All posts tagged: human trafficking

The embarrassing path to good coffee (goodbye Starbucks)

After spending Monday sighing over that the internet won’t shut up about Breaking Bad because it’s not really that good, I decided to catch up on Season 5 (I’d seen up to season 4 a year ago), probably because I hate feeling left out when it comes to Hollywood. That was three days ago. 14 episodes later I have re-emerged and I have pounded my fists on the bed and yelled at my computer on three separate occasions. I have also barely spoken to anyone nor seen sunlight. I’m a little confused as to what my life is right now. But I love coffee so let’s talk about coffee! My journey to appreciate coffee started, embarrassingly, with Starbucks. Now I call it candy-coffee because let’s face it, most of the concoctions they sell are 3 parts syrup, 1 part coffee and 6 parts milk but at the time I was convinced that a white chocolate mocha (WCM) was this mysterious adult beverage called coffee. And it was delicious! It probably still is but at least …

Books, websites and media for understanding human trafficking

I got a nice comment asking if I could share some literature on human trafficking, which I’m very happy to do! I think one of the first thing I had to wrap my head around going into this research is that slavery is an economic crime rather than crimes of cruelty and malice. It is difficult to understand because one of the first questions you want to ask is ‘what kind of person could do this to another human being?’ Sure, there are sadists out there but for the most part taking advantage of people in desperate situations is an act by equally desperate people with their own sets of problems and priorities. It is a systemic problem created by inequality among people. This TED video is a good introduction about what we know about slavery today. In this moving yet pragmatic talk, Kevin Bales explains the business of modern slavery, a multibillion-dollar economy that underpins some of the worst industries on earth. He shares stats and personal stories from his on-the-ground research – and …

10 steps to a sustainable life: Step 3 (Origins of Stuff and modern day slavery)

Did you know an estimate 20 million people are living in slavery today? Step 3 is educate yourself about where the things you buy come from. This becomes more and more important because the global economy is also an invisible one. When you pick up an item in a brightly lit store with familiar tunes playing in the background there is absolutely no way of knowing how many hands had part in bring that particular item to you. You don’t know how much they were paid, but judging by our insatiable thirst for bargains, the answer is most likely ‘not enough’. I grew up in Norway, that frozen little country in Northern Europe, and I spent the first 25 years of my life in blissful ignorance about how it is that we can buy 2 pounds of oranges in December for about 2 dollars. I guess it has something to do with volume – when buying tons and tons of oranges the stores are able to get them for cheap – or any other excuse …