Bonnie Nixon, Professor, Sustainable Supply Chains, Harvard University and UCLA
Value “chains” and supply “chains” are broken for more than 27 million human beings around the world. Usually when most people in the United States are asked when slavery ended, they say “after the civil war” or “with the 13th amendment.” Very few people realize that all over the planet many people who work in fields, forests, mines, fisheries and factories are not doing so of their own volition. Hidden in plain sight trafficked persons are recruited, transported, coerced, abducted, deceived forced and abused for the purpose of labor exploitation. Economics and politics play a huge role creating these grave situations for trafficked victims. Ultimately, we must address some of the root causes including poverty, structural violence, discrimination and inequality and advocating on behalf of and telling their stories is a unified way to liberate the world’s most exploited laborers in complex supply chains.