The U.S. District Attorney’s office of the District of Northern California recently convicted the owner of several construction companies of using forced labor extensively throughout several projects for years.
The case is one of hundreds identified within the construction sector that uses either slave labor or engages in the common practice of procuring materials from other nations where slave labor is used to produce them.
This widespread and egregious practice is why the Grace Farms Foundation of New Canaan, Connecticut, recently formed a working group to fight back against this inhumane arrangement that robs people of livelihood and dignity in exchange for profits.
Grace Farms Foundations was founded and is chaired by Sharon Prince Grace Farms. A former president of a major global outwear clothing and gear company, she is well connected with many influential people in the realms of architecture, design and fabrications of building materials. She believes it’s time for well-placed people to take a bold stance against human trafficking and slavery where it intersects with the construction industry.
Sharon Prince said her working group will create a movement that works through multiple channels. The goal is to initiate what she calls a “radical paradigm shift” toward creating ethical material supply chain standards that will eliminate direct or indirect human exploitation.
Sharon Prince said that Grace Farms Foundation working group is taking an example from the green building movement. She hopes to duplicate the many successful protocols that have been intersticed within the operational parameters of eco-friendly building practices and apply them to fair labor standards.
So far, more than 50 high-profile people have joined the Grace Farms working group, including former U.S. Ambassador Luis C.deBaca, an ambassador-at-large appointed by the Obama Administration. Also joining the group is Cathleen McGuigan, editor-in-chief of the RECORD, and Deborah Berke who is Dean of Yale’s School of Architecture.
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