Kara, a former investment banker and executive, uses theoretical economics and business analysis to propose measures that could eradicate sex trafficking by undermining the profitability of the illegal activities associated with the crime. At considerable personal risk and expense—he is nearly attacked by a gang of pimps in Mumbai—the author penetrates seedy underworlds and forced labor markets to meet the women and children in the dungeon of human disgrace in Asia, Europe and the U.S. He highlights ubiquitous and disturbing trends—the heavy involvement of law enforcement agencies and personnel in trafficking and slavery—but this book's intentions suffers from Kara's self-professed rudimentary economic analysis, which often borders on the offensive (a theoretical calculation of the lifetime value of a sex slave) and an unscientific, ad hoc research model. While the evidence indicates the urgent need for action—a woman or child is trafficked for sexual exploitation every 60 seconds—Kara's economic approach fails to shed new light on the human cost of sex slavery and seems at the best of times beside the point, although the detailed statistical information he compiles—on everything from the costs of running a brothel in Queens, N.Y., to massage parlor and bonded labor economics worldwide—is a resource for researchers in the field. (Jan.)
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Sex trafficking is more of a problem than most people realize. Read this well-written book and find out.
Sex trafficking is a crime that shames us all. To fight it we need to research it, know it in depth, and calibrate measures accordingly. Siddharth Kara's compelling economic and strategic analysis is very useful to our work. Readers will gain a deep understanding of the functioning of modern-day slavery as well as what can be done to eradicate it.
(Antonio Maria Costa, executive director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)
I approached this book with a certain weariness. Having worked on the subject of sex trafficking for many years, I was unenthusiastic about yet another exposé or cri de coeur from a business executive turned human rights advocate. I could not have been more wrong. This is a unique and inspiring bookan honest, lucid, and immensely intelligent account of a devastating yet pervasive aspect of contemporary globalization. It deserves to be widely read by anyone who wants to understand one of the most persistent and complex human rights violations of our times.
(Jacqueline Bhabha, Harvard Law School)
Siddharth Kara has done a great service by laying bare the realities of sexual exploitation of women and girls around the world and the scale of this modern slavery. His analysis is rooted in an understanding of the way unregulated economic globalization has impoverished whole regions, failed to improve the miserable lot of women in many countries, and facilitated global criminal networks. His book should be widely read and his recommendations taken very seriously.
(Baroness Vivien Stern, King's College London)
This book could not be more important. After years of witnessing slavery and meeting with slaves, Siddharth Kara illuminates one of our most pressing human rights issues. He offers brand new research and reliable facts, shattering the myths and sensationalism that tend to surround this topic. Everyone should read this book: it will change the way we think about our world.
(Zoe Trodd, Harvard University)
An impressive, scholarly book that will prove an asset for the global anti-trafficking movement in the next decade.
(Holly Burkhalter Stanford Social Innovation Review
A disturbing and illuminating study of one of the underbellies of economic globalization: the global sex trafficking industry.
(Padraig Carmody Irish Times
An eloquent, campaigning book that addresses an evil that belittles our humanity.
(Jonathan Birchall Financial Times
The best book ever written on human trafficking for sexual exploitation. Representing a new period of solid yet humane scholarship, this breakthrough analysis represents a quantum leap in the study of this subject. Simply beyond anything I have seen anywhere.
(Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves)
This is an important and necessary work and it will educate many people about sex trafficking around the globe.
(Meredith Ralston H-Human-Rights
An important innovative resource that enriches the discourse on modern-day slavery and human trafficking.
(Noam Perry Human Rights Review