Powerful stories from silenced migrant workers and helpful hints to end exploitation.
This animation chronicles a young girl’s journey as she discovers the origins of many of her favorite goods and services. All of us are consumers at one point or another, and we have a responsibility to understand the impact that our choices have on migrant workers.
Migrant Worker exploitation happens in many of the most prominent industries in the world, including chocolate, coffee, domestic work, clothing, shoes, seafood, and any other good or service that comes to mind. The following animation details the impact of this exploitation:
The young animated character Lizzie experiences consumerism and the stories behind the people who produce many of her favorite products and services.
Lizzie’s mother says, “there are people who are in power and people who are powerless”. In a similar fashion, there are consumers that have the power to intervene this preexisting dichotomy of power just by the items and services they choose to buy.
Consumers have a shared responsibility with companies to end exploitation in all good and service industries. The article below serves as a pathway for consumers to intervene with preexisting power structures in industries.
Six Ways To Help Fight Migrant Worker Exploitation
1. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
As consumers, we make decisions every day without fully understanding the implications behind our actions. Support businesses that you can count on to provide fair wages and treatment to their employees. It is crucial for consumers to vote with dollars, because without demand, there is no need for supply of products that are made from the exploitation of migrant workers.
2. Buy Fair Trade Products
Fair trade products require a logo and series of standards that companies must meet in regards to the fair wages and treatment of their workers. Voluntary standards systems are a great step forward to finding a solution for cases of exploitation. Visit: http://www.fairtrade.net/ for more information on the standards and positive impact of fair trade practices.
3. Support Human Rights Organizations
4. Support Migrant Worker Organizations
Organizations such as Migrants Rights International, Migration Policy Institute, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, and more are organizations that work directly with migrant workers to put an end to issues of exploitation.
5. Listen To Migrant Workers’ Stories
One of the most sincere ways to begin to make a difference in attempt to stop migrant worker exploitation is to listen to migrant workers’ stories. Even further, it is important to share these stories so that other people can listen and connect to the issue of labor exploitation as well.
6. Remind Migrant Workers That They Are Human
We are all bound to know or come across a migrant worker at some point throughout our lives. A simple smile, conversation, or interest in their hardships may not seem like enough, but it does help, and you will be directly connecting with them and making their lives a little bit brighter.
This story was created by a team of students at the 2016 Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change. It exists as part of a digital publication which explores how personal stories and human connections can enable us and others to be more inclusive, responsive, and understanding of migrants and the socio-political-cultural impacts of migration.