At What Cost_Human Trafficking/Forced Labor/Child Labor
Exposing the role of consumers and citizens when goods and services are produced in unjust working conditions
The ART WORKS team and an outstanding group of creative partners have compiled AT WHAT COST interviews from Immokalee, Florida to create a sound story chronicling the lives of several farmworkers.
Claudia Renteria, Narrator
Berto Herrera, Actor
Rafael Vargas, Actor
Time Konn, Producer
Erik Widmark, Sound Engineer
Data and statistics courtesy of The Coalition for Immokalee Workers and Oxfam America, from their 2004 report Like Machines in the Fields: Workers without Rights in American Agriculture.
- Asia Pacific: 949,000 in forced labor conditions. (The entire population of Westchester County, New York.)
- Latin America & the Caribbean: 1,320,000 working unjustly. (Also the population of the state of Maine.)
- Industrialized countries: 360,000 subjected to unfair working conditions. (The same as the population of London, Ontario.)
- 12,300,000 people are victims of forced labor, almost half are children.
The life of a 6-year-old boy was sold to a fisherman in Ghana.
His name was Mark Kwadwo, and his story was read in a newspaper by a woman thousands of miles away. Reading his story—learning about Mark—allowed one woman to take the steps that rescued him from a life of slavery.
There are more than 12 million stories like Mark’s. And there are more than 6 billion people in the world. Telling these stories can end forced labor.
AT WHAT COST (in progress) will tell the stories of children working in textiles in India, children trafficked in Ghana to work in fishing, child labor in the cocoa industry of the Cote D’Ivoire, and forced labor in the clothing mills of Bangladesh and the shrimp processing industry of Thailand. The traveling exhibition has already chronicled the lives of individuals from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Moldova, Albania, Romania, Guatemala and Florida, where young men work in sugar cane, women are trafficked into the sex industry, children labor in coffee, and men and women are forced into tomato production.
AT WHAT COST presents case studies of these situations in a tour that will travel to major international universities and raise public, political and media attention to the ongoing global labor rights crisis. The exhibition will also provide information about the immediate ways in which viewers can work to change the global labor problem.
The International Labour Organization and an anonymous foundation have provided the seed funding to closely document challenges and solutions for each of these situations. Art Works Projects continues to raise money to support remaining case studies, the tour, and the distribution of the exhibition.