March 30, 2010

Kevin Bales on Modern Slavery

How much does a human cost in today's global economy? About $10 U.S dollars. In this moving yet pragmatic talk, Kevin Bales explains the business of modern slavery, a multibillion-dollar economy that underpins some of the worst industries on earth. He shares stats and personal stories from his on-the-ground research -- and names the price of freeing every slave on earth right now: [Duration: 18:01]


Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA.

Dr. Kevin Bales is an expert on modern slavery and President of Free the Slaves, the US Sister organization of Anti-Slavery International (the world’s oldest human rights organization). He is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Roehampton University in London, Visiting Professor at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of the International Cocoa Initiative.

Bales's book Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy published in 1999, has now been published in ten other languages. Archbishop Desmond Tutu called it "a well researched, scholarly and deeply disturbing expose of modern slavery". A revised edition was published in 2005.

This book was based on the first-hand in-depth study of five slave-based "businesses" in five different countries: Thailand (prostitution); Mauritania (water selling); Brazil (charcoal production); India (agriculture); and Pakistan (brick making). His book was the basis for, and he worked on, the film "Slavery: A Global Investigation" (2000).

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