Recently, a third-party seller featured a range of products, from mugs and bags to T-shirts modeled by young children, with the slogan, “Slavery gets sh-t done.” The products have promptly been removed from sale, Amazon said.
After Amazon received criticism from shoppers and anti-slavery groups, anything bearing the slogan has been pulled from sale.
“All Marketplace sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don’t will be subject to action including potential removal of their account,” an Amazon spokesman said in a statement. “The products in question are no longer available.”
The slavery-themed products are no longer available to buy on Amazon’s UK website, however, bags bearing the slogan were still on sale on the U.S.-based Amazon.com.
.@amazon how lovely is this? A little white boy with a highly insensitive and ignorant ‘Slavery Gets Shit Done’ bib on. Hmm.. did they pick the cotton right amazon? Or no? Gotta love 2018, what a great start. #Amazon #BOYCOTTAMAZON pic.twitter.com/DKKLFH4JKJ
— Grace Croft (@Queen___Grace) January 19, 2018
Charity groups Anti-Slavery International (ASI) and International Justice Mission (IJM) of the UK said the sale of such items by a major retailer trivializes the global drive to end modern slavery.
“If it is meant to be funny, it fails miserably,” Jakub Sobik of ASI said.
According to the United Nations International Labour Organization and human rights group Walk Free Foundation, over 40 million people were living as modern slaves last year, either trapped in forced labor or forced marriages.
“Children the same age as those modeling the T-shirts will be forced to work long hours for no pay in desperate conditions where starvation, beatings and sleep deprivation are common,” said David Westlake, chief executive of IJM UK.
The imagery linked to slavery has stirred increasing debate with deep division over the fate of slavery-era statues in the United States, and the issues it raises over history and identity, has caused worldwide outrage about slogans and pictures used by big brands.
This month the British supermarket Waitrose pulled a brand of coffee off its shelves after shoppers noticed the packaging featured images of 19th-century slaves working on plantations.
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