The right to a “fair go” is the thing almost all Australians put at the top of their list when it comes to values.
Deborah Gough, The Age (you can find the full article here)
Australians are big on the concept of a “fair go”. We all want to be treated with fairness and equality; whether it be in regards to wages, or our gender, feeling heard and being acknowledged, anything where the individual may feel discriminated against. This concept runs through our blood. I believe in a fair go for everyone. On Thursday, at my weekly craft group, we had a woman from Fair Trade Down Under come and talk to us, and what she had to say was rather eye opening. There are more slaves in the world today – 2013 – then in any other time in history. Yes, today in our enlightened society were we value equal rights, we have more slaves then in any other period in history. It just looks different.
Forced labour takes different forms, including debt bondage, trafficking and other forms of modern slavery. The victims are the most vulnerable – women and girls forced into prostitution, migrants trapped in debt bondage, and sweatshop or farm workers kept there by clearly illegal tactics and paid little or nothing.
(Found on the homepage of the International Labour Organisations website.)
Even Australia is not immune to this scourge on our society, recently some men were arrested in Western Australia over a slave labour racket (article found here). These people that are forced into labour of any kind in any country in the world do not get a fair go!
Last year I read Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s “All Wound Up” (you can find her fantastic blog here), on top of being a hilariously funny read, she makes a very interesting point about crochet
Every stitch of crochet you have ever seen, every tablecloth, every curtain, every piece of lace trim or band on a hippy blouse at the Gap, everything was entirely and completely made by a human being exactly the way that you would do it if you were crocheting it yourself. Human, yarn, hook. That’s it. The construction of crochet means that a machine can’t do it, and hasn’t ever yet. Just think about it.
When I read that I was a little bit shocked. At the time there was a lot of crocheted clothing in store and all of a sudden it dawned on me that someone had made those clothes. Someone had sat there with yarn and a crochet hook and made lots of them. In all likelihood that person got paid very little and worked ridiculously long hours.
Slave labour, forced labour, whatever you want to call it is not a joke. It’s not something that we should just sweep under the carpet and ignore while we buy cheaper and cheaper clothes. It’s something that we should be taking very seriously, because everyone deserves a fair go.