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CSSR Fall Seminar Series: The Deadly Link between Slavery and Environmental Destruction

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus James Chapel, Union Theological Seminary

Kevin Bales had been an academic sociologist for nearly 20 years when he learned that slavery still existed. After examining modern-day slavery, he published Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy (1999), an eye-opening, often undercover, investigation into slave-based businesses in five countries, now published in ten other languages. Seeking to reawaken awareness of slavery and reinvigorate a commitment to ending it globally, in 2000, Kevin co-founded Free the Slaves, a nonprofit organization that frees slaves, helps former slaves stay free, advocates to governments and corporations for policy change, and carries out research. In his 2007 bo! ok Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves, Kevin outlines a 25-year plan to stop slavery and human trafficking, identifying what governments, the UN, businesses, communities, and individuals can do to end bondage. Kevin is also the author of The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today (with Ron Soodalter), Understanding Global Slavery, and the coauthor of four other books. From 2002 to 2005, he was the principal investigator for the study of human trafficking into the US, funded by the National Institute of Justice. He serves on the board of directors of the International Cocoa Initiative, a foundation working to remove child and forced labor from cocoa production. In his academic career, Kevin is Professor of Contemporary Slavery at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull. He holds an MSc in economic history and PhD in social sciences from the London School of Economics. In 2008, the Association of! British Universities named his work one of "100 World-Changin! g Discoveries." In 2010 his work won the $100,000 Grawemeyer Award for "ideas that promote world order." He is currently writing a book on the relationship of slavery and environmental destruction; and with Jody Sarich, a book exploring forced marriage worldwide.