Trapped in Slavery” Robyn Fieser briefly describes the personal stories of several Brazilian workers who found themselves enslaved and the efforts that the Church and civil society partners CRS supports provide to help these individuals. (Published May 24, 2011)
b) Brazil Models Courage in Fighting Modern-Day Slavery - Names on “Dirty List” prompted CRS Coffeelands program to seek insight into slave-labor conditions on Brazilian plantations. Kaitlyn Mortimer briefly introduces four questions CRS and partner Repórter Brasil sought to ask those coffee estates. She acknowledges Brazil’s efforts in “refusing to ignore the problem” of modern day slavery. Follow the links embedded from her comments to CRS Coffeelands blog and its series of eight posts (also linked together) regarding slavery in Brazil. (January 19, 2016)
c) In Rooting Out Modern Slavery in Coffee Supply Chains, Kaitlyn Mortimer summarizes the conclusions found in the following resource, Farmworker Protections and Labor Conditions in Brazil’s Coffee Sector: Exploring Isolated Cases of Modern Slavery. The latter 42-page report (2016) outlines the findings of more than two years of research by CRS and Repórter Brasil on cases of modern slavery in Brazil's coffee sector. The authors also advance a series of recommendations at the close of this report for policymakers, private-sector leaders, and consumers in order to more effectively contribute to the definitive eradication of slave labor.
d) Just as the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro were starting, author John Lindner remarked, in Brazil Confronts Modern-Day Slavery, “while the world’s spotlight is on Brazil, it’s fitting to applaud the country in its quest to eradicate modern slavery from its borders.” (July 28, 2016)
e) Leonardo Sakamoto is a gladiator in the fight against modern slave labor. The International Labour Organization estimates 21 million people are modern slaves around the world generating US$150 billion a year in illicit profits. In this strong, hopeful talk, Sakamoto shares 21st century tools to combat a 21st century scourge that far from being a relic of the past, continues to grow. Journalist, doctor in political science and a professor of journalism at the Catholic University of Sao Paulo, Sakamoto is an advisor to the United Nations Fund of Contemporary Forms of Slavery. He is also a founder and President of Reporter Brasil, an NGO that identifies and publicizes human rights violations and slave labor. Listen to a talk given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. (Video, 10:34, published on March 17, 2016)
f) “Slavery: Video Interview with Xavier Plassat, Coordinator of the Brazilian Pastoral Land Commission Campaign Against Slave Labor,” (24:16 video, Salt and Light Productions). Brother Passat talks about the conditions of contemporary slavery in the Brazilian Amazon—including geographic isolation, indebtedness, and lack of support systems—and the root causes of slavery, such as landlessness, joblessness, and lack of access to education and healthcare. Plassat also addresses our connection to these problems as consumers in the global economy. Video ends with a reading of Isaiah 61:1-2 proclaiming “liberty to the captives.”
a) USCCB Committee on Migration Resource, “On Human Trafficking,” Two-page brief discusses Catholic social teaching regarding trafficking, gives call to action, and recommends responses in US context -- such as promotion of immigration reform to reduce vulnerability of migrant populations.
What Is Being Done and What You Can Do
a) "Slavery and Commodity Chains: Fighting the Globalization of Indifference," by Vincent J. Miller, America, blogpost January 2, 2014. Dr. Vince Miller is Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture at the University of Dayton and was a participant in a 2013 trip to Brazil to work with CRS and its partners on the issue of slave labor. Written with the GSN in mind, this essay pushes students to notice how we have more knowledge of and desire for our things than we do knowledge of how these things are produced. The essay is an excellent introduction to global supply chains and slave labor and invites reflection on our moral responsibilities as consumers.
b) Understand how we are involved through supply chains: See “How Many Slave Work for You" through the Slavery Footprint. http://slaveryfootprint.org/
c) Understand corporate social responsibility and supply chains: “Know the Chain” – a resource to promote transparency - and California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act SB-657 and Verite’s “Forced Labor Commodity Atlas”