Slavery: A global problem

“Every country in the world has a problem with slavery.”

Kevin Bales says that except for some of the tiny island nations, slavery exists in every country in the world. Bales, an international expert on slavery and co-founder of Free the Slaves says the Global Slavery Index estimates that  35.8 million people are being held in modern slavery globally.  Bales says that most slaves are involved in very dirty, dangerous, demeaning sorts of work “they might be in agriculture, they might be in sweat shops, they might be in cleaning, they may be in commercial sexual exploitation, mining is a very common use of slave labor around the world.”

Bales says that consumers may be buying goods that have been produced with slave labor “shrimp, cotton in the clothes that we wear, sometimes a little bit in cocoa and coffee and sugar. The minerals in our cellphones and laptops, in gold and jewelry.”

Bales says that in the US, many people are being held in slavery in the sex industry, but also other people that are “in plain sight” could be held in slavery “people who are cleaning in a hotel perhaps, sometimes people begging on the streets of a big city are being kept in slavery.”


Kevin Bales will speak at DU’s Human Trafficking Center on Friday, November 13 from 5:007:00 pm in the Anderson Academic Commons.