La schiavitu’ moderna continua ad esistere e a contare un popolo di millioni di persone, escluse dai sistemi dell’economia formale, intrappolati in un’invisibilita’ sconcertante. Frutto di un modello commerciale che esternalizza i costi, a beneficio del prezzo finale, pagato dalle societa’ ricche, la schiavitu’ e’ il pianto di una societa’ inequa. In versione inglese, riprodotto dal portale accademico, The Conversation, un’inquiesta sul mondo del “human trafficking”, oggi.
When Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January this year, she called on business leaders and industry captains to change the dialogue from “what we do with the money we make” to “how we make the money”. The idea was that companies can run in an ethical way and be profitable at the same time. Even better, we think, if companies tightly focus their energies to concentrate on areas where genuine change can be made.
This may sound like old wine packaged in a new bottle – after all, many organisations have been practising corporate social responsibility (CSR) for a long time, with very little real impact. This is not that surprising. Such efforts are often a response to external pressure and are designed to enhance a company’s reputation, rather than re-orient a firm to make social benefits a part of business decisions. The CSR departments get a budget, but it is not being put to good enough use.
Businesses that truly care about wider society should be taking aim at particular examples of social injustice and using their corporate muscle to eradicate it. Sadly, there is a lot of social injustice to choose from. Here, we would like to pinpoint one of the biggest ones: human trafficking and forced labour. Most of us associate trafficking with human trafficking for sexual exploitation. Yet, according to the latest UN report, there is more forced labour than any other form of human exploitation in Africa, the Middle East, South and East Asia as well as the Pacific.
Out of sight
Human trafficking is an issue that we don’t see and therefore it is remote to many of us – so far removed from our daily lives that we are mostly unconcerned with it. Nevertheless, we are all implicated. We all have mobile phones that contain an ingredient called coltan. Coltan is only available from mines in Democratic Republic of the Congo rife with slavery and child labour. While we may be surprised to read this, there is a good chance that products that fill our shops in the developed world are the result of forced labour.