Broker Check

Slavery is Alive and Well

January 18, 2022

I am a regular reader of Florida workers compensation Judge David Langham's blog. (He is the Deputy Chief Judge of the Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims. "Deputy Chief Judge" seems like a contradiction, but I digress.) While usually discussing workers compensation and Florida law, he frequently references larger issues. A recent example is a post about the Florida Attorney General's work on combatting human traffic, and the Florida Coalition to End Human Trafficing. (The blog is at

Slavery persists in the modern world. According to the Coalition, between 21 million and 45 million people worldwide are enslaved. Types of slavery include forced labor, sex trafficing, coercion and child labor. Forced labor in China is an example.

Part of the problem is consumer desire for cheap goods leading to companies using slave labor to cut costs. To illustrate the scope of the problem, Judge Langham took a quiz on the Coalition website that concluded his eating and buying habits accounted for 34 people oppressed or enslaved worldwide. I suspect many people, myself included, would have similar scores.

We must be more aware of the sources of our products, and try to patronize companies who follow ethical sourcing practices. There are training courses to teach people to recognize signs of human trafficing. We should at least be more aware of the problem.