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Our global supply chain, particularly our agriculture and food system, is rife with child labor, free/slave labor, and human rights violations. We are becoming increasingly disconnected from these people who plant, tend, harvest and process the food we eat every day.


  1. Today, there are an estimated 160 million child laborers and nearly 28 million people in forced labor (including debt bondage), the majority of whom work at the bottom of global supply chains, invisible to the outside world.

  2. As many as 27 million men, women and children are estimated to be trafficking victims at any given time, often forced to work in agriculture and food processing.

  3. The most common agricultural goods produced by child labor or forced labor include sugarcane, cotton, coffee, tobacco, cattle, rice, and fish. In the manufacturing sector, bricks, garments, textiles, footwear, carpets, and fireworks use child or forced labor most frequently.

  4. The consequences of human rights violations across our global supply chain are staggering — deteriorating the physical, intellectual, emotional, and psychosocial development of individuals, families, and communities.

Hands Holding Wooden Plate


  1. Get a rough idea of how your consumption habits may lead back to child and forced/slave labor by using the calculator at

  2. Choose to purchase fair trade and ethically produced foods for products that are higher risk of participating in slave/child labour.

  3. Send this article to your favorite local shops, and encourage them to take action using the steps outlined under the subheading "What can food and agriculture businesses do to prepare?" Take it a step further and send a letter with this article printed out to the Human Resources department of larger chain stores.

  4. Learn where your food comes from! Find out about companies' ethics, and their use of the migrant labour and land management.

  5. Volunteer with organizations to help those facing human rights violations

  6. Sign a petition and look for ways to become active.

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