Free2Work: A Modern-Day Abolitionist Movement for Forced and Child Labor

We've previously looked at educational tools that help consumers make better choices when it comes to sustainability. Now, a new joint project between the Not For Sale Campaign and International Labor Rights Forum aims to do the same for fair trade and modern slavery. Free2Work is best described as a modern-day abolitionist movement promoting human rights and pushing to end labor exploitation across the globe.


The project aims to educate about various labor standards and practices, offer a way to easily look up specific products, and help consumers communicate directly with companies.The site also offers curated information on topics particularly controversial in the fair trade conversation: For instance, chocolate.

But the most useful part of the project has to be their free iPhone app, which exposes the use of forced and child labor in products manufactured by mainstream brands. Thought the current roster of brands is limited, the hope is it will grow over time and become an invaluable resource not only for making smarter shopping decisions as individual consumers, but also for exerting collective pressure on manufacturers to practice fair labor and respect human rights.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.

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