Note: I don’t enjoy learning about human slavery, at least not in the normal definition of that term. Each of these resources include stories that will wrench your heart out and hold it hostage while you struggle to re-find your priorities. Many of them pass the “Tear Test”, AKA they made me cry. It’s a painful journey to learn everything you need to know.
Invisible Chains | Benjamin Perrin
The author was one of my law school professors; he is always meticulously prepared and has an obvious skill for communicating complex information in an accessible way. Invisible Chains is another example of this work. If you think child slavery is a problem that happens “somewhere else”, then you’ll be shocked to learn the uncomfortable truth: that children are exploited in your neighbourhood too. This book focuses on the trafficking of children in Canada.
Half the Sky | Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn
FYI, I’m a feminist. This book isn’t just about human trafficking, it’s a full take on “turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide.” Trafficking is one example of how we oppress girls, and there are many others. This book is a well-researched primer, penned by professional writers, which reminds you that women do hold up half the sky. 10/10 would read again.
Ending Slavery | Kevin Bales
The full title of this book is Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves, and Kevin Bales is own of the most prolific authors on this topic. In each chapter, Bales outlines precise action steps to end human slavery, backed by research and data. Spoiler: Bales believes that to truly extinguish slavery, we need ongoing support from governments and global organizations. Read Ending Slavery to better understand the complexity of trafficking and the major “answer blocks” to solving the problem.
How to Combat Modern Slavery | Kevin Bales
“There is one thing that is particularly remarkable and novel about slavery today, and that is a complete collapse in the price of human beings.” Bales takes an academic approach to fighting trafficking, explaining how it works via economics, sociology, math and similar perspectives.
Human Trafficking is All Around You. This is How it Works | Noy Thrupkaew
“Thai military were caught selling Burmese and Cambodian migrants onto fishing boats. Those fishing boats were taken out, the men put to work, and they were thrown overboard if they made the mistake of falling sick, or trying to resist their treatment. Those fish were then used to feed shrimp, The shrimp were then sold to four major global retailers: Costco, Tesco, Walmart and Carrefour.” Thrupkaew is a journalist and storyteller who researches human trafficking in the field; she interviews hundreds of victims and other stakeholders to learn the truth about what allows slavery to continue.
Child Sex Trafficking in America | Nacole
“According to the Department of Justice, human trafficking is the second fastest growing criminal enterprise.” Nacole isn’t a professional speaker; she’s not an academic or journalist. She’s a mom, and her daughter was sold for rape at the age of 15. Nacole combines her daughter’s story with research on child slavery in America. It exists and it’s for profit. This one is 10/10 on the Tear Test.