Conservative estimates say that there are 50,000 slaves in the U.S., and less than half of these are being sexually exploited—the rest could be in your neighbor’s backyard or in the kitchen of your favorite restaurant.
Most modern slaves are people who, driven by economic desperation, agree to take jobs far from their homes thinking they will help feed their families. Only when they are severed from their community do they realize what has happened.
Kevin Bales is an anti-slavery advocate and the president of Free the Slaves, the U.S. sister organization of the world's oldest human rights organization Anti-Slavery International. He is also a Professor of Sociology at Roehampton University in London.
In 1990, Bales co-founded the fundraising and research consultancy Pell & Bales Ltd., which has since grown into the largest firm of its kind in Britain, raising over $1 billion for charity. His book "Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy," published in 1999, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent book "Ending Slavery," a roadmap for the global eradication of slavery, was published in September 2007. He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.