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Disposable People
By Kevin Bales

When I became a UN spokesperson on slavery, I asked the program administrators to give me a list of books I should read to get a grasp of the problem. Kevin Bales, a professor at Roehampton University in London, is widely viewed as the world's expert on modern-day slavery. His book gave me a global perspective on how this issue goes way beyond sex trafficking. It's tricky to link the dots, how it affects us, but Bales takes you through the complexities in a readable way. He writes about some villages in India where people have been enslaved for generations. He also includes positive stories: One nonprofit organization in India is helping women pay off their families' debt and raise themselves out of poverty. After reading this, I said, "Okay, I want to meet those people." Going on that journey—I also went to Ghana, where I talked with potential slave kids and traffickers—is very much why I worked to set up asset.

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