ReportModernDaySlavery.org and The Modern-Day Reporting Slavery Centre were started by journalist and author, Lucia Mann.
“Modern-day slavery is an even bigger problem than it was during the years of legalized slave trade from Africa to the Americas,” says Lucia Mann, the daughter of a woman who was held as a sex slave in South Africa in the 1940s. She tells a slightly fictionalized version of her family’s story her three books Rented Silence (new edition underway) Africa’s Unfinished Symphony (2014), and A Veil of Blood Hangs Over Africa (2015).
“There is nowhere in the world now where slavery is legal, and yet more than 27 million people are held captive as forced laborers or sex slaves,” Mann says. “That’s more than twice the number enslaved during 400 years of trans-Atlantic trading. Raising Americans’ awareness and concern is the first step to ending slavery. “If there is no money to be made from enslaving people, it will end.”
Mann says, “There are ways individuals can help end the suffering and reach out a hand to victims.” Here are some details about our reporting center, and some additional resources:
Anyone who suspects a person is being held captive, or a person who is being held, can file a report. The information will be reported to law enforcement and the person filing can request they remain a confidential source. The Website also includes links to relevant law-enforcement agencies in the United States.
Here, people can take a short online survey that calculates the number of slaves working for you around the world based on the clothes, cars, electronic items and other consumer goods you own. The number is calculated according to what’s known about slave labor in the regions where the raw materials are produced and the goods are manufactured. (Google Chrome is required to take the survey.)
You will find email prepared letters and surveys to any of 1,566 companies asking what steps they’re taking to ensure no slave labor is used in their supply chains. Companies who complete the survey and go out of their way to describe ongoing and current efforts are tagged with a “Thank You.” Companies that complete the survey are tagged with “View Response.” As of mid-January, 70 companies ranging from Fruit of the Loom to Campbell’s Soup had earned a “Thank You.” Another 25, including Avon and Best Buy, had completed the survey. Most, though, had not responded despite numerous emails. Duracell, for instance, was sent 432 emails and Bounty was sent 221.
In California, the Transparency in Supply Chains Act became effective Jan. 1. It requires retailers and manufacturers with gross receipts of $100 million to disclose what they’ve done – or haven’t done – to eliminate slavery in their supply chains. While there are no punitive consequences, advocates say the law will raise awareness and allow consumers to reward or punish companies with their shopping choices. Residents of other states can lobby legislators for a similar law.
About Lucia Man
Lucia Mann was born in British colonial South Africa in the wake of World War II and lives in British Columbia, Canada. She retired from freelance journalism in 1998 and wrote several books to give voice to those who suffered brutalities and captivity decades ago. You may find our more about Ms. Mann’s work by visiting her website at www.LuciaMann.com