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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shocking and informative treatise
As a retired academic, I mostly read history and philosophy in my spare time. Upon a friend's suggestion, I have recently read Mr. Siddharth Kara's treatise "sex-trafficking inside the business of modern slavery." It constitutes a first-hand account of a little-noticed business of human bondage and pathos. The author exposed himself to personal danger in attempting...
Published on November 27, 2008 by Ramachander Gollamudi

versus
42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Albania chapter weak and misleading
I do not presume to offer an assessment of the entire book, since my expertise for the past six years is specifically in counter-trafficking in Albania. I was interviewed by the author when he came through the country several years ago.

Trafficking of women and children is a reality in Albania. But there is little evidence that application of the traditional...
Published on June 26, 2009 by SarahAlb


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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shocking and informative treatise, November 27, 2008
As a retired academic, I mostly read history and philosophy in my spare time. Upon a friend's suggestion, I have recently read Mr. Siddharth Kara's treatise "sex-trafficking inside the business of modern slavery." It constitutes a first-hand account of a little-noticed business of human bondage and pathos. The author exposed himself to personal danger in attempting interviews with scores of victims spanning the whole range of demographics.

This book deals with three aspects of this world-wide business: the exploitative traffickers, the wrenching servitude of the victims, and the economics of the trade.

The author presents convincing quantitative information to provide a rationale as to why the trafficking business is quite attractive to the brute; while it is useful for lawmakers and NGOs, the narrative is shocking to the public. The sheer volume of this sort of "slavery" is astounding, and the subhuman conditions these victims are forced to live in, is repelling. Reading through some of the situations was nauseating to say the least. In today's affluent world, it is abhorring that spots of utter poverty exist but go unnoticed. More repulsive and dehumanizing is the fact that, on occasion, a father is manipulated into selling his daughter into this servitude.

While contemporary society holds woman as equal to man, and given that Indian thought in particular considers woman as divine, the destitution of these exploited women renders this practice beyond the pale of repugnance. The enablers look like demons, incapable of the remotest human sensibilities; that they manage to go under radar is astounding.

In his rendition, Mr. Kara strikes the right balance between narrative and numbers; there is enough of the latter to portray a clear picture to the common reader and sufficient detail to enable the statistician to derive probabilities and significance. Mr. Kara is to be commended for this brave venture driven by his idealism.

Ram Gollamudi
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Albania chapter weak and misleading, June 26, 2009
I do not presume to offer an assessment of the entire book, since my expertise for the past six years is specifically in counter-trafficking in Albania. I was interviewed by the author when he came through the country several years ago.

Trafficking of women and children is a reality in Albania. But there is little evidence that application of the traditional code called the Kanun is a driving cause. The chapter begins with "sworn virgins", and implies that this is evidence of gender bias that creates vulnerability of females in the rural north. The number of women who have assumed this identity has always been small. But it can be argued that those who do so are likely to be less vulnerable than other women because they assume the status of "honorary man" - able to own property and able to conduct business. Thus, they are able to become more active agents of their own economic destiny, and may be less driven to make dangerous choices that would enable a trafficker to lure them into exploitation.

Blood feuds are also a reality in this country. While those who's lives are devastated by the consequence of this application of traditional "law", they are also a minority - and not demonstrably more vulnerable to human trafficking than the rest of the country. This connection is promoted as an understandable, but sensationalizing, publicity technique by some activist organizations in the country to try to draw attention to their important purpose - trying to resolve existing blood feuds, decreasing the likelihood of new feuds, and finding viable solutions for those lives are torn asunder by these feuds. Their work is important and too be respected. But it is not central to combating human trafficking.

And the larger question lingers - how does the business of human trafficking function in this country? Little will really be known about this until investigation and prosecution of traffickers is more seriously pursued, and researchers conduct extensive interviews with those convicted of the crimes. We need information from the business people themselves, to fill in the information gaps in the data known through the experiences of the victims of these criminals.

Data extracted from over 100 cases of adolescent and adult females of trafficking assisted in NGO shelters Albania between August 2007 and July 2008 reveal that 1) these victims were generally recruited from their communities of origin; 2) they were entrapped primarily by men offering false romantic relationships; 3) they came from the moderately distressed, more urban, regions of the country; and 4) they are over 90% from the Albanian majority population.

Mr. Kara's small chapter on Albania offers an interesting travelogue, but it does not provide substantive information about the business of human trafficking in this country. I hope that this is an anomaly in an otherwise better researched publication. Perhaps other practitioners in "the field" will comment about the chapters on the countries where they work.

Those who are interested in more in depth and up-to-date information about human trafficking in Albania are encouraged to visit these websites:

On child trafficking:

All Together Against Child Trafficking (BKTF)
[...]

Terre des hommes Albania
[...]

on human trafficking, especially adolescent and adult females:

The Albanian Initiative: Coordinated Action Against Human Trafficking
[...]

Videos about the work of 7 NGOs in Albania preventing human trafficking and assisting its victims (including the Vatra Center in Vlora mentioned in Mr. Kara's book):
[...]
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery, January 21, 2009
Siddharth Kara's "Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery" is a deeply insightful, analytical and profoundly intelligent work informed by the author's justifiably strong sense of outrage and desire for social justice. I found myself both incredibly angry and moved to tears by the stories told by the women and children Kara interviewed, while also being inspired by his hard-hitting and incisive proposals to more effectively cripple and ultimately abolish this body-and-soul destroying business and all other forms of contemporary slavery.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening, July 17, 2009
This book has changed the way I look at the world. I had minimal knowledge of human sex trafficking prior to reading. To say it is a page turner sounds callous; however the personal vignettes tied with the history and financial analysis kept me wanting to know more. The author's passion for this cause is apparent through his heartfelt writing. Further, I don't know many people (myself included) who would stare down the devil and go into the precarious situations Mr. Kara has to collect his powerful research.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowing What I Know Now, April 29, 2009
This isn't normally my type of "read" - mostly I read fiction - but I was encouraged to read Mr. Kara's book, and though extremely saddened and angered by it - the economic and gender injustice that rages in our world is incisively brought to light - I am exceedingly glad I did. I'm not an academic by any stretch, but there was information useful for me, an everyday average citizen with interest in helping right a wrong, this tragic wrong called sex slavery.

I admire the author mightily for his bravery and tenacity - his deep heart and probing mind. His writing is clear and honest and builds us a picture of the conditions of this trauma -- how they affect those involved...including himself....

Knowing what I know now, there is no going back -- only forward into a future where we change what must be changed!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart wrenching, provocative and masterfully written!, September 21, 2009
This visceral tale of modern slavery and sex trafficking is not for the faint of heart. Part text book, part novel, the depth and detail of Kara's story brings readers face to face with the tragic reality of slavery's bitter existence. In his book, Kara traverses the globe and gives a first hand account of the reasons for, and the damage done by, slavery. Kara concludes the book with a comprehensive breakdown of how to end slavery. Want to find out what the greatest thinkers of our time are reading? Then pick up this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How can we be silent and do nothing?, March 29, 2012
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I have finished the first two chapters at the writing of this review. As someone relatively new to the issue, I cannot tell you how deeply heart broken I am. I have finished these first two chapters in three settings and I wept profusely each time I put down the book. I have been changed! I have a daughter who is 18 months old and I cannot tell you the righteous indignation I feel against those perpetrators of such horrific abuse. I feel similarly as others have written a kind of "mercenary anger" to go on a expedition to torture and eventually take out these traffickers and the worthless evil men who abuse these girls and young women. However, whoever lives by the sword, dies by the sword. I believe that the author is better on target to eliminating the problem through systematic legal action. As Americans, we are so dull to the atrocities of the world as we sit in our world of comfort and ease. And to consider that such atrocities happen here?! What will we do about it?

As you read, the scope of the problem and the gratuitous evil makes you feel helpless at first. There are really only two ways to respond to such a heinous, vile, wretched reality: to nod your head and say "what a shame" and do nothing about it or continue to educate yourself more, take the action you can, and embark on a life long journey to join the voices and action of those like the author in efforts to set people free. I am so grateful for the sacrifice of Siddharth and his journey to expose the truth of what is happening around the world. I heartily recommend this book to anyone with a heart to see the most desperate people of the world set free!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great, July 9, 2011
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This review is from: Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery (Paperback)
I almost put this book down after the first chapter b/c it read like a dissertation and was really hard to make it through. however the next 7 chapters were completely great and i'm so glad I finished it. The subject matter is super difficult, but Kara's passion really helps to move the reader along through it. This is a must read if you are studying or working in anti-trafficking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking, touching book, July 7, 2009
By 
Debbie (Harrison, AR United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
"Sex Trafficking" is a thought-provoking and heart-touching looking into modern slavery. While the author mainly focused on forced prostitution, he also covered other types of forced labor and slavery. He included many stories of slaves and ex-slaves to give a face to slavery and to demonstrate the variety of ways women are enslaved. The author also gave detailed economic breakdowns of the profitability of forced labor and explained how these economics can be changed to make slavery economically less desirable.

Much of the book was written in an engaging, conversational style. The parts on economics did get a bit technical and dry, but his points were still very understandable.

I don't agree with everything the author said since his view of the world is different than mine. However, the reader can easily use the information he's gathered in this book to come to their own conclusions on how to fight modern slavery. The author does suggest several practical things an individual can do to help.

However, I doubt his proposed international slavery inspection force will work due to the clash of values that occurs any time many different cultures are brought together in one organization. I also found it a bit ironic that the author clearly thinks it was a bad idea for America to "force" it's style of capitalism on the rest of the world, yet he's suggesting we should essentially "force" our style of morality and justice on other countries in regards to slavery.

(If you're curious, I think America has some pretty good--though not perfect--systems of doing things. However, we often forget how long it took for those things to get to their current state and what cultural foundations we had first that made them work well. I think our main problem is that we get impatient and don't fully think out cultural differences before trying to export our ideas.)

This book gave insight into modern slavery. It also provided a good look into how different other cultures can be in how they treat women, view slavery, etc. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone desiring a stop to modern slavery, people interested in other cultures, and to all women (especially feminists).

Review also at Different Time, Different Place Book Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this Book!, April 12, 2009
By 
Rain (United States) - See all my reviews
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Timely and shocking. This book is extremely well researched, and even put the author's life at risk in the process. Slavery is a rampant modern problem caused by misogyny and poverty, traditions and corruption. Buy this book and learn about what is really going on in the world today.
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Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery
Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery by Siddharth Kara (Paperback - July 9, 2010)
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