Sweatshop challenge

To offer corporate representatives in Hong Kong a taste of what it’s like to experience a sweatshop situation and to raise funding for The Mekong Club. Experience the sweatshop labourers’ lives to help raise awareness about modern slavery and its global existence.


When it comes to the topic of modern slavery, there is often too much talk and not enough action. The goal of this fundraiser is to move beyond this and act.


A group of business executives are challenged to spend four consecutive hours engaging in a repetitive action – putting nuts on bolts and then taking them off.


No food, water, or breaks will be permitted. If the participants are not performing fast enough, he/she will be scolded by the organizers.


Participants gather donations by encouraging their supporters to pledge a fixed amount for each hour. Employees from their office will be encouraged to come and support their colleagues.

Once completed, a short feedback session will be held to process the experience. Participants will be asked:

“Imagine if this was your life seven days a week, 365 days a year, for no pay – how would this feel? What did you learn from the experience?”

The event will promote a spirit of hope and optimism with regard to the private sector’s response to modern slavery.


This year, The Sweatshop Challenge will be held on February 23rd, 2023.


Registration at this time is available for executives, directors, managers or anyone in the private sector based in Hong Kong.


To register, please fill out the information form. You’ll be the first to know in your inbox once registrations for individual and group registrations have opened.

sweatshop challenge 2021

Our corporate Sweatshop Challenge was put on hold with strict COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in Hong Kong last year. Instead, we took Sweatshop Challenge virtually on Zoom, where families and their children participated in a virtual sweatshop simulation to provide much-needed awareness of human trafficking and forced labour. The outcome of this harrowing simulation powerfully impacted families and students.

See for yourself by clicking to play last year’s event – as seen on CNN International.

What did families think?

Last year we gathered students and their families around Hong Kong and Thailand to create awareness on the issue of modern slavery through a virtual sweatshop with CNN International.
“It was an opportunity for me to make my child understand how important every small thing in life is. It is very difficult to know and to feel that pain while sitting here unless we go through it,” said Prisha Malhotra’s family, last year’s participants in the Sweatshop Challenge.”

“To avoid more people being trafficked, we need to ensure that there is awareness-raising on the topic, prevention messages being offered, and systems and procedures developed to protect vulnerable people,”- Founder and CEO, Matt Friedman.

Since 2015, we’ve run the Sweatshop Challenge every year for private sector representatives, schools, and the public by several thousand people. Our end-of-year awareness-raising activity aims to bring international awareness of modern slavery – forced labour, debt bondage and human trafficking –which generates more than US$150 billion annually for criminals hiding and operating within business supply chains. By hosting our Sweatshop Challenge, we hope to raise more global awareness of the issue and collaborate with the private sector to end modern slavery.

Interested in sponsoring or volunteering during this event?

We’re looking for sponsors and volunteers to support our mission. Contact us if you would like to sponsor this event or provide a helping hand as a volunteer.

Contact us