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Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery

Siddharth Kara

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Paper, 320 pages, 26 illus.
ISBN: 978-0-231-13961-8
$18.95 / £12.95

November, 2008
Cloth, 320 pages, 26 illus.
ISBN: 978-0-231-13960-1
$29.95 / £19.95

Every year, hundreds of thousands of women and children are abducted, deceived, seduced, or sold into forced prostitution, coerced to service hundreds if not thousands of men before being discarded. These trafficked sex slaves form the backbone of one of the world's most profitable illicit enterprises and generate huge profits for their exploiters, for unlike narcotics, which must be grown, harvested, refined, and packaged, sex slaves require no such “processing,” and can be repeatedly “consumed.”

Kara first encountered the horrors of slavery in a Bosnian refugee camp in 1995. Subsequently, in the first journey of its kind, he traveled across four continents to investigate these crimes and take stock of their devastating human toll. Kara made several trips to India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Albania, Moldova, Mexico, and the United States. He witnessed firsthand the sale of human beings into slavery, interviewed over four hundred slaves, and confronted some of those who trafficked and exploited them.

In this book, Kara provides a riveting account of his journey into this unconscionable industry, sharing the moving stories of its victims and revealing the shocking conditions of their exploitation. He draws on his background in finance, economics, and law to provide the first ever business analysis of contemporary slavery worldwide, focusing on its most profitable and barbaric form: sex trafficking. Kara describes the local factors and global economic forces that gave rise to this and other forms of modern slavery over the past two decades and quantifies, for the first time, the size, growth, and profitability of each industry. Finally, he identifies the sectors of the sex trafficking industry that would be hardest hit by specifically designed interventions and recommends the specific legal, tactical, and policy measures that would target these vulnerable sectors and help to abolish this form of slavery, once and for all.

The author will donate a portion of the proceeds of this book to the anti-slavery organization, Free the Slaves.

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About the Author

Siddharth Kara is the first Fellow on Human Trafficking with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He speaks and consults extensively on contemporary slavery and human rights worldwide and advises several governments as well as private and non-governmental organizations on antislavery policy and law. Sex Trafficking is the first of three books providing his groundbreaking new approach to contemporary slavery. Previously, Kara worked as an investment banker at Merrill, Lynch, and ran his own finance and M&A consulting firm.Kara holds a law degree from England, an M.B.A. from Columbia University, and a B.A. from Duke University. Previously, he worked as an investment banker at Merrill, Lynch and ran his own finance and M&A consulting firm.

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