As consumers, we hear more and more about the origins of the products we use. We have learned that there can be a lot of suffering linked to the production of the things we buy, resulting from labour exploitation and the trafficking of people.
Cases like the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, slavery in the Thai fishing industry and child labour on the cacao fields of Western Africa have shocked millions of people around the world. In response, public pressure on major brands to ‘clean up their act’ has grown.
We Europeans may believe that severe labour exploitation only happens in the Global South. But sadly, our continent is far from a safe haven when it comes to the protection of labour rights. Inhumane treatment of workers, deception, coercion or withholding of salary and identity documents are certainly not uncommon here.
And as our map shows, no European country is free from this.
By recognising what is happening we can begin to change it; we can move towards a more humane and fair way of producing our goods.
Therefore, La Strada International and 30 anti-trafficking NGOs across Europe are raising awareness of the issue, by showing what’s going on, right here in Europe.
Find out what action is needed to end human trafficking and labour exploitation on our continent.
Or simply explore our Used in Europe map to find out what’s going on in your country.