According to estimates by policymakers, activists and scholars the number of modern day slaves ranges from about 10 million to 30 million people.
But how many of those slaves work for you? Now that is the unsettling question being posed by a new online tool and mobile app. It's called Slavery Footprint. It's the latest initiative from the anti-slavery Call + Response campaign in partnership with the U.S. State Department.
It allows consumers to measure to what extent they are complicit in the use of forced labor around the world. (Learn more about the tool and technology's "slavery" problem from CNNMoney.com)
CNN talked to Justin Dylan, who leads the Call + Response campaign, for more information about the app.
CNN: What do you hope to achieve with the Slavery Footprint app?
DYLAN: Well, with Slavery Footprint what we didn't want to do is create another calculator that only spits out bad news. What I believe is that people carry around stories and not necessarily statistics. So with Slavery Footprint we actually wanted to be able to tell you the story of your life and how it fits in with the globalized economy.
Today, slavery is worse now than it ever was before, but most people have a hard time of understanding how it affects their lives. Slavery footprint is the first chapter for most people in understanding how it directly affects their lives, but most importantly about what they can do to change it.
CNN: Now you worked with the U.S. State Department to create this app. What kind of support did they give you?
DYLAN: Well, they were phenomenal not only in their sharing of knowledge, but they helped the beginning of the funding of the app and really were able to use a lot of their relational equity to be able to bring the right kind of experts and stakeholders to bare on this.
The technology that we've created and the algorithm that we've created around Slavery Footprint is a very vetted and multi-stakeholder approach where we're able to use vetted data to be able to determine the slavery in different types of products that we use every day while being very brand agnostic. We don't go after any particular brand, we're talking about different types of products that you use every day, which is very important.
CNN: Now this new app, it follows the Call + Response app as well as your documentary of the same name. So do you feel that consumers are taking notice? Do you feel that the concept of buying slave free is really gaining traction now?
DYLAN: Well, I think we're getting there. I think we've just lit the fuse on the rocket. What's really going to make the rocket take off is if a consumer start to embed the story of other people who are being exploited to produce their lifestyles. If consumers can start to absorb that, that story into their lives, and more importantly amplify that story in the marketplace.