Human Trafficking


Report for February 8, 2019

By Ann Cubillas



As far back as humanity goes, people have bought,

sold, and enslaved other people.

But one of the great triumphs of our world has been our ability to end such evil

practices. People rose up against slavery and didn’t mince words. “Abolition”

leaves no room for compromise.

Emancipation set the slaves free.

That’s what we like to think anyway. Yeah, we’ve heard there are still

questionable work conditions. Sweatshops and the like.

But buying, selling, and trafficking human beings? If

that’s happening, it must just be in wildly different

countries, far from my influence.

Actually, no. That smart phone, t‐shirt, computer, cup of coffee….That’s stuff we

buy, and that’s stuff that comes from slaves.

“But they’re reputable brands!

If they were running sweatshops, Oprah would be all

over it.”

True, but it’s not that simple. The fact of the matter is, these reputable brands

that we know and love, they just don’t know where all the materials come from?

What about the cotton in that t‐shirt? The tantalum in that smart phone? The

beans in that cup of Joe?

That’s where you find the slaves.

In the fields. In the mines. In the raw materials


It’s the supply chain. And it’s the supply chain that enslaves more people than at

any time in human history. They’re working for you.

So much for abolition.

That’s why we’d like to help you understand your influence on slavery. Not so

you can feel bad. Not so you’ll stop buying stuff….

…so you will ask the brands you like to buy to find out

where their materials are coming from.

It’s not hard for them. A free market should come from free people. We’re all

working towards making an objective, third party supply chain review that will be

quite clear.


Let’s stop and think about the above statements. As consumers we do tend to go

for those brands we love. BUT what do we really know about the labor force used

to produce those brands. It is our responsibility to ask questions. Once we

investigate and learn then we need to act. We need to consider boycotting those

items until the Brand Makers can show us they are aware of the global problem

and are beginning to take steps to solve the problem of human trafficking in the

production of any of the components that become part of the product. YES, it will

take some deep diving to educate ourselves, but unless we ask questions we will

never learn the truth.

Over the last two years I have been a great advocate against human trafficking. I

hope that everything I have brought before this board has educated each of you

in what our role is in eradicating human trafficking in all forms. As I finish my

term with the FCCW Board I leave you with this mantra!