Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Slave labor in Thailand's shrimp industry

The U.S. is threatening to impose economic sanctions on the country of Thailand after British newspaper, The Guardian, issued an investigative report detailing the country’s use of slave labor in the shrimp industry. The six-month investigation revealed 20-hour work days, brutal conditions, beatings, and execution style killings. The U.S., of which Thai shrimp is sold in national supermarket chains, such as Walmart and Costco, is now assessing the situation and determining potential strategies to respond. One such response is to reflect The Guardian’s discoveries in the Trafficking in Persons report.    

The U.S. state department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report, largely considered the gold standard on issues of human trafficking, ranks countries in tiers based on their performance in regards to prevention of slavery within its borders. Thailand currently is graded a tier-2 country, but is in danger of being downgraded to a trier-3 as per U.S. standards. A tier-3 ranking could result in economic sanctions, reduced government aid, and restricted access to global institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.  

What do you think of The Guardian’s findings? Of whose responsibility is it to prevent trafficking? Does it fall on countries and individual industries- or on consumers? What roles can we all play to prevent and reduce slave labor around the globe?

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