Books on Slavery and Human Trafficking

Choose a category to browse

Runaway Girl

47 non-fiction books

Copper Sun

8 fiction books

18 references, docs, links

Updated December 7, 2015

  1. Another book to check out would be, Dismal Key, by Mitch Doxsee. A suspenseful thriller centered on Human Trafficking – More common and closer to home than people wish to believe. Mitch Doxsee has already claimed the Florida Authors and Publisher’s Assoc. President’s 2013 Gold Award in the eBook category for this fast paced thriller.

    Mitch had experience working with human trafficking in Amsterdam. He continues to be concerned and feels this novel helps illustrate the problem.

  2. Joseph Dong says:

    Hello….check out this book on conducting human trafficking investigations. It covers indicators and all sorts of references. Yes, the author is a friend of mine, but he’s a seasoned cop who’s an expert in his field. Trying to pass on the word to provide this book as a reference to law enforcement, social workers, parents and elected officials.


    • Carl says:

      Hi Joseph,

      Thanks for visiting this blog and leaving a comment. I appreciate the recommendation on the book, and will add it to my book list when I get a chance to update it.


  3. katy says:

    I’d also recommend “Sold” and “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier”

    • Carl says:

      Hi Katy,
      Thanks for visiting, commenting, and the recommendations! As you probably saw, I have “Sold” (Patricia McCormick) listed alphabetically on the Fiction Books page, and “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” (Ishmael Beah) listed under 2007 on the Nonfiction Books page. Any particular parts of either of those books that really grabbed your attention or gave you a startling revelation?

      Please come back and comment again if you recommend any of the other books I have listed, or if there are any I’m missing.

  4. Michael Millar says:

    Hi Carl,
    I found The Sunken Cathedral quite by accident really, browsing on Amazon; its kind of obscure, but hopefully not for long. There’s quite a lot of factual material out there on the subject, and first-hand accounts, which is great; but for me, an issue can really be busted open by film and books; especially literary fiction that’s harsh but also poignant. I’m looking forward to reading these other books you have listed.

  5. Michael Millar says:

    Hi there,
    An excellent new novel has recently come out, on Amazon, by Nicholas Sheppard, called The Sunken Cathedral, which looks at the hell of human trafficking as a literary novel; it’s very powerful and poignant. Having the exploitation depicted from a literary perspective adds a new angle, and ought to be helpful in raising awareness.
    Hope this helps,

    [Carl’s note: I added a link to The Sunken Cathedral in the fiction books page]

  6. Tanya says:

    “In Our Backyard” by author Nita Belles is an excellent source of information about domestic human trafficking. I’ve often used the true stories of victims from her book when I speak to organizations about trafficking and also when I’ve trained law enforcement and lay people. Her book can also be used as a study guide as she has included questions at the end of each chapter. I’m an attorney and volunteer abolitionist -I can highly recommend this book.

    • Carl says:

      Thank you for the recommendation Tanya. I added “In Our Backyard” to the book list above with links to purchase it. How did you get involved as a “volunteer abolitionist”?

  7. Kimberly Rae says:

    Could someone please let me know what the protocol is for sending in a book for consideration for posting on this page? My first novel, Stolen Woman, on human trafficking in Kolkata, India, is due for release June 1st this year. May I send a reader copy?
    Thank you very much!

  8. Dan Martin says:

    Hey Carl,

    Just came across your blog. I have read Skinner’s “A Crime So Monstrous” and consider it an important work. I plugged the book on my own blog along with my highlighting of a compelling video called “Blood into Gold” by the artists Akon and Peter Buffet. In addition to these books I recommend Buffet & Akon’s website as another excellent resource on the subject of human trafficking.

    Here’s my brief review of ACSM as posted on the Amazon website:

    Skinner does a spectacular job of personalizing a terrible crime that is committed daily in countries all over the world, including our own USA. His accounts of real slaves are gripping, utterly believable, and absolutely heart-wrenching.

    Completely nonpartisan, Skinner pulls no punches. Where officials do right he reports it with honor; where they fail to do right or turn their backs he justly condemns them with the evidence. There are plenty of rogues, and a few honorable warriors, among these pages. But the compelling stories are of those who live still in bondage, and those who have been freed.

    Conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, if you don’t come away from this book enraged and outraged, you aren’t paying attention. The only thing more shameful than the lipservice and window dressing that are all the Bush administration has given to the cause of slavery, would be the fact that previous administrations from Clinton on back didn’t even do the window dressing.

  9. Tessa says:

    I have read quite a few books on Human Trafficking. Not For Sale is a great book and an easy read. It is also more uplifting than some of the others b/c the stories include agencies that are working to rescue victims so you hear of the fortunate ones that get out and the heros that are devoting their lives to stopping this. I have also read the Kevin Bales book ‘Disposable People’ IT is pretty good but I have a problem with his chapter on Thailand. He claims that only the girls who service locals are slaves. He claims that the prostitutes that foreigners see and use are freely choosing that life. This goes against everything else I have read on the issue. HOw is it that 12 or 13 year olds freely choose to have sex with disgusting men from 1st world countries? While giving all the money to the ‘Madams’ and ‘Pimps’? I would like to know if he actually spoke to any of these girls? Did he ask how they came to ‘choose’ this? Based on a lot of reading and involvement with this issue I doubt it was much of a choice.
    2 other good books are by Victor Malarek. ‘The Natashas’ and ‘The Johns’
    Also ‘Children in the Game’ by Ross MacInnes

    • Carl says:

      Hi Tessa,
      Thanks for adding your comments and other book suggestions. I got another recommendation about The Natashas, and haven’t added it to the list yet. I haven’t heard of “The Johns”, so thanks! If I hear any reply from Kevin Bales about your Thailand comments, I’ll post it here. If your characterization of his opinion (that foreign-serving prositutes are consenting) is accurate, I wonder if that opinion has changed since he published the book in 1999. Hopefully we’ll get a follow-up response from him and hear what he has to say.

  10. Apart from my own book on the subject – svetna, which you can find out more about here –
    or at –
    I’d like to recommend The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson – you can find a copy here

  11. erin says:

    thanks for all of this so helpful 🙂

    • Carl says:


      Thanks for your kind comment, and sorry for the slow reply. My “day job” is really busy these days, and I haven’t done any work on the blog in a while, as you can see. I’m glad it was helpful, and I welcome your follow up if you read any of these books and would like to leave a “review”. It doesn’t have to be fancy and professional, but simply… “I read such and such book and found it really shocking to learn that… etc. I thought the book was excellent, and highly recommend it if you….”

      Again, thanks for visiting and taking time to respond!

  12. Ashley says:

    I have The Slave Next Door. Great book, really looks into the statistics and what NGOs are doing to create awareness and ultimately end slavery.

    Also Enslaved is a great read. It is a detailed account of 8 stories of victims across the world.

    • Carl says:


      I don’t think I’ve heard of “Enslaved.” Do you have an author or ISBN number? Thanks for your comments on “The Slave Next Door.”

      Thanks again for taking the time to visit and leave your impressions.


  13. Susan says:

    I would also recommend Jansten’s Gift, by Pam Cope, co-written with Aimee Molloy. Great story about turning grief and loss into the Touch A Life Foundation, a group that rescues child slaves in Ghana, Vietnam and Cambodia. A great story! Check out

    • Carl says:


      Sorry it’s taken so long to reply. My work and personal schedule has been pretty crazy, but I did get a chance to add Jansten’s Gift to my book list, as well as add Touch A Life to my organizations list on the right side bar.

      Thanks for the suggestions and comment!


  14. Carol Fenton says:

    Thanks for posting an excellent selection of books on the subject Carl. Here are my thoughts on a few I’ve read:

    “Disposable People”: This book offers detailed insights into slavery, and as a consumer I learned how I am linked to slavery. There are some ideas at the end of the book on what can be done. Also, all proceeds from this book go to the international fight against slavery.

    “Ending Slavery”: This book clues people in to how involved every single product we purchase is involved in modern-day slavery. It also inspires you to ask questions, make better choices, and get active in ending slavery.

    “A Long Way Gone”: Clear, compelling look at wartime violence and how one boy soldier was able to overcome and write this important book.

    I’m looking forward to reading the recently published Bales/Soodalter’s book, ”The Slave Next Door”.

    • Carl says:

      Thanks for visiting the site, for your compliment, and for your thoughtful comments on the books. If you read “The Slave Next Door,” please come back and leave another comment!

      By the way, what’s a significant moment for you that drew your attention to modern slavery?


  15. Paul Bernish says:

    Carl — I’ve read several of these books and, fortunately, either met or interviewed some of the authors: Kevin Bales, Ben Skinner and Ron Soodalter. All of the titles are worth reading, but if I had to pick one as a place to start, I’d go with either Disposable People or Understanding Global Slavery: A Reader (both by Bales). In my view, he’s the most authoritative voice on the subject of contemporary slavery, but he combines academic precision with fierce passion, an unbeatable blend that gives his works a high level of credibility.

    Skinner’s book (“A Crime So Monstrous”) is a great read because it’s a first-person account of his experiences in several spots around the world in confronting trafficking first hand.

    Bales/Soodalter’s book (“The Slave Next Door”), just published, is important because it focuses on trafficking in the U.S. Research shows that many Americans recognize human trafficking as a growing problem, but somehow believe our country is either immune or little affected. This book paints afar different, ominous picture.

    Hope this helps your readers in making informed book choices.

    (Carl’s note: I edited this reply only to insert the book titles for Paul’s last two recommendations.)

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