I want to thank Stu Lindberg for his informative letter on modern slavery, especially timely when Vermonters have supported an amendment to the state constitution to clarify the prohibition of slavery and indentured servitude.
The reality of slavery and human trafficking worldwide is indeed something we need to try to tackle. Buying locally produced goods is a start, buying fair trade goods is another step. The problem of batteries, both sourcing materials and disposal/recycling, is one that is now beginning to get more publicity. More public awareness and policy is needed.
Another aspect of human trafficking is one created by large events, especially sporting events. World Cup preparations in Qatar and Super Bowl events in the United States have been identified as trafficking opportunities. I found the Polaris project website a good source for information around what red flags we can be aware of. They have a “take action” page at www.polarisproject.org/take-action. I also found a project called the SOAP Project, www.soapproject.org, that works on preventing and identifying human trafficking that is prostitution. You might be interested in how they distribute the human trafficking hotline number by labeling bars of hotel-sized soap and distributing them. As big sporting events come to Vermont, perhaps hotels would be interested in using the project’s product periodically to raise awareness.