Pope Francis Advises Shoppers to Avoid Products Made By Exploited Workers

The pope will deliver a speech on New Year's Day entitled "No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters." The firmly communicated anti-slavery stance continues a trend of Francis placing social justice at the top of his priority list.

The Francis-led Vatican continued along a pathway of social justice advocacy today when it announced the pope would make modern-day slavery a key focus of his annual New Year's Day address. Francis, who is of the Jesuit religious order and therefore particularly keen on matters of social justice, will speak on slavery's deeper societal causes and ask shoppers not to purchase products produced by modern-day slaves.


In the address, published online yesterday, Francis blames poverty and corruption for the continuing of neo-slavery practices:

"Not infrequently, the victims of human trafficking and slavery are people who look for a way out of a situation of extreme poverty; taken in by false promises of employment, they often end up in the hands of criminal networks which organize human trafficking. These networks are skilled in using modern means of communication as a way of luring young men and women in various parts of the world.

Another cause of slavery is corruption on the part of people willing to do anything for financial gain. Slave labour and human trafficking often require the complicity of intermediaries, be they law enforcement personnel, state officials, or civil and military institutions."

While the headline "Pope says slavery is bad" sounds sort of like "Messi says football is round," Francis' recent string of social justice advocacy represents a recent shift in Vatican priorities under his watch. While previous popes certainly didn't advocate for worker exploitation, their focuses were more often placed on perceived spiritual ills rather than social or economic ones. Francis has made it clear that he stands outside of that paradigm.

Regardless of your feelings on organized religion and the Catholic Church, it's undeniable that the current pope has a unique platform for advocacy and isn't afraid to speak his mind on these sorts of issues.

Read more at Rappler

You can read the text of Francis' speech here

Photo credit: Martin Podzorny / Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

Why avoiding logical fallacies is an everyday superpower

10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.

Photo credit: Miguel Henriques on Unsplash
Personal Growth
  • Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
  • Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
  • Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less