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October 21, 2011-Grantee News, Modern-Day Slavery

Free2Work: Scan a barcode, learn about a product

Guest blogger Julie Kaszton is the Free2Work Outreach Coordinator at the Not for Sale Campaign.

Today, Free2Work is launching its new app with barcode scanning technology at Not For Sale’s Global Forum on Human Trafficking. Free2Work is ground central for the modern-day abolitionist movement and provides consumers and activists easy access to information on how a company is addressing the issues of forced and child labor in its supply chain. 

Free2Work App 2.0 from Not For Sale Campaign on Vimeo.

The mobile application, available on iPhone and Android, equips consumers with valuable information on companies’ labor standards and production practices at the moment they need it most – while they shop. Built-in barcode scanning technology enables consumers to scan the barcode of a specific product and instantly gain access to information about that company’s efforts to address forced and child labor in its supply chain. The aim of the app is to encourage companies to be more transparent about production practices and to enable consumers to make smart purchasing decisions that have a positive impact on workers’ lives.   

Smart phone technology is increasingly being used in the non-profit sector to engage constituents on a deeper level. More transparency means more accountability, and the Free2work app redefines an individual's shopping experience by bridging the gap between companies and consumers.

The app has been featured on Al Jazeera, Forbes India, and CNN and was awarded "One of the Great 11 Apps of 2011" at the San Francisco AppShow.

On Al Jazeera, Dave Batstone, Founder and President of Not For Sale, explained: “Every product has a story. And I know that I am not the only person who does not want to wear people's tragedy. I do not want to consume their suffering with my morning cup of coffee. I would hope that everyone who touches a product that I buy had their lives enhanced by their participation in its production. Free2Work assigns a product a grade - A to F - based on the tangible steps that a company has taken to demonstrate that it has zero tolerance for forced labor in its supply chain.”

The more consumers scan products, the more they learn about the products they purchase each day. The hope is that a shift in consumer demand will have a positive ripple effect in the supply chain of companies and ultimately help raise the bar in industry standards. 


About Free2Work

Free2Work is the only resource for consumers with a particular concern for forced 
and child labor. Using a comprehensive rating tool and in-depth research process, the website has evaluated and graded products in a variety of different industries, ranging from food products and garments to electronics and toys. Free2Work is continuously adding to the database of rated companies, further developing the rating tool, and expanding the breadth of product information available to consumers. As part of the project, Free2Work maintains open channels of communication with the companies being rated to ensure they are aware of their grade and understand that their individual rating may improve, provided they strengthen their policies to eliminate labor rights
 abuses. The Web site also has numerous features where users can share information and
 resources, find ways to take action, and offer feedback on the project.

About Not For Sale

The Not For Sale Campaign equips and mobilizes Smart Activists to deploy innovative solutions to re-abolish slavery in their own backyards and across the globe. Together, we can end slavery in our lifetime.

About International Labor Rights Forum

International Labor Rights Forum is an advocacy organization dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers worldwide.