Monday, July 16, 2007

Time to stop supporting slavery

Trade Aid has begun a campaign to ban the import of goods produced with slave labour. While slavery has been banned in most countries, and slave trading made illegal under international law, it still exists [PDF]; an estimated 27 million people still suffer in conditions of chattel slavery, debt slavery, or serfdom.

Like all civilised countries, New Zealand has banned slavery and slave trading. But it is still legal to import goods made with slave labour. As a result, slave owners can still profit from their violation of human rights. This has to stop. In 1983 the US banned the import of goods made with slave labour, and its time we did too.

Trade Aid has a petition calling on the government to legislate to ban the import of products made with slave labour. They're aiming to follow in the footsteps of the great abolitionist William Wilberforce's great anti-slavery petition and get 3.6% of the population to sign - meaning about 144,000 signatures. So, please give them a hand, either by signing online here, or downloading a PDF to share with your offline friends here.