Have you ever been into a Pound/Dollar/Euro shop and like me, wondered, who (when you save so much) actually gains from what you buy? This question has never been more relevant than it is today. In Poundland, for £1 (the equivalent of about $1.5 or just over €1), you can buy anything from a notebook to a decorative ornament. When we buy a gift for a Pound, is it really a bargain?
“I was brought to Delhi by a person who paid £14 to my family” says 8 year old Mohammad. Currently in a safe house, he and 4 other boys await being reunited with their families, having been rescued from a Delhi sweatshop.
The boys were working for an Indian firm supplying Christmas gifts destined to the British chain Poundland. They worked 14 hours a day (98 hours a week) until 11pm, making a measly 7 pence (11 US cents or 8 Euro cents) for each long hour. That’s under £7 a week- the equivalent of 7 gifts from Poundland. When we get our Poundsworth, we are paying for over 13 hours of labour. I guess now I know why it’s so cheap.
“We work hard to bring you amazing value products everyday” is one of Poundland’s mottos, but it’s young boys who have been trafficked and exploited who are working hard to make them profits. So who is really working overtime?
Poundland have stated they didn’t know about it and will not tolerate child exploitation in their supply chain. But if it’s not their responsibility to know, whose is it? We have the responsibility as consumers to make a difference and to care. This is why we encourage people to buy things like fair trade chocolate (see our Chocolate Campaign www.stopthetraffik.org/Chococlate).
Maybe the real question should be what will we really be celebrating at Christmas…?
-the lives of children who are for sale for cheap labour?
-7 year old Ravi, dressed in rags, emaciated with marks on his face, found working 98 hours a week?
-or perhaps more optimistically that child labour is finally being exposed, and that means you can do something to STOP it before Christmas!
Do one thing today- tell someone else about it. Do one thing tomorrow- read about out ACT campaign www.stopthetraffik.org/act . And do one thing over Christmas- look out for our Christmas campaign to STOP THE TRAFFIK!
You can read the article from the Metro here: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/835669-children-paid-7p-an-hour-to-make-poundland-gifts
What would you pay a Pound for?