Slavery and Trafficking

"I Feel Like We Are People Who Have Never Known Each Other Before": The Experiences of Survivors of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Transitioning From Shelters to Life in the Community
Laura Cordisco Tsai, Vanntheary Lim, and Channtha Nhanh. 1/2020. “"I Feel Like We Are People Who Have Never Known Each Other Before": The Experiences of Survivors of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Transitioning From Shelters to Life in the Community.” Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 21. See full text.Abstract

Journal article by Carr Fellow Laura Cordisco Tsai analyzes the transition of living in shelters to acclimating back to life in their communities for survivors of sexual exploitation.

In this article, we explore the experiences of survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Cambodia as they transition from living in trafficking-specific shelter facilities to living in the community. We analyzed data from Chab Dai's Butterfly Longitudinal Research (BLR) project, a 10-year longitudinal study with survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Cambodia utilizing a prospective panel design. We present findings from our analysis of 236 interviews and narrative summaries of interviews conducted with survivors between the years 2011 and 2016 (n=79). An interpretive phenomenological approach was used to understand survivors' experiences during this transition. Themes included: conflicted feelings about life in the community; difficulties completing school and securing employment; violence in the community; limited follow-up; unfulfilled expectations; feeling loved like a family member in the shelter, but abandoned in the community; vulnerability in the community due to dramatic differences between shelters and the community; and varied experiences with case closure. We underscore the importance of understanding and listening to the voices of survivors about their experiences in the anti-human trafficking sector and discuss implications for the design and implementation of services for survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Southeast Asia.

Is Your Phone Tainted by the Misery of the 35,000 Children in Congo's Mines?
Siddharth Kara. 10/12/2018. “Is Your Phone Tainted by the Misery of the 35,000 Children in Congo's Mines?” The Guardian. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In his recent article in The Gaurdian, Senior Fellow Siddharth Kara discusses the human rights violations connected to the cobalt industry. 

My field research shows that children as young as six are among those risking their lives amid toxic dust to mine cobalt for the world’s big electronics firms  -Siddharth Kara, Senior Fellow, Carr Center

"Until recently, I knew cobalt only as a colour. Falling somewhere between the ocean and the sky, cobalt blue has been prized by artists from the Ming dynasty in China to the masters of French Impressionism. But there is another kind of cobalt, an industrial form that is not cherished for its complexion on a palette, but for its ubiquity across modern life.

This cobalt is found in every lithium-ion rechargeable battery on the planet – from smartphones to tablets to laptops to electric vehicles. It is also used to fashion superalloys to manufacture jet engines, gas turbines and magnetic steel. You cannot send an email, check social media, drive an electric car or fly home for the holidays without using this cobalt. As I learned on a recent research trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this cobalt is not awash in cerulean hues. Instead, it is smeared in misery and blood."

Elodie is 15. Her two-month-old son is wrapped tightly in a frayed cloth around her back. He inhales potentially lethal mineral dust every time he takes a breath. Toxicity assaults at every turn; earth and water are contaminated with industrial runoff, and the air is brown with noxious haze. Elodie is on her own here, orphaned by cobalt mines that took both her parents. She spends the entire day bent over, digging with a small shovel to gather enough cobalt-containing heterogenite stone to rinse at nearby Lake Malo to fill one sack. It will take her an entire day to do so, after which Chinese traders will pay her about $0.65 (50p). Hopeless though it may be, it is her and her child’s only means of survival.

Read the full article in The Guardian.

Modern Slavery: A Global Perspective
Siddharth Kara. 10/2017. Modern Slavery: A Global Perspective, Pp. 360. Colombia University Press. See full text.Abstract
Modern Slavery: A Global Perspective book by Siddharth Kara
 

Siddharth Kara is a tireless chronicler of the human cost of slavery around the world. He has documented the dark realities of modern slavery in order to reveal the degrading and dehumanizing systems that strip people of their dignity for the sake of profit—and to link the suffering of the enslaved to the day-to-day lives of consumers in the West. In Modern Slavery, Kara draws on his many years of expertise to demonstrate the astonishing scope of slavery and offer a concrete path toward its abolition.

From labor trafficking in the U.S. agricultural sector to sex trafficking in Nigeria to debt bondage in the Southeast Asian construction sector to forced labor in the Thai seafood industry, Kara depicts the myriad faces and forms of slavery, providing a comprehensive grounding in the realities of modern-day servitude. Drawing on sixteen years of field research in more than fifty countries around the globe—including revelatory interviews with both the enslaved and their oppressors—Kara sets out the key manifestations of modern slavery and how it is embedded in global supply chains. Slavery offers immense profits at minimal risk through the exploitation of vulnerable subclasses whose brutalization is tacitly accepted by the current global economic order. Kara has developed a business and economic analysis of slavery based on metrics and data that attest to the enormous scale and functioning of these systems of exploitation. Beyond this data-driven approach, Modern Slavery unflinchingly portrays the torments endured by the powerless. This searing exposé documents one of humanity’s greatest wrongs and lays out the framework for a comprehensive plan to eradicate it.

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Telling the True Story of Human Trafficking

October 13, 2016

In the latest edition of HKS Policycast, HKS Lecturer Siddharth Kara of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy explains how his research into the tens of millions of girls around the world who have been forced into sexual slavery led him to Hollywood, where he wrote and produced the new feature film “Trafficked.” The film, based on true stories, follows three enslaved teens who end up in a Texas brothel after being trafficked across the globe.

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Read more about Telling the True Story of Human Trafficking
Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia
Siddharth Kara. 5/6/2014. Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia, Pp. 336. New York: Columbia University Press. See full text.Abstract
This volume is Kara's second, explosive study of slavery, this time focusing on the deeply entrenched and wholly unjust system of bonded labor.

 

Siddharth Kara's first book, Sex Trafficking , has become a critical resource for its revelations into an unconscionable business, and its detailed analysis of the trade's immense economic benefits and human cost.

In his second volume, drawing on eleven years of research in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, Kara delves into an ancient and ever-evolving mode of slavery that 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 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 men, women, and children 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 specific initiatives to eliminate the system of bonded labor from South Asia once and for all.