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Slave Trade

Christian Aid's Trade Justice Campaign: the basics

The Slavery of free trade

Kofi is a victim of free trade. He earns 1 a day breaking rocks to make gravel. He used to be a tomato farmer. But that livelihood, which bought food for his family and schooling for his children, has been taken away from him.

Free trade means a country's economy is run without government intervention. It is a policy that rich country governments and international institutions are forcing poor countries to accept.

Free trade is imposed on poor countries through:

agreements between two or more countries

conditions and 'economic advice' given to poor countries in return for loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank

agreements at the World Trade Organisation.
The effects of free trade can be seen across the developing world. Millions of poor people's livelihoods are being threatened, and their governments are powerless to prevent it.

If we are serious about having a world free from poverty, then poor countries must be given the chance to work their own way out of poverty.

Trade could be that chance.

And they are taking out full page adverts to push this nonsense - I hope they don't rattle a collecting tin under my nose in the near future.


I must be particularly obtuse but I can't see the point of their argument. What is the difference between "free trade" and "trade"?

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