TheChocolateLife::LIVE – Is Modern Slavery Really REAL Slavery?
Episode 59 streams live starting at 12:00 on Tuesday, Sep 13. Please help me spread awareness of this topic by using the hashtag #DontBuyTheLie.
TL;DR – Yes, why yes it is.
So-called “modern” slavery isreally slavery. Don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. In this episode of #TheChocolateLifeLIVE we will explore the origins of the phrase and, I hope, provide evidence that will convince you that the use of the word “modern” is just linguistic sophistry purposely designed to provide cover for deeply disturbing cognitive dissonance.
The first time I heard the phrase “Modern Slavery” I literally asked myself, “Modern slavery? As opposed to what, Biblical slavery?”
Immediately, my hackles were up, aware of the possibility that my feelings were being – deliberately – manipulated by language choices.
Just as I have observed about what I call “The Sustainability Industry,” there appears to be an “Anti-Slavery Industry,” replete with what sound like a vocabulary of insider jargon that seems to me to have been designed to other. The jargon enables insiders to use carefully-constructed coded phrases. Outsiders, who are not aware of the coded nuances can be dismissed as not knowing what they are talking about.
Not just illegal child labor, for example, but the worst forms of child labor. While one may be more bad than the other, both are bad. Why is the distinction really necessary?
So, what about the phrase “Modern Slavery” as it is used by companies like Tony’s Chocolonely? And why are companies like Unilever’s Ben & Jerry ice cream brand so enamored of it (and Tony’s)?
Ultimately, IMO, it doesn’t matter what it is called. Modern, Biblical, chattel, debt bondage, child labor, trafficked or not: What matters is the day-to-day reality of the enslaved person, not what we – those of us who are not directly involved, though we may be indirectly aiding and abetting it through our support of the companies who directly, and allegedly knowingly benefit from the practice – label it.
What matters is how the people whose rights are being violated feel about their situation. It is an affront to everyone’s human dignity, not just those who have been, and are, enslaved.
Says ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, “Nothing can justify the persistence of this fundamental abuse of human rights.”
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