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Ending Slavery

Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves

Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 1
Pages: 274
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  • Book Info
    Ending Slavery
    Book Description:

    In his 1999 book,Disposable People,Kevin Bales brought to light the shocking fact of modern slavery and described how, nearly two hundred years after the slave trade was abolished (legal slavery would have to wait another fifty years), global slavery stubbornly persists. InEnding Slavery,Bales again grapples with the struggle to end this ancient evil and presents the ideas and insights that can finally lead to slavery's extinction. Recalling his own involvement in the antislavery movement, he recounts a personal journey in search of the solution and explains how governments and citizens can build a world without slavery.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93464-1
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Imagine a world where slavery is normal, where slavery is considered good business, offering solid returns. In this world “excess” people—the very poor, for example—can be put to productive uses that benefit everyone. In this world every dirty, dangerous, and demeaning job has someone to do it. In this world every war produces a rich harvest of new slaves. Once oil is burned, it’s gone, but slaves are the product that keeps on producing (and reproducing, for that matter). With a little food and shelter, you can squeeze work out of your slaves for years and years. They...

  4. 1 The Challenge: Understanding the World of New Slavery
    (pp. 5-20)

    Louis works for the phone company near Washington, D.C. He also frees slaves. When he got together with family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday a few years ago, Louis did what everyone does—he got out his video camera. As he recorded the holiday gathering, he noticed something strange: in the large group of family and friends, one teenage girl always tried to hide when he turned on the camera.

    And I asked myself, you know, what’s wrong with the young lady? At first I asked her, where do you come from? She told me she was visiting from...

  5. 2 Building the Plan
    (pp. 21-35)

    How we end slavery once and for all is the twenty-seven-million-person question. Sometimes it seems as if slavery has outdistanced our ability to think about and understand it. This is not surprising. The same often happens with crime; the media regularly introduce a new wrinkle in crime that has been “discovered.” Crimes like child abuse hide in the shadows until they are “discovered.” Like slavery, they had been there all along; people just weren’t aware, or pretended not to be. Usually, when a new outrage is discovered, the media announce a “crisis.” But slavery hasn’t even had the advantage of...

  6. 3 Rescuing Slaves Today
    (pp. 36-60)

    The setting sun casts long shadows across the dusty streets of Nai Basti, a village in Uttar Pradesh in northern India.¹ Women are carrying jars of water from the village standpipe, and tiny fires are being tended in the brick braziers, where supper will be cooked. Crisscrossing the open space at the center of the village are children are at play as well as dogs, goats, and a couple of cows in the slow and patient search for something edible.

    Some of the larger houses of the village have one or more additions, shedlike rooms about six feet by eight...

  7. Photographs
    (pp. None)
  8. 4 Home-Grown Freedom
    (pp. 61-95)

    Fannie Lou Hamer is one of my heroes. The granddaughter of slaves, she grew up as a sharecropper in rural Mississippi. In 1962, when she was forty-four years old, civil rights workers came to her little Delta town, and she learned a secret that had been kept from her all her life: she had a constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. When the civil rights workers asked for volunteers for the dangerous job of going to the courthouse to register to vote, her hand was the first to shoot into the air. For trying to register to vote, she was thrown...

  9. 5 Governments: Carrying the Biggest Stick
    (pp. 96-138)

    The vast Himalaya Mountains rise up over the city of Kathmandu, Nepal. Strangely, they seem to lift the city as well, pulling it up from its smoky valley toward their snowy peaks. The mountains mirror both the lofty aspirations of the people and the immovable and stony indifference of the royal family to those hopes. The people of Nepal need their mountains, if only to cling to when the next shock comes, for waves of change have smashed into Nepal in recent decades. I was part of a small one that set slaves free, and then condemned some of them...

  10. 6 Global Problem, Global Reach
    (pp. 139-176)

    Slavery is global. As we think through how to end it, we need to find ways to use those organizations that are global in scope. Three of these groups—the United Nations (U.N.), the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization (WTO)—offer tremendous opportunities for bringing the end of slavery closer. Some skeptics might disagree, not surprisingly since these same organizations have been roundly criticized for lagging far behind their potential. In the same way that the actions of national governments have sometimes increased vulnerability to slavery, international groups have, at times, created situations conducive to slavery. But I...

  11. 7 Ending the (Product) Chain
    (pp. 177-212)

    One crisp September day in 2000 Brian Woods and I climbed the steps of a beautiful eighteenth-century house just off Red Lion Square in central London. As we waited at the big black door with its polished brass knocker, we thought about the angry men waiting for us inside, important and busy men whose lives and work we had disrupted in a very painful way. They were senior executives, and their businesses, their products, and in many ways their lives focused on that bittersweet miracle—chocolate. Their anger was focused on us, for that day we were the messengers delivering...

  12. 8 Ending Poverty to End Slavery to End Poverty to End Slavery
    (pp. 213-228)

    Twelve little boys from a village called Bochi in northeast India were lured into slavery. It wasn’t that hard to do. The traffickers gave their parents an offer that was difficult to pass up, promising a way out of starvation and disease for each child. But the price of this miracle was the child himself, a soul-destroying choice that no parent should ever have to make. The parents looked at their little boys and imagined their future in this remote village. They saw hunger and desperation, sickness and despair. They saw their children ground down by landlords and corrupt officials,...

  13. Conclusion: The Beginning of the End of Slavery
    (pp. 229-232)

    People ask me how I can bear the work I do. They read about the hell of slavery and ask how I can look into it every day and keep going. It’s a fair question, and I will admit there have been times when the horrors I have seen have consumed my heart and mind and left me despairing, sickened, and useless. Getting to know the tortured lives of teenage girls raped again and again in the brothels of Thailand filled my sleep with nightmares and my days with visions of their helpless pain. Yet every day my job gets...

  14. CODA: What YOU Can Do to End Slavery
    (pp. 233-236)

    Two key obstacles stand in our way on the road to ending slavery: lack of awareness and lack of resources. If every citizen decided to do one or two small things, those two obstacles would fall, and fall quickly.

    In 2006 a student at the University of Tennessee asked her professor, what was the best thing she could do to help end slavery? After talking it over, the student and professor realized that there were a number of possibilities, but they didn’t know which was the best and most effective action she could take. Recognizing a teachable moment, the professor...

  15. APPENDIX: Measuring the Effectiveness of Antislavery Work
    (pp. 237-242)
  16. Notes
    (pp. 243-254)
  17. Index
    (pp. 255-261)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 262-262)