Meet Krishna Patel, a former U.S. Attorney and current activist combatting human trafficking. Krishna holds two roles - Justice Initiative Director at Grace Farms Foundation and President of Unchain. After a distinguished legal career spanning more than two decades in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut, she's joined Grace Farms Foundation. Krishna has worked with global leaders and international organizations to identify ways to combat human trafficking in conflict as well as ways to create more transparency in global supply chains. This is part of her work at Unchain.
Krishna came into my orbit when I went to see a talk she moderated at Grace Farms. Krishna is so generous with her knowledge of these complex issues in her various talks and in this episode, too. In this episode, we hear her story and dig deep into modern-day slavery. We look at awareness issues, what she is doing to combat them, and what we can do to take action.
Krishna and I also discuss the divide between our consumption of goods in the North and how that correlates to modern-day slavery that is happening in countries in the southern hemisphere. We explore transparency - where it’s needed and how to create it. We unpack all of these massive, complex topics and look at how we can see this in our own lives.
As you listen to this episode, I challenge you to look at how modern-day slavery is affected by our choices as consumers and look at the resources that Krishna has so generously given us.
Selected link love + resources from the episode:
WPP (advertising firm)
UK Modern Slavery Act (2015)
Sapiens by Noah Harari (book)
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All of this is from Krishna (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:09:15] The top 5 slave made products are: technology, garments, fish, cocoa, and sugar cane.
[00:14:19] This is a problem that is so complex and so large. Slavery is the greatest human rights violation in the world.
[00:17:17] When you look at labor trafficking, or forced labor, the definition is compelled work. The underlying principle there is you are not free to leave. Even child slavery is actually different from child labor. You are talking about people who are just not free to leave. They're forced to be there. Is there any greater indignity against a human's soul than that particular crime?
[00:18:16] We have all these goods coming in. It's because there are government, commercial and even consumer incentives to create all this opaqueness in our supply chains. So, we live in this increasingly globalized, yet divided, world.
[00:21:13] Sex trafficking is a global issue. It's also very much an American issue.
[00:22:00] The U.S. can eradicate minor sex trafficking. That is something that's doable and as a society it's just something we should be doing.
[00:29:46] I never thought I wanted to spend my life or any part of my life putting people in jail
[00:30:43] I was also taught something so much more important: Justice was not about winning or getting outcomes. Justice was about ensuring the rule of law and fair process.
[00:34:10] More than 70% of victims of trafficking are women and girls.
[00:48:37] We're so locally isolated as human beings
[01:03:04] I am so careful to tell victims this is not on them, and all I can do is the process.
[01:05:51] [On burnout] It really does take a toll on you, and you do have to protect yourself. You have to understand when you see the signs coming.
[01:13:18] If we separate our humanity from the technology, we are going to find ourselves in a world that we do not want to see.
[01:24:02] The rights of American women are completely under attack right now. We are living in a very chaotic time.
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