by Phoebe Ewen
As the holiday season approaches, and many of us take time off work to reflect on the year, and reconnect (as much as social distancing allows in 2020) with friends and family. This season for many, is a time for gift-giving, celebration, and charity. During this time, there are many opportunities to take action against modern slavery, the seemingly smallest action can make a big difference that lasts far beyond the holiday season. The following are some examples of how you can fight modern slavery during this time.
Make a Resolution
New Year’s Resolutions, from going to the gym more to watching less TV are frequently made and easily broken. By making a meaningful New Year’s resolution for 2021, you can challenge yourself with practical actions that not only enrich your life but contribute to making the world a better place. You could resolve to dedicate 8 hours a month to volunteering, fundraise a certain amount for your favourite NGO, or educate 100 people in your life about modern slavery. You could even pledge to set up a club at your school or a working group at the office to get your peers involved. These kinds of resolutions will one day allow you to reflect on 2021 knowing you have helped to fight modern slavery and save lives, an incredibly motivating outcome!
Local NGOs are always seeking support, and you may be surprised at how in-demand your skills are. This support is needed during the holiday season and beyond with thousands of anti-slavery NGOs that need help. Support varies from practical work on the ground to help vulnerable people during the holiday season through to jobs that can even be done remotely during Covid-19, like fundraising, writing, website maintenance, accounting, and legal support. Taking some time to research and speak to modern slavery NGOs and charities will show you how useful your skills and time can be, and may lead to a newfound passion project in 2021.
As you are buying gifts for friends and family, make a conscious effort to choose companies and brands that are actively engaged in fighting modern slavery. Positive reinforcement demonstrates to companies that consumers care about modern slavery, and encourages positive action. Apps like Good On You allow you to research how your favourite brands are working on modern slavery issues and understand how they are fighting this crime, with recommendations for ethical retailers. Most organisations (particularly those that operate in the UK and/or Australia) are legally required to publish a publicly available modern slavery statement on their website that you can access. Take a look at your favourite brands’ statements, and read about the work that they are doing. Reward those brands that are taking action by choosing them for your gift-giving this holiday season.
Gift a Donation
Consider making a donation to an organisation fighting modern slavery, either for yourself or as a gift to a friend or family member. A gift of a donation not only brings joy to the gift giver and receiver, but also to great joy the organisation and beneficiaries that it supports. In a year where NGOs fight to survive the impacts of Covid-19, and modern slavery is affecting even more vulnerable people, a donation gift has more meaning than ever.
All of the above actions are simple but significant steps that can be taken to fight modern slavery this holiday season. Share this article to encourage your friends and family to do the same, and help end modern slavery!
Mekong Club works across industries to end modern slavery through positive and collaborative actions. Learn more about our work on our website. To make a donation to Mekong Club, click here. To contact us to learn about volunteer opportunities, click here.