From the beginning we knew we wanted to use KOZAKH not only as a platform for selling jewelry, but also as a vehicle for positive change in the world. There are so many great charities and organizations out there helping people and making a powerful difference, it was difficult to pick just one to start with. After doing some research, we had narrowed it down to the category of human rights. Both Cyntia and I have been fortunate enough to live in different parts of the world, which exposed us to the sometimes harsh reality that not all people live equally.
We watched a TED Talk by a guy named Kevin Bales (link at the bottom), in which he spoke about the most extreme kind of inequality that exists in the world today. This inequality strips people of their dignity, their freedom, and turns humans into disposable objects, like paper bags or iPhones. I'm of course talking about slavery, which Kevin defines as people being “forced to work without pay under threat of violence, and unable to walk away.” This definition of slavery describes the existence of over 27 million people today.
To summarize Kevin’s talk, which we highly recommend viewing, slavery is a 40 billion dollar industry that exists in nearly every country around the world, and supports many of the worst industries on earth. Kevin goes on to say that despite the discouraging statistics, there is a silver lining. “The 27 million people who are in slavery today, that's a lot of people, but it's also the smallest fraction of the global population to ever be in slavery. And likewise, the 40 billion dollars that they generate into the global economy each year is the tiniest proportion of the global economy to ever be represented by slave labor.” So what does this mean? It means that even though slavery still exists and effects millions, it’s on its way out, and it just needs a little help being pushed into extinction.
So how can we do it, how can we kick slavery off the earth? According to the data conducted by Kevin’s organization, Free the Slaves, the average cost of not only freeing a slave, but also supporting them, educating them, and transitioning them back into society after emancipation is only $400 per slave. Factor that to 27 million people, and the cost is about 10.8 billion dollars to free and rebuild the life of every slave in existence today. I also need to point out that Free the Slaves does not purchase these people and then set them free, they use legal means to liberate them from their captors, which is the only real way to defeat slavery. We absolutely believe that slavery can be abolished worldwide, especially when the only thing standing in the way of these people’s freedom is what Americans spend on Fantasy Football every year ($11B according to Forbes).
We’re happy to announce that KOZAKH will be standing behind this belief by donating a part of every purchase made on our website to Free the Slaves. We hope that by doing this we can spread awareness of this issue, encourage people to take action, and be a part of an amazing victory for humanity by liberating people in all corners of the globe, and saying goodbye to slavery once and for all. It’s been a long time coming, and we believe the world is ready to do it. How about you?
Watch the TED Talk here: How to Combat Modern Slavery
Check out the Free the Slaves website here: www.freetheslaves.net