VIDEO: Labor Activist Exposes the Horrors in the Global Supply Chain for Some of Your Favorite Products—His Solution Might Surprise You

Governments seem neither willing nor able to deal with this international problem.

Auret van Heerden giving his TED talk.
Photo Credit: via youtube

If you thought forced child labor and slave labor were no longer with us, you couldn't be more wrong. And, the fact is, we are all likely using products that begin or end in some horrific working conditions. As this TED talk by the labor activist Auret van Heerden illustrates, cell phones begin their life in black mines in the Congo, mined by children, then get made in Chinese factories where suicide is a common way out. Chocolate might start its life with child labor in the Cote d'Ivoire. Uzbekistan,second the largest grower of cotton in the world, is harvested by children, forcibly. 

Governments have abdicated their responsibility for regulating the global supply chain. So what can be done about this deficit of human rights? It's well worth checking out this video to see what Auret van Heerden of the Fair Labor Association recommends as a solution. Can multi-national, profit-seeking corporations step into the breach?

You may or may not agree with his solution, but it is worth hearing him out.