Of course not. And yet, as a key cause and effect of globalization, the Internet does play an important role in enabling the conditions that produce today’s 27 million slaves around the world. But it’s also the vehicle with which we can fight this slavery. That’s the opinion, at least, of Justin Dillon, the CEO of Slavery Footprint, a State Department funded organization launched at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative, which is focused on exposing and fighting contemporary slavery.
The Internet, indeed, is now becoming an essential tool for not only fighting slavery but also raising our awareness about how prevalent it is in many of the products that we consume. As Dillon explained when he came into our TechCrunchTV studio, Slavery Footprint has released an Android and iPhone mobile app which will enable us to find out how much slavery is contained in products that we buy.
Dillon reminded me, for example, that it takes an average of 3.2 forced laborers to produce the average smartphone. Doesn’t that seem like an awfully high price to pay for being connected?