Slave: My True Story (Paperback)
by Mende Nazer (Author), Damien Lewis (Author)

From Amazon.Com:
Mende Nazer lost her childhood at age twelve, when she was sold into slavery. It all began one horrific night in 1993, when Arab raiders swept through her Nuba village, murdering the adults and rounding up thirty-one children, including Mende.
Mende was sold to a wealthy Arab family who lived in Sudan's capital city, Khartoum. So began her dark years of enslavement. Her Arab owners called her "Yebit," or "black slave." She called them "master." She was subjected to appalling physical, sexual, and mental abuse. She slept in a shed and ate the family leftovers like a dog. She had no rights, no freedom, and no life of her own.
Normally, Mende's story never would have come to light. But seven years after she was seized and sold into slavery, she was sent to work for another master—a diplomat working in the United Kingdom. In London, she managed to make contact with other Sudanese, who took pity on her. In September 2000, she made a dramatic break for freedom.
Slave is a story almost beyond belief. It depicts the strength and dignity of the Nuba tribe. It recounts the savage way in which the Nuba and their ancient culture are being destroyed by a secret modern-day trade in slaves. Most of all, it is a remarkable testimony to one young woman's unbreakable spirit and tremendous courage.

About the Author
Mende Nazer is approximately twenty-three years old (the Nuba keep no record of birth dates). She was granted political asylum by the British government in 2003. She currently lives in London.
Damien Lewis is a British journalist who has reported widely from Sudan and helped Mende escape. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Escape from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America
by Francis Bok; Edward Tivnan

From Amazon.Com:
Book Description
In this groundbreaking autobiography, Francis Bok shares the riveting history of his brutal capture and enslavement, his desperate escape, and his remarkable journey to freedom. Bok's extraordinary memoir describes: -The raid on his village -His horrific abduction at age seven -Numerous failed and near-fatal escapes -His successful escape to a refugee camp-followed by nine months in jail under the charge of sedition -His harrowing journey to Cairo and with the help of the UN, to freedom in America -His new life in Boston as a student and anti-slavery activist. Escape from Slavery is at once a dramatic adventure, a story of desperation and triumph, and an important commentary on the plight of millions held in slavery today. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Francis Bok is twenty-three-years old and an Associate at the Boston-based American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG). In 2000, he became the first escaped slave to testify before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in hearings on Sudan. He speaks throughout the United States, has been featured in The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, Essence magazine, and on Black Entertainment Television, and he recently met with President George Bush at the White House. He lives in Boston.
Edward Tivnan has collaborated on and is the author of several books. He was a reporter and staff writer for Time Magazine and helped create ABC's 20/20. He lives in New York.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Sold (Hardcover)
by Patricia Mccormick

From Amazon.Com:

Lakshmi, 13, knows nothing about the world beyond her village shack in the Himalayas of Nepal, and when her family loses the little it has in a monsoon, she grabs a chance to work as a maid in the city so she can send money back home. What she doesn't know is that her stepfather has sold her into prostitution. She ends up in a brothel far across the border in the slums of Calcutta, locked up, beaten, starved, drugged, raped, "torn and bleeding," until she submits. In beautiful clear prose and free verse that remains true to the child's viewpoint, first-person, present-tense vignettes fill in Lakshmi's story. The brutality and cruelty are ever present ("I have been beaten here, / locked away, / violated a hundred times / and a hundred times more"), but not sensationalized. An unexpected act of kindness is heartbreaking ("I do not know a word / big enough to hold my sadness"). One haunting chapter brings home the truth of "Two Worlds": the workers love watching The Bold and the Beautifulon TV though in the real world, the world they know, a desperate prostitute may be approached to sell her own child. An unforgettable account of sexual slavery as it exists now. Hazel Rochman; Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved



Slavery in the 21st Century

There are more slaves today than were seized from Africa in four centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The modern commerce in humans rivals illegal drug trafficking in its global reach—and in the destruction of lives. Experts estimate that today there are 27 million people enslaved around the world. According to Anti-Slavery International, the world's oldest human rights organization, there are currently over 20 million people in bondage.

Article 4, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.


It’s happening in countries on all six inhabited continents. And yes, that includes the United States. The CIA estimates 14,500 to 17,000 victims are trafficked into the “Land of the Free” every year.

The International Labour Organization estimates at least 12 million people are in forced labour around the world; more than six million of whom are children. Slavery exists on every continent of the world and affects most countries. UNICEF estimates that 200,000 children from West and Central Africa are sold into slavery each year.

Why hasn’t more been done to end a dehumanizing, universally condemned practice? One challenge is that slavery today takes on myriad, subtler forms than it did during the Atlantic Slave Trade — including sex trafficking, debt bondage, forced domestic or agricultural labor, and chattel slavery — making it tougher to identify and eradicate.

  • Slavery today is defined as forced labor without pay under threat of violence.

  • 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked internationally every year. Approximately 80% of them are women and children

  • In the 2000 Refugee Report, “Trafficking in Women and Children: A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery,” former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright calls human trafficking “the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.”

  • Slavery is an extremely profitable, international industry. Experts estimate trafficking in the US yields $9 billion every year. Around the world, trafficking in women for commercial sex purposes nets $6 billion per year. The trade of human flesh is so lucrative that authorities complain that even as they close in on one smuggling ring in the US, another one pops up

Slavery takes many forms and affects people of all ages, sex and race. It is: bonded and forced labour, descent based slavery, early and forced marriage, worst forms of child labour and trafficking of people into forced labour.... At this moment, millions of men, women, and children—roughly twice the population of Rhode Island—are being held against their will as modern-day slaves.

A slave is:

  • Forced to work -- through mental or physical threat.

  • Owned or controlled by an 'employer', usually through mental or physical abuse or threatened abuse.

  • Dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as 'property'.

  • Physically constrained or has restrictions placed on his/her freedom of movement.

The four most common types of slavery are: chattel slavery, debt bondage, forced labor, and sexual slavery.

CHATTEL SLAVERY is closest to the slavery that prevailed in early American history. Chattel slaves are considered their masters’ property — exchanged for things like trucks or money and expected to perform labor and sexual favors. Once of age, their children are expected to do the same. Chattel slavery is typically racially-based; in the North African country of Mauritania, for example, black Africans serve the lighter-skinned Arab-Berber communities. Though slavery was legally abolished there in 1980, today 90,000 slaves continue to serve the Muslim Berber ruling class. Similarly, in the African country of Sudan, Arab northerners are known to raid the villages in the South — killing all the men and taking the women and children to be auctioned off and sold into slavery.

DEBT BONDAGE, or bonded labor, is the most widely practiced form of slavery around the world. In Southeast Asia, where it is most prevalent, debt bondage claims an estimated 15 to 20 million victims. The staggering poverty there forces many parents to offer themselves or their own children as collateral against a loan. Though they are promised they will work only until their debt is paid off, the reality is much grimmer. Thanks to inflated interest rates and fresh debts incurred while being fed and housed, the debt becomes impossible to pay off. As a result, it is often inherited by the bonded laborer’s children, perpetuating a vicious cycle that can claim several generations.

SEX SLAVERY finds women and children forced into prostitution. Many are lured by false offers of a good job and then beaten and forced to work in brothels. In Southeast Asia, however, it is not uncommon to find women coerced by their own husbands, fathers, and brothers to earn money for the men in the family to pay back local money lenders. In other cases, victims pay tens of thousands of dollars to get to another country and are then forced into prostitution in pay off their own debts. In still others, women or girls are plainly kidnapped from their home countries. The sex slavery trade thrives in Central and Eastern Europe and in North America. An estimated two million women and children are sold into sex slavery around the world every year.

worst forms of child labour:
Children are bonded, trafficked or forced to work as soldiers or domestic labourers, on plantations or in commercial sex work. Their physical vulnerability and lack of voice make children especially prone to danger in conditions which risk damaging their safety and psychological health. An estimated 179 million children are in the worst forms of child labour, with more still working full time at the expense of their education, leisure and personal and social development.

early and forced marriage:

Women and girls who are married without choice. They are forced into a life of servitude, often marked by physical violence.

FORCED LABOR often results when individuals are lured by the promise of a good job but instead find themselves subjected to slaving conditions — working without payment and enduring physical abuse, often in harsh and hazardous conditions. Victims include domestic workers, construction workers, and even human mine detectors. Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable, as their constant changes of location make the organized crime rings that traffic them difficult to bust.

People are forced to work through the threat or use of violence, they are bought and sold like objects, work for long hours often for little or no pay and are at the mercy of their employers. A key difference between slavery today and that in the past is that now, thanks to the struggle of abolitionists in the late-18th and early 19th centuries, slavery is illegal in every country.

... Slavery has not been eliminated because these laws are not enforced. Even in Europe and North America, where slavery appeared to have been consigned to history, it has returned in the form of human trafficking and forced labour.

Sudanese slaves await redemption in Madhol, Sudan, in December 1997. An Arab trader sold 132 former slaves, women and children, for $13,200 (in Sudanese money) to a member of Christian Solidarity International. (AP Photo)

Sometimes referred to as bonded laborers (because of the debts owed their masters), public perception of modern slavery is often confused with reports of workers in low-wage jobs or inhumane working conditions. However, modern-day slaves differ from these workers because they are actually held in physical bondage (they are shackled, held at gunpoint, etc.).

Modern-day slaves can be found laboring as servants or concubines in Sudan, as child "carpet slaves" in India, or as cane-cutters in Haiti and southern Pakistan, to name but a few instances.

Where does this slavery take place? Who are the faces behind these atrocities?


Free the Slaves:


American Anti-Slavery Group:

Not for Sale Campaign:

National Geographic:

Links: Child Work or Labour

What is Child Labour?
The definition of child labour is explored at this site, which also provides links on this subject for younger users.

Educational material on contemporary slavery including child labour.

Free the Children
Join this network where over 100,000 children in 35 countries fight against poverty, and injustice.

Child Labour and the Global Village
A web-based photographic project, which explores the lives of 11 child labourers around the world.

Haiti's Forgotten Children
The story of 'Restavek', the system which keeps an estimated 300,000 Haitian children bound in service.

More Books

Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy
by Kevin Bales

From Amazon.Com:
The horror of slavery, says Kevin Bales, is "not confined to history." It is not only possible that slave labor is responsible for the shoes on your feet or your daily consumption of sugar, he writes, the products of forced labor filter even more quietly into a broad portion of daily Western life. "They made the bricks for the factory that made the TV you watch. In Brazil slaves made the charcoal that tempered the steel that made the springs in your car and the blade on your lawnmower.... Slaves keep your costs low and returns on your investments high."

The exhaustive research in Disposable People shows that at least 27 million people are currently enslaved around the world. Bales, considered the world's leading expert on contemporary slavery, reveals the historical and economic conditions behind this resurgence. From Thailand, Mauritania, Brazil, Pakistan, and India, Bales has gathered stories of people in unthinkable conditions, kept in bondage to support their owners' lives. Bales insists that even a small effort from a large number of people could end slavery, and devotes a large chapter to explaining the practical means by which this might be accomplished. "Are we willing to live in a world with slaves?" he asks. As a sign of his commitment, all his royalties from Disposable People will go toward the fight against slavery. --Maria Dolan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves (Hardcover)

by Kevin Bales (Author)

From Amazon.Com:

In his 1999 book, Disposable People, Kevin Bales brought to light the shocking fact of modern slavery and described how, nearly two hundred years after the slave trade was abolished (legal slavery would have to wait another fifty years), global slavery stubbornly persists. In Ending Slavery, Bales again grapples with the struggle to end this ancient evil and presents the ideas and insights that can finally lead to slavery's extinction. Recalling his own involvement in the antislavery movement, he recounts a personal journey in search of the solution and explains how governments and citizens can build a world without slavery.

From the Inside Flap
"None of us is truly free while others remain enslaved. The continuing existence of slavery is one of the greatest tragedies facing our global humanity. Today we finally have the means and increasingly the conviction to end this scourge and to bring millions of slaves to freedom. Read Kevin Bales's practical and inspiring book, and you will discover how our world can be free at last."--Desmond Tutu

"Ever since the Emancipation Proclamation, Americans have congratulated themselves on ending slavery once and for all. But did we? Kevin Bales is a powerful and effective voice in pointing out the appalling degree to which servitude, forced labor and outright slavery still exist in today's world, even here. This book is a valuable primer on the persistence of these evils, their intricate links to poverty, corruption and globalization--and what we can do to combat them. He's a modern-day William Lloyd Garrison."--Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves

"I know modern slavery from the inside, and since coming to freedom I am committed to end it forever. This book shows us how to make a world where no more childhoods will be stolen and sold as mine was."--Given Kachepa, former U.S. slave, recipient of the Yoshiyama Award

"Kevin Bales does not just pontificate from behind a desk. From the charcoal pits of Brazil to the brothels of Thailand, he has seen the victims of modern day slavery. In Ending Slavery, Bales gives us an update on what's happening (and not happening), and a controversial plan to abolish slavery in the 21st century. This is a must read for anyone who wants to learn about the great human rights issue of our times."--Ambassador John Miller, former director of the U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

About the Author
Kevin Bales is President of Free the Slaves, the U.S. sister organization of Britain's Anti-Slavery International. He is Professor Emeritus at Roehampton University in London and is the author of Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy (1999) and Understanding Global Slavery (2005), both from UC Press.

Unspeakable The Hidden Truth Behind The World's Fastest Growing Crime
by Raymond Bechard (Author)

From Amazon.Com:
Available now, UNSPEAKABLE: The Hidden Truth Behind the World's Fastest Growing Crime, the new book by Ahava Kids Founder and Director, Raymond Bechard, will finally bring the dark world of Child Trafficking into the light of day. Exposing this global attack against children is one of the most important missions of Ahava Kids and a lifelong passion of Raymond Bechard. With UNSPEAKABLE, you will experience what it is like to walk through the back alleys, the brothels, the battlefields, and even the magnificent mansions where children are being bought and sold into modern day slavery. Most people do not want to go where this extraordinary book will take them. But, to save children from the most horrible abuse imaginable, we must all find the courage and go. Together, we must speak for the children who are trapped in a life of silent torture. All proceeds from the sale of this book support the work of Ahava Kids.

Raymond Bechard has traveled across the globe to save the world s most valuable and vulnerable citizens: children. From the United States to Israel, Russia, Europe, Haiti, Latin America and beyond, he has built a network of dedicated people who devote their lives to protecting children from evil and providing them with a better, safer life. Today, Raymond is the Founder and Director of Ahava Kids, a human-rights organization dedicated to rescuing orphaned young people from the crime of child trafficking, enslavement and exploitation throughout the world. For more information, please go to

Enslaved: True Stories of Modern Day Slavery (Hardcover)
by Gloria Steinem (Foreword), Jesse Sage (Editor), Liora Kasten (Editor)

From Amazon.Com:
Twenty-seven million people are estimated to be held in slavery around the world today. This collection of first-hand accounts will raise awareness and show how slavery is thriving in the twenty-first century. From poverty-stricken countries to affluent American suburbs, slaves toil as sweatshop workers, sex slaves, migrant workers, domestic servants, and chattel slaves. This groundbreaking collection includes accounts written by ten former slaves and slaveholders in Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the United States. From Micheline, a Haitian girl who wound up as a domestic worker in Connecticut, to Abdel, a Sudanese slave owner turned abolitionist, these are stories that will heighten awareness of a global human rights crisis that can no longer be ignored.

From the Back Cover
"Just as 19th century slave narratives forced readers to admit the humanity of slaves, the stories in Enslaved force us to admit that slavery still exists." --Gloria Steinem

"Slavery still exists--hidden and virulent--in many countries, including this "land of the free." In Enslaved: True Stories of Modern Day Slavery, Jesse Sage and Liora Kasten of the American Anti-Slavery Group--an organization I know well as a reporter--offer a riveting illumination of this most under-publicized human rights abuse." --Nat Hentoff, Columnist, The Washington Post, Village Voice and Wall Street Journal

"Poignant, powerful, and deeply disturbing. The voices of these survivors resonate loudly with The Museum of the African Diaspora, a first-voice museum, committed, as one of its goals, to sharing stories of enduring courage in its Ernest A. Bates, M.D. Slavery Passages exhibit. This book is important in that it not only gives voice to victims of modern day slavery, but also because it provides steps that the active reader can take to help eradicate these modern day enslavement practices." --Denise Bradley, Executive Director, Museum of the African Diaspora

"As was true before our Civil War, nothing is more important than the abolition movement. It is no longer domestic; it is now international. The darkness of the slave trade and the brightness of the concerned human spirit is made clear in this volume--for all who would know how far we have come and how far we have to go." --Stanley Crouch, Columnist, New York Daily News