Siddharth Kara: "Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia"

Author: Siddharth Kara
Published: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Columbia University Press

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 became 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.

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. 
 

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Siddharth Kara is a Fellow with the Carr Center Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, and also a Fellow on Forced Labor with the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health. Kara is one of the world's foremost experts on contemporary slavery and co-teaches the first human trafficking course at the Harvard Kennedy School. Kara is best known for his award-winning book, "Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery,"

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