Will Advocacy END Modern-day Slavery?

by Anna Spoore November 22, 2023

Will Advocacy END Modern-day Slavery?

In the urgent battle against modern-day slavery, we must confront a crucial question: Is advocacy alone enough? Will advocacy end Modern day slavery?  Is lobbing government, running awareness campaigns about slavery, sending letters to companies about their supply chains all enough to see systematic change?
While these things are extremely important to start the change it is not enough. 
I believe it is absolutely essential that we rally behind and support ethical businesses who are already embodying change as well as advocacy . The gravity of this issue cannot be overstated, and the time for passive awareness is long gone.
In my journey combating slavery and exploitation, I've seen big corporations make promises, and yet, these pledges often fade into oblivion. It's a stark reality that corporations and governments, profiting from the vulnerable, shy away from actively participating in systematic change, long term. It's time to question the effectiveness of mere advocacy in the face of such entrenched resistance.
Having spent 15 years immersed in this fight, I can attest to the heartbreaking decline of Fair Trade in Australia. The very businesses striving to break the chains of exploitation are struggling to survive. This is not just an economic downturn; it's a crisis for those who believe in the power of ethical consumption.
My Understanding of advocacy began when I worked for World Vision, years ago, discussing global issues of slavery and exploitation. People were eager to make ethical choices, but finding businesses offering Fair trade products was a challenge. This scarcity led me to start Uplift Fair Trade, a Fair trade business driven by the belief that advocacy and ethical business practices should go hand in hand. It's all very good to commit to ethical consumption , but if there is simply no where to buy ethically produced products, what is the point? 
For some they find Fair trade is too expensive. Of course there is a cost, however when you buy cheap and fast there is a greater cost to people and the planet.  The decline in support for ethical practices is disheartening, especially when consumers do care about the origins of their products. It's time for a wake-up call to all true believers who still care, who still want to buy slavery-free products and uplift communities. Its time to re-connect with the ethical brands you know. 
Advocacy needs action. It's not enough to talk about ethical consumption; we must actively embrace it. Imagine if every conscious consumer, every believer in ending slavery, decided to support ethical businesses. The impact would be profound, creating a beacon for future generations and a lifeline for struggling Fair Trade initiatives.
The desperation lies in the dwindling support for those business's who are already doing the right thing. Now is the time for a united stand. Let's turn our advocacy into a force for change by actively prioritising and supporting Fair Trade and ethical initiatives. Our collective actions can break the cycle of exploitation. Let us show big corporations the demand for ethically produced product.  The question remains: Will we merely advocate, or will we be the driving force behind the change we so desperately need? The time to act is now.

Anna Spoore
Anna Spoore


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