Non-Fiction

Non-Fiction books on slavery & human trafficking
Updated November 7, 2012, Sorted by year of publication & title

(Looking for NOVELS / FICTION? Click here to go to the Novels / Fiction page .)

Recently Added
  The Berlin Turnpike: A True Story of Human Trafficking in America- Raymond Bechard, Andrea Barton and David Moretti, 2011.

“This is a true story of human trafficking in America as told through the testimony of a landmark federal trial which took place at the heart of one of the country’s wealthiest states, Connecticut, over the course of eight days in 2007. The trial of United States vs. Dennis Paris provides a rare and detailed account of how a specific type of trafficking – commercial sexual exploitation – is thriving because it has left the street corners and entered our homes. This one case contains every element of a crime so reliant on secrecy; shrouded behind a scintillating veil of growing legitimacy. Yet it is buried just below the surface of our culture’s mainstream perception.”

Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia- Siddarth Kara, 2012.

“Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia is Kara’s second explosive study of slavery, this time focusing on the pervasive, deeply entrenched, and wholly unjust system of bonded labor. From his eleven years of research in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, Kara delves into this ancient and ever-evolving mode of slavery, which ensnares roughly six out of every ten slaves in the world and generates profits that exceeded $17.6 billion in 2011. In addition to providing a thorough economic, historical, and legal overview of bonded labor, Kara travels to the far reaches of South Asia, from cyclone-wracked southwestern Bangladesh to the Thar desert on the India-Pakistan border, to uncover the brutish realities of bonded labor in such industries as hand-woven-carpet making, tea and rice farming, construction, brick manufacture, and frozen-shrimp production. He describes the violent enslavement of millions of impoverished women, children, and men who toil in the production of numerous products at minimal cost to the global market. He also follows supply chains directly to Western consumers, vividly connecting regional bonded labor practices to the appetites of the world. Kara’s pioneering analysis encompasses human trafficking, child labor, and global security, and he concludes with ten specific initiatives to eliminate the system of bonded labor from South Asia once and for all.” (Amazon and GoodReads)

Human Trafficking: In the News- Joyce Hart, 2009.

  • Recommended for reading levels ages 12 and up, could be a good tool to intro the topic to kids
“Human trafficking is the term that is used today for modern-day slavery. Like African slaves in past centuries, many people from around the world are being held captive and forced to work. Some people are physically beaten to make them work. A few others are sold into slavery. Some are kidnapped. But most people are tricked into becoming a slave. They are given false promises of money, new jobs, educations, and better lives. Then the promises are broken. The victims of human trafficking are trapped. Human trafficking is taking place in almost every country of the world. In fact, there is a good chance that modern-day slaves live not too far from where you live. According to a 2008 report from the U.S. State Department, human trafficking is one of the greatest human rights challenges of this century, both here and abroad.” (Google books) Also available at Amazon and GoodReads
Radhika’s Story: Surviving Human Trafficking- Sharon Henry, 2010.

  • Description from Amazon

“Radhika’s Story presents an incredible story of triumph over evil in the modern world. It is a moving account of what a mother’s love for her child can achieve even when the odds are stacked against them both. It is a horrifying first-hand account of a survivor of human trafficking in the 21st-century. It is a portrayal of the illegal and sordid underworld of trafficking in human organs.

A seemingly innocent sip of Coca-Cola, drunk by a starving and desperately thirsty 14-year-old girl led to the first of Radhika Pariyar’s human trafficking experiences. Drugged, Radhika woke up hours later, in great pain, only to discover that her kidney had been removed and sold to the highest bidder. Radhika was married by force but tried to make the best of her situation. She had a much-loved son, but Rohan’s birth signified the next harrowing episode in Radhika’s life – she was trafficked again. Living in India, separated from her son and forced to have sex with up to 25 men a day, Radhika refused to accept her lot. Desperate to be reunited with her child, she fought against the odds, finding the strength to escape her horrific life and rescue her son and finally find sanctuary in a refuge set up to help survivors of trafficking.

Journalist Sharon Hendry tells Radhika’s horrifying but incredibly inspiring story. She also highlights the pervasive nature of human trafficking in the 21st century. The author is donating funds from this book to Maiti Nepal, the refuge which helped Radhika and Rohan and which continues to help survivors of human trafficking.”

Somebody’s Daughter: The Hidden Story of America’s Protituted Children and the Battle to Save Them- Julian Sher, 2011.

“They are America’s forgotten children: the hundreds of thousands of child prostitutes who walk the “tracks” — the Las Vegas Strip, the casinos of Atlantic City, the truck stops on interstates and the street corners of our cities. Most people wrongly believe sex trafficking involves young women from foreign lands but the vast majority of teens caught in the sex trade are American girls — the runaways and the throwaways few people care about. They become victims of ruthless pimps whose lifestyle is often glorified in the media and in the rap music scene.

From the streets of Dallas where the police have set up a pioneering High Risk Victims Unit to the glittering casinos of Las Vegas and Atlantic City where the FBI’s “Innocence Lost” investigators try to dismantle major pimping criminal enterprises, Somebody’s Daughter takes you behind the scenes to expose one of America’s most under-reported crimes: the trafficking of American girls on American streets.”

2012
  Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia- Siddarth Kara, 2012.“Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia is Kara’s second explosive study of slavery, this time focusing on the pervasive, deeply entrenched, and wholly unjust system of bonded labor. From his eleven years of research in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, Kara delves into this ancient and ever-evolving mode of slavery, which ensnares roughly six out of every ten slaves in the world and generates profits that exceeded $17.6 billion in 2011. In addition to providing a thorough economic, historical, and legal overview of bonded labor, Kara travels to the far reaches of South Asia, from cyclone-wracked southwestern Bangladesh to the Thar desert on the India-Pakistan border, to uncover the brutish realities of bonded labor in such industries as hand-woven-carpet making, tea and rice farming, construction, brick manufacture, and frozen-shrimp production. He describes the violent enslavement of millions of impoverished women, children, and men who toil in the production of numerous products at minimal cost to the global market. He also follows supply chains directly to Western consumers, vividly connecting regional bonded labor practices to the appetites of the world. Kara’s pioneering analysis encompasses human trafficking, child labor, and global security, and he concludes with ten specific initiatives to eliminate the system of bonded labor from South Asia once and for all.” (Amazon and GoodReads)
Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time- Carissa Phelps with Larkin Warren, 2012.

  • Description from the author’s site

Carissa Phelps was a runner. By twelve, she had run away from home, dropped out of school, and fled blindly into the arms of a brutal pimp, who made her walk the hard streets of central California. But even when she escaped him, she could not outrun the crushing inner pain of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. With little to hope for, she expected to end up in prison, or worse. But then her life was transformed through the unexpected kindness of a teacher and a counselor. Miraculously, by the time Carissa turned thirty, she had accomplished the unimaginable, graduating from UCLA with both a law degree and an MBA. She had left the streets behind, yet her path would eventually draw her back, this time working to help homeless and at-risk youth find their own paths to a better life. This is Carissa’s story, the tale of a girl who lost herself and survived, against all odds, through the generosity of strangers. It is an inspiring true story about finding the courage to run toward healing and summoning the strength to light the way for others.

2011
The Berlin Turnpike: A True Story of Human Trafficking in America- Raymond Bechard, Andrea Barton and David Moretti, 2011.

“This is a true story of human trafficking in America as told through the testimony of a landmark federal trial which took place at the heart of one of the country’s wealthiest states, Connecticut, over the course of eight days in 2007. The trial of United States vs. Dennis Paris provides a rare and detailed account of how a specific type of trafficking – commercial sexual exploitation – is thriving because it has left the street corners and entered our homes. This one case contains every element of a crime so reliant on secrecy; shrouded behind a scintillating veil of growing legitimacy. Yet it is buried just below the surface of our culture’s mainstream perception.”

Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale, an Activist Finds Her Calling and Heals Herself- Rachel Lloyd, 2011.

A deeply moving story by a survivor of the commercial sex industry who has devoted her career to activism and helping other young girls escape “the life”

At thirteen, Rachel Lloyd found herself caught up in a world of pain and abuse, struggling to survive as a child with no responsible adults to support her. Vulnerable yet tough, she eventually ended up a victim of commercial sexual exploitation. It took time and incredible resilience, but finally, with the help of a local church community, she broke free of her pimp and her past.

Three years later, Lloyd arrived in the United States to work with adult women in the sex industry and soon founded her own nonprofit GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services, to meet the needs of other girls with her history. She also earned her GED and won full scholarships to college and a graduate program. Today Lloyd is executive director of GEMS in New York City and has turned it into one of the nation’s most groundbreaking nonprofit organizations.

In Girls Like Us, Lloyd reveals the dark, secretive world of her past in stunning cinematic detail. And, with great humanity, she lovingly shares the stories of the girls whose lives she has helped — small victories that have healed her wounds and made her whole. Revelatory, authentic, and brave, Girls Like Us is an unforgettable memoir.”

God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue- Daniel Walker, 2011.

Nvader founder, Daniel Walker, has twenty years law enforcement experience. Daniel spent four years working undercover in more than a dozen countries documenting cases of human trafficking on behalf of two international human rights organizations. His efforts have resulted in the rescue of many hundreds of women and children as well as the successful prosecution of many traffickers. Read about his journey and the case for Nvader in his book, God in a Brothel.

This is the true story of an undercover investigator’s experiences infiltrating the multi-billion-dollar global sex industry.

It is a story of triumph for the children and young teens released from a life of slavery and the rescuer who freed many hundreds of victims leading to the prosecution of dozens of perpetrators. And it is a story of haunting despair for those left behind in corrupt systems of law enforcement.

It is the personal story of Daniel Walker, one man who followed a path of costly discipleship, agonizing failure and unlikely redemption.

And it is a challenge to God’s people to join in the battle that all might be freed.

In Our Backyard: A Christian Perspective on Human Trafficking in the United States – Nita Belles, 2011. In Our Backyard invites the reader in to the lives of human trafficking victims, survivors and the traffickers themselves with true stories. These stories not only inform the reader, but also take them quickly through a well-documented crash course about human trafficking in the United States. A quick read which includes study questions for small groups.

Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal - Conor Grennan, 2011. In search of adventure, twenty-nine-year-old Conor Grennan traded his day job for a year-long trip around the globe, a journey that began with a three-month stint volunteering at the Little Princes Children’s Home, an orphanage in war-torn Nepal.Conor was initially reluctant to volunteer, unsure whether he had the proper skill, or enough passion, to get involved in a developing country in the middle of a civil war. But he was soon overcome by the herd of rambunctious, resilient children who would challenge and reward him in a way that he had never imagined. When Conor learned the unthinkable truth about their situation, he was stunned: The children were not orphans at all. Child traffickers were promising families in remote villages to protect their children from the civil war—for a huge fee—by taking them to safety. They would then abandon the children far from home, in the chaos of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.For Conor, what began as a footloose adventure becomes a commitment to reunite the children he had grown to love with their families, but this would be no small task. He would risk his life on a journey through the legendary mountains of Nepal, facing the dangers of a bloody civil war and a debilitating injury. Waiting for Conor back in Kathmandu, and hopeful he would make it out before being trapped in by snow, was the woman who would eventually become his wife and share his life’s work.

The Natashas: The Horrific Inside Story of Slavery, Rape, and Murder in the Global Sex Trade – Victor Malarek, 2011, 2004, 2003. “Award-winning Canadian journalist Malarek reports on the [...] wave in the global sex trade, sparked by the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. According to the U.S. State Department, at least 800,000–900,000 impoverished young women, many of them orphans, from Eastern and Central Europe, are lured with promises of jobs as waitresses, nannies or maids in Western Europe or North America. Instead, they find themselves imprisoned in apartments, massage parlors or brothels in countries ranging from South Korea, Bosnia and Japan to Israel and Germany.” Read more of this review at Publishers Weekly.

Not in My Town: Exposing and Ending Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery- Dillon Borroughs and Charles Powell, 2011.

  • Description from the New Hope Digital site

More than 17,000 people are trafficked into the United States each year. Even with major antitrafficking efforts in place around much of the country, sexual exploitation, forced labor, and agricultural slavery continue as the norm in many places of the United States . . . probably even in your own backyard. Exploring leads in their own hometown area of Atlanta, investigators Charles Powell and Dillon Burroughs unearthed an ugly truth—a dark subculture of human trafficking in their own neighborhood. Their unforgettable look into the secret world of America’s modern slave trade led to a global undercover operation to rescue victims from today’s greatest form of evil. Join their gripping journey that will shock readers and motivate a new generation to join the struggle for a nation—and world—where every individual can respond to slavery with Not in My Town.

  Somebody’s Daughter: The Hidden Story of America’s Protituted Children and the Battle to Save Them- Julian Sher, 2011.

“They are America’s forgotten children: the hundreds of thousands of child prostitutes who walk the “tracks” — the Las Vegas Strip, the casinos of Atlantic City, the truck stops on interstates and the street corners of our cities. Most people wrongly believe sex trafficking involves young women from foreign lands but the vast majority of teens caught in the sex trade are American girls — the runaways and the throwaways few people care about. They become victims of ruthless pimps whose lifestyle is often glorified in the media and in the rap music scene.

From the streets of Dallas where the police have set up a pioneering High Risk Victims Unit to the glittering casinos of Las Vegas and Atlantic City where the FBI’s “Innocence Lost” investigators try to dismantle major pimping criminal enterprises, Somebody’s Daughter takes you behind the scenes to expose one of America’s most under-reported crimes: the trafficking of American girls on American streets.”

2010
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide – Nicholas Kristof and Cheryl WuDunn, 2010. Thanks to blogger 9to20, a trafficking survivor, for suggesting this book. Here’s what another blogger, Bailee-Nicole at Human Trafficking Rescue, said about Half the Sky. “Heartbreaking – yet inspiring. This book floored me; it is definitely in my top 5 favorite books of all time (and I’ve read a lot of books!). If I had to recommend just one book that effectively communicates the plight of young girls and women around the world while offering practical solutions to improve their conditions, this is the book that I would recommend to you. Overflowing with true accounts, relevant information, and incredible insight, Pulitzer Prize winners Kristof and WuDunn have created a literary masterpiece. This book addresses some heavy material such as global poverty, gender inequality, and gender-based violence.” Read more

Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective – Louise Shelley, 2010. “A comprehensive and insightful overview of this crime that snares hundreds of thousands of new victims every year. Professor Shelley (of George Mason Univ.) sidesteps the tear-jerking melodrama that has tempted so many authors on the subject. Her analytical approach to revealing the inner workings of the business provides more than enough drama. This is the book many of us have been waiting for: a serious yet lively volume that will be eye-opening and inspirational to the reader who knows little about the issue while providing new insights to experienced practitioners and academics.” Richard Danziger, Head of Counter Trafficking, International Organization for Migration (from the back cover)

Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade (Revised & Updated) – David Batstone, 2010, This is a fairly easy read as a starting point to learn more about slavery today. The book gives a broad overview of slavery by taking the reader to various parts of the world a chapter at a time. Batstone gives both a personal and general view of the slavery problem in a particular region. You meet victims of slavery up close and read what it’s like to be in their shoes, as well as pull back and see some of the patterns, causes, statistics. In addition, Batstone follows a few of the heroes of today’s anti-slavery movement, and shows you what’s being done to fight human trafficking in various places, why it’s difficult, but also why it’s a winnable battle.

  Radhika’s Story: Surviving Human Trafficking- Sharon Henry, 2010.

  • Description from Amazon

“Radhika’s Story presents an incredible story of triumph over evil in the modern world. It is a moving account of what a mother’s love for her child can achieve even when the odds are stacked against them both. It is a horrifying first-hand account of a survivor of human trafficking in the 21st-century. It is a portrayal of the illegal and sordid underworld of trafficking in human organs. 

A seemingly innocent sip of Coca-Cola, drunk by a starving and desperately thirsty 14-year-old girl led to the first of Radhika Pariyar’s human trafficking experiences. Drugged, Radhika woke up hours later, in great pain, only to discover that her kidney had been removed and sold to the highest bidder. Radhika was married by force but tried to make the best of her situation. She had a much-loved son, but Rohan’s birth signified the next harrowing episode in Radhika’s life – she was trafficked again. Living in India, separated from her son and forced to have sex with up to 25 men a day, Radhika refused to accept her lot. Desperate to be reunited with her child, she fought against the odds, finding the strength to escape her horrific life and rescue her son and finally find sanctuary in a refuge set up to help survivors of trafficking.

Journalist Sharon Hendry tells Radhika’s horrifying but incredibly inspiring story. She also highlights the pervasive nature of human trafficking in the 21st century. The author is donating funds from this book to Maiti Nepal, the refuge which helped Radhika and Rohan and which continues to help survivors of human trafficking.”

The Slave Across the Street: The True Story of how an American Teen Survived the World of Human Trafficking – Teresa L. Flores with PeggySue Wells, 2010.

“In this powerful true story, Theresa Flores shares how her life as an All-American, blue-eyed, blond-haired 15-year-old teenager who could have been your neighbor was enslaved into the dangerous world of sex trafficking while living in an upper-middle class suburb of Detroit. Her story peels the cover off of this horrific criminal activity and gives dedicated activists as well as casual bystanders a glimpse into the underbelly of trafficking. And it all happened while living at home without her parents ever knowing about it. Involuntarily involved in a large underground criminal ring, Ms. Flores endured more as a child than most adults will ever face their entire lives.”

Slavery – Photography by Lisa Kristine, 2010. Stunning photographs by the world famous photographer Lisa Kristine. She published this book in collaboration with Free the Slaves to document modern slavery. Sales of the book contribute toward ending slavery in our generation. Includes a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.Lisa Kristine’s photographs capture the pain of slavery and the hope of freedom. She traveled into the heart of broiling brick kilns, down rickety mine shafts, and into hidden lairs of sex slavery. She bares witness to the most horrible abuses imaginable and the most astonishing glimpses of the indomitable human spirit. Through her camera lens, so does each of us.

2009
  Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices – Julie Clawson, 2009. Where does your chocolate come from? Does it matter if your coffee is fair trade or not? It matters–more than you might think.Julie Clawson takes us on a tour of everyday life and shows how our ordinary lifestyle choices have big implications for justice around the world. She unpacks how we get our food and clothing and shows us the surprising costs of consumer waste.How we live can make a difference not only for our own health but also for the well-being of people across the globe. The more sustainable our lifestyle, the more just our world will be.

Good News Injustice Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World - Gary Haugen, 2009, 1999. Gary Haugen writes about his experience starting International Justice Mission and what the organization is doing to fight oppression. Haugen’s message in the surprisingly titled book is that, while the reality of slavery and oppression is horrifying and can be overwhelming, the good news about injustice is that God cares. By extension, if God cares about victims of oppression, people should care too… and should act to end slavery and oppression around us.This was the first book I read about modern slavery and it was life changing. The 2nd edition was published in 2009 at the 10th anniversary of the first edition.

  Human Trafficking: In the News- Joyce Hart, 2009.

  • Recommended for reading levels ages 12 and up, could be a good tool to intro the topic to kids
“Human trafficking is the term that is used today for modern-day slavery. Like African slaves in past centuries, many people from around the world are being held captive and forced to work. Some people are physically beaten to make them work. A few others are sold into slavery. Some are kidnapped. But most people are tricked into becoming a slave. They are given false promises of money, new jobs, educations, and better lives. Then the promises are broken. The victims of human trafficking are trapped. Human trafficking is taking place in almost every country of the world. In fact, there is a good chance that modern-day slaves live not too far from where you live. According to a 2008 report from the U.S. State Department, human trafficking is one of the greatest human rights challenges of this century, both here and abroad.” (Google books) Also available at Amazon and GoodReads
Human Trafficking, Human Misery: The Global Trade in Human Beings – Alex A. Aronowitz, 2009. This book takes a global perspective in examining the nefarious underworld of human trafficking, revealing the nature and extent of the harm caused by this hideous criminal practice.

Jansten’s Gift: A True Story of Grief, Rescue, and Grace - Pam Cope, with Aimee Molloy, 2009.

(from the book jacket) “Pam Cope owned a cozy hair salon in the tiny town of Neosho, Missouri, and her life revolved around her son’s baseball games, her daughter’s dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.

Then, on June 16th, 1999, her life changed forever with the death of her 15-year-old son from an undiagnosed heart ailment.

Needing to get as far away as possible from everything that reminded her of her loss, she accepted a friend’s invitation to travel to Vietnam, and, from the moment she stepped off the plane, everything she had been feeling since her son’s death began to shift. By the time she returned home, she had a new mission: to use her pain to change the world, one small step at a time, one child at a time. Today, she is the mother of two children adopted from Vietnam. More than that, she and her husband have created a foundation called Touch A Life, dedicated to helping desperate children in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana.

Pam Cope’s story is on one level a moving, personal account of loss and recovery, but on a deeper level, it offers inspiration to anyone who has ever suffered great personal tragedy or those of us who dream about making a difference in the world.”

The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It – Victor Malarek, 2009. Finally, a book focused on the customers that provide the money, and therefore the demand, for sex trafficking.

Modern Slavery: A Beginners Guide - Kevin Bales, Zoe Trodd, & Alex Kent Williamson, 2009.

Renting Lacy: A Story of America’s Prostituted Children – Linda Smith with Cindy Coloma, 2009. “Step into the darkness of the trafficking underworld. Meet the actual people who live there. Hear their words – and sense the terror and despair. Is there hope?Decide for yourself. Read this extraordinary book and encounter the truth face-to-face. This is perhaps the most shocking book you’ll ever read… but essential reading for every concerned American.”

The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine – Somaly Mam, 2009. (June 2014 Update – Somaly Mam has resigned from foundation bearing her name, and the foundation has launched an internal investigation into claims that substantial parts of her story are not true. A Newsweek cover story in May 2014 reported that parts of her story about her being a victim of sex trafficking aren’t true. Additionally, the report accuses Mam of causing girls who helped her publicize sex trafficking of lying about their stories as well. I’ll continue to follow this story and will consider removing this book link if further investigation verifies that Mam has been deceptive in her attempts to raise awareness about sex slavery.) Somaly Mam is a survivor of human trafficking and forced prostitution in Cambodia. After escaping, she dedicated her life to helping women and girls enslaved as she was. She was the first recipient of the Roland Berger Human Dignity Award in 2008, was named to Time’s Most Influential People of 2009.

With a foreword from New York Times columnist and reporter Nicholas Kristof, The Road of Lost Innocence recounts the experiences of former child sex slave and anti-trafficking activist Somaly Mam, from her early life, when she was sold into sexual slavery at age 12, to her eventual escape and awakening as an activist. She has orchestrated raids on brothels and rescued sex workers, some as young as five and six; she has built shelters, started schools, and founded an organization that has so far saved more than four thousand women and children in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. Her memoir will leave you awestruck by her tenacity and courage and will renew your faith in the power of an individual to bring about change.

Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery- Siddharth Kara, 2009.

“In Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery, Siddharth Kara conducted one of the most comprehensive, systematic accounts of the global sex-trafficking industry. His book is a widely consulted resource not only for its uncommon revelations into an unconscionable business but also for its detailed analysis of the trade’s immense economic benefits and corresponding human costs. Sex Trafficking has become an invaluable resource for policy makers, women’s and human rights activists, NGO workers, and specialists in dozens of related fields, as well as for university scholars and everyday citizens.”

Slave Hunter: One Man’s Global Quest to Free Victims of Human Trafficking- Aaron Cohen, 2009.

  • From the Simon & Schuster description

“From living the rock star life to wading through the world’s war zones, refugee camps, and brothels, Aaron Cohen left behind his closest friends, his dying father, and his partnership with a legendary musician to take on treacherous rescue missions in search of modern-day slaves

Years of drug addiction and late-night partying led Aaron Cohen, one-time best friend and business partner to Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, on a path of spiritual discovery that has both transformed and endangered his life — a path that has drawn him into the shantytowns of Cambodia and the hidden brothels of Latin America, across the sweltering savannahs of Sudan, up to the Dalai Lama’s Himalayan retreat, and through the unforgiving jungles of Burma and the deserts of Iraq. At a time when more people than ever before are enslaved somewhere on the planet, Aaron Cohen is a slave hunter — working to find and free human beings from various forms of bondage.”

The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today – Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter, 2009. In The Slave Next Door we find that slaves are all around us, hidden in plain sight: the dishwasher in the kitchen of the neighborhood restaurant, the kids on the corner selling cheap trinkets, the man sweeping the floor of the local department store. In these pages we also meet some unexpected slaveholders, such as a 27-year old middle-class Texas housewife who is currently serving a life sentence for offences including slavery. This book is also a call to action, telling what we, as private citizens, can do to finally bring an end to this horrific crime.

Stop the Traffik: People Shouldn’t be Bought and Sold – Steve Chalke and a chapter by Cherie Blair, 2009. STOP THE TRAFFIK’s book is designed to help youngsters to students to teachers to professionals—navigate this minefield and engage with this global issue in a practical and useful way. Demonstrated through real life stories, factoids and background information, this easy-to-read book opens the door on an unknown world that is often shrouded in mystery. As an accessible resource, STOP THE TRAFFIK’s book is stuffed full of useful tips and ideas designed to empower individuals to be part of the global movement, to get involved to join the fight and STOP THE TRAFFIK.

2008
A Crime So Monstrous A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern Day Slavery – E. Benjamin Skinner, 2008. There are more slaves in the world today than at any time in history. After spending four years visiting a dozen countries where slavery flourishes, Skinner tells the story, in gripping narrative style, of individuals who live in slavery, those who have escaped from bondage, those who own or traffic in slaves, and the mixed political motives of those who seek to combat the crime.

Escaping the Devil’s Bedroom- Dawn Herzog Jewell, 2008.

Dawn Jewell weaves the stories of individual victims with a careful examination of the realities that propelled them into prostitution in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Alongside, she highlights ministries that are reaching one life at a time through prayerful visits to strip clubs, bars and brothels. The transforming power of the Gospel shines in men and women who have left lives of sexual exploitation and started new lives of dignity.

Dawn traveled to Athens, London, Amsterdam, Brazil, the Philippines and beyond to interview exploited men and women and hear their stories firsthand. She trekked alongside volunteers and leaders to red light districts to discover how Christians extend a hand to people without hope.

Just Courage: God’s Great Expedition for the Restless Christian – Gary Haugen, 2008. Haugen leads us on a journey to freedom from the triviality and fear that can stifle our lives.

Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy- John Bowe, 2008.

  • From the John Bowe Amazon store

“Most Americans would be shocked to discover that slavery still exists in the United States. Yet most of us buy goods made by people who aren’t paid for their labor–people who are trapped financially, and often physically. In Nobodies, award-winning journalist John Bowe exposes the outsourcing, corporate chicanery, immigration fraud, and sleights of hand that allow forced labor to continue in the United States while the rest of us notice nothing but the everyday low price at the checkout counter.

Based on thorough and often dangerous research, exclusive interviews, and eyewitness accounts, Nobodies takes you inside three illegal workplaces where employees are virtually or literally enslaved.”

Slavery Today: A Groundwork Guide- Kevin Bales and Becky Cornell, 2008.

To Plead Our Own Cause: Personal Stories by Today’s Slaves- Edited by Kevin Bales and Zoe Trodd, 2008.

2007
Ending Slavery Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves – Kevin Bales, 2007. Want to become an abolitionist? This book has practical, measurable suggestions for governments, communities, organizations and individuals on how to make slavery history.

A Long Way Gone A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier - Ishmael Beah, 2007.

Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings: All Roads Lead to America – Sheldon X. Zhang, 2007. Examines how smuggling and trafficking activities to the US are carried out, and explores the legal and policy challenges of dealing with these problems. Sheldon Zhang, professor and former criminal investigator, has particular specialty in human trafficking from China.

2006
Enslaved: True Stories of Modern Day Slavery- Edited by Jesse Sage and Liora Kasten, 2006.

  • From the book description at Good Reads:

“Today, millions of people are being held in slavery around the world. From poverty-stricken countries to affluent American suburbs, slaves toil as sweatshop workers, sex slaves, migrant workers, and domestic servants. With exposés by seven former slaves–as well as one slaveholder–from Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, this groundbreaking collection of harrowing first-hand accounts reveals how slavery continues to thrive in the twenty-first century. From the memoirs of Micheline, a Haitian girl coerced into domestic work in Connecticut, to the confessions of Abdel Nasser, a Mauritanian master turned abolitionist, these stories heighten awareness of a global human rights crisis that can no longer be ignored.”

Slavery Still Exists (And it Could Be in Your Backyard): A community members’ guide to fighting human trafficking and slavery-

2005
Terrify No More Terrify No More: Young Girls Held Captive and the Daring Undercover Operation to Win Their Freedom – Gary Haugen, 2005. Young girls were being raped repeatedly by paying men in brothels Svay Pak, Cambodia. Haugen writes about IJM’s heart-wrenching and difficult operation to rescue these children and give them a new start.

Understanding Global Slavery: A Reader- Kevin Bales, 2005.

2004
Escape from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity — and My Journey to Freedom in America – Francis Bok with Edward Tivnan, 2004. Autobiography of Francis Bok, sold into slavery from Southern Sudan by Arab raiders at age seven, and captive for ten years as a slave on a goat and cattle farm.

2002
Gender, Trafficking, and Slavery (Oxfam Focus on Gender Series) – Edited by Rachel Masika, 2002. Case studies from Europe, West, Central & North Africa, South Asia examining trafficking and slavery from a gender perspective.

1999
Disposable People Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy - Kevin Bales, 1999.

1998
Children in the Game: Child Prostitution – Strategies for Recovery- Ross A. MacInnes, 1998.

Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American- Jean-Robert Cadet, 1998.

Published in English in 1998, Cadet’s memoir, Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American, contributed significantly to the slim body of literature written by survivors of modern-day slavery. Especially striking is Cadet’s bravery in so frankly describing his experience since, “In Haitian society, [being a restavek is] the lowest possible status. It’s like being a dog. And no one wants to reveal that he once was a dog.” The book depicts the lasting psychological and social damage inflicted on those held in slavery and the suffering that persists from constant abuse. Cadet’s overwhelming sense of not belonging is the most acutely painful reminder that he, in his own words, “never had a childhood.”

If you know of additional books, please leave a comment so I can add them to this list. Your reviews of any of these books, or others on the topic are welcome as well. Buy local by finding a local independent bookstore in your area.

Comments
  1. Selena says:

    The Grey Man was a great book but unfortunately was written before the charity was attacked by some really bad journalists so it doesn’t cover recent events. I found this great thread at http://penhpal.com/2013/08/sisha-the-anti-trafficking-org-finally-unravels/ which tells the later story of what happened if you start at post 66. Interesting reading and shows what anti-trafficking organisations are up against

  2. William McGurk says:

    The Grey Man by Australian ex Special Forces officer John Curtis is about his endeavours to free children from Thai prostitution. This organisation The Grey Man now operates in a number of Asian countries.

  3. Donzel says:

    One of the books that I read recently isn’t listed here; A Crime So Monstrous, by E. Benjamin Skinner. It’s full of facts and stories gathered from his years of travel around the world. Skinner goes into fairly deep detail about the politics of the USA and how they have affected (for good or bad) the slavery problem.

    • Carl says:

      Great comment and great book recommendation. I believe I do actually have it listed, but it might be my list is too hard to navigate. I think it’s listed further down, under the 2008 or 2009 books.

  4. hongluong72 says:

    My partner, who volunteers with me for CAMSA(coalition to abolish modern slavery in Asia) lend me Half The Sky. It’s such a good book and really motivates me to help to fight oppression in the world.

    • Carl says:

      Thanks for your comment, and sorry I am slow to reply. I appreciate your endorsement of Half the Sky, because I haven’t read it yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s