Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Some Notes

This blog contains 35 sources on modern slavery, from non-profit organizations to government agencies. Many people to not realize the extent of modern slavery, though some sources estimate that there are more people enslaved now than at any previous time in history. This is not a topic that should be ignored; if people are better informed about slavery, they will be more likely to take the necessary steps to end it permanently.


* In lieu of providing two for-profit associations as sources, I have added one entry to non-profit organizations and one entry to government documents.

* I tried to correct the time and date on the posts but was unable to make the change without it dramatically changing the text. I'm not sure why all posts say June 5 at 10:56AM.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Specialized Online Reference Sites

"" Academy for Educational Development. 2008. 9 Jun 2008. is a webpage run by the Academy for Educational Development and funded by the U.S. State Department. It contains a database of resources that a reporter would find useful, such as publications on slavery listed by topic or country of origin. A links page provides a guide to webpages, blogs, government agencies, international organizations, etc. Also useful is a section titled "Academic Corner," which lists some of the common errors researchers make when talking about slavery. For instance, it says to watch out for sources that include statistics on the number of trafficked persons without noting that the numbers are estimates.

Patt, Martin. "Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery." Human Trafficking Website. 2008. 9 Jun 2008.

As a database, this website provides links to resources and research on slavery. The information is organized by region as African, East Asian, Eurasian, Near East, South Asian, and Western Hemisphere. You could also search a specific country in the alphabetical listing. The links direct you to the State Department's report on that country's involvement in slavery and trafficking. As is noted on the home page, a reporter should use caution when following the external links provided under the entries as not all information may be verified. Such outside sources accessed through this page should be verified for authenticity.

Government Documents

United States. Cong. Senate. Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorisation Act, 2003 (H.R. 2620). 108th Congress. 15 Apr 2008.

This is a U.S. law addressing slavery and trafficking in the United States. This law provides amendments to a previous law from 2000 allowing for more stringent punishment of traffickers and more extensive research into ways of combating slavery. It lays out the types of protection available to victims of the sex trade or other forms of trafficking. This is useful information for the purpose of ascertaining what measures have been taken against slavery in the U.S. to date, and for gauging the effects on slavery since the law’s implementation.

United States. U.S. Department of Justice. New Classification for Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons; Eligibility for “T” Nonimmigrant Status [67 FR 4784] [FR 4-02]. 31 Jan 2002. 6 Jun 2008.

This law from the U.S. Department of Justice allows for illegal immigrants to obtain what is called a “T-Visa,” a visa specially issued for illegal immigrants who can prove they were victims of trafficking. According to some sources, this law is often challenging to apply, as it can be difficult for victims to prove they were subjected to a "severe form of trafficking." The T-Visa covers individuals who "have been recruited, harbored, transported, provided, or obtained for labor or services, or the purposes of a commercial sex act." There also has to be proof that they were subjected to force, coercion, or fraud, which can be difficult to document.

United States. U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report. June 2008. 8 Jun 2008.

This report, issued by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is an annual update on the state of slavery worldwide. It contains useful information in the form of definitions, personal testimonies, and updates on the current strategies being employed to eradicate slavery. Statistics are provided on the number of slavery convictions by year for various regions. Also useful is a country-by-country examination of slavery involvement, as well as a watch list ranking countries by the extent of their involvement in slavery.

Online Blogs

Choi-Fitzpatrick, Austin. 5 Jun 2008:

This blog is run by staff members of Free the Slaves: Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, Peggy Callahan and Jacob Patton. The focus of the blog is relevant particularly to a researcher interested in U.S. involvement in modern slavery, as it focuses on the situation of slavery and trafficking in Iraq since the war. Choi-Fitzpatrick writes that cheap labor is being trafficked into the country for exploitation by American contractors. In addition, Iraqi women are being stolen from the country for sexual purposes. Choi-Fitzpatrick challenges the assumption that it is up to the Iraqis to solve this problem, and calls on the United States to take responsibility for the practices of U.S. contractors.

Jacobs, Charles. iAbolish. 11 Mar 2008. 28 May 2008.

This is a weblog run by the non-profit organization American Anti-Slavery Group which is working to eradicate slavery, particularly in Sudan and Mauritania. The blog gives good background on the genocide and enslavement that has occurred in Sudan. Also useful is the perspective on U.S. foreign policy in the region. The blogger notes that it will be important to monitor the situation in southern Sudan now, as it teeters on the brink of disastrous war. The U.S. orchestrated a peace treaty in 2005 and then proceeded to overlook the region in light of the crisis in Darfur. Jacobs now suggests that south Sudan may be more of a looming crisis than we can afford to overlook.

Government Agencies

"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services." U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 6 Jun 2008.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is a government agency that has been part of the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. While the website covers a broad array of immigration information, there are links to specific legislation regarding the trafficking of slaves. This is a useful source for researching slavery because many of those enslaved in the United States are also illegal immigrants. Many are brought to the U.S. against their will or with the promise of a visa. Once here, they have no documentation or identification and are at the mercy of their captors. When discovered, they are frequently treated as illegal immigrants and risk being deported. This site provides information on the laws designed to protect immigrant victims of slavery as well as information on any policy changes that will affect trafficked persons.

"Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons." U.S. Department of State. 8 Jun 2008.

This government office was set up by the U.S. Department of State to combat human trafficking and support anti-trafficking action. The Trafficking in Persons office (TIP) provides funding to organizations fighting slavery. In addition, the TIP provides information helpful for researchers in the form of its annual Trafficking in Persons Report. The report ranks countries based on their effectiveness at halting slavery. A bad ranking can result in a country losing U.S. aid. A fact sheet for each year is available from the webpage; the 2008 fact sheet would be useful since it provides a look at what is being done through government to counter the demand for slaves.

Trade Magazines and Scholarly Articles

Cole, Thomas B. "Modern Slavery a Hidden Crime in the US." JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association. 8 Aug 2005. Vol. 294 Issue 5, p541-542.

This article from the Journal of the American Medical Association offers the unique perspective of doctors seeking to identify evidence of slavery in the patients they examine. According to the abstract, this article includes “questions that physicians and others can ask persons who seem fearful or lack identification documents to determine if they are being trafficked.” For a journalist, this information could springboard a research into a specialized area of slave identification by medical professionals. In addition to the medical information in this article, data is also included from the Human Rights Center pertaining to the reasons behind slavery.

Herzfeld, Beth, ed. Reporter. United Kingdom: The Printed Word.

This is a magazine published by the charitable organization Anti-Slavery International on a quarterly basis. It would be useful for a reporter because it contains updates on the current issues in slavery and covers the entire world. The magazine covers recent developments and contains in-depth features about people and places on the forefront of the fight to end modern slavery. For example, in the October 2006 issue, there is an article that exposes the extent of slavery in South America, covering the conditions of slaves in various countries.

Hyde, Judith. "Physical and Mental Health Aspects of Rehabilitating Children Freed from Slavery." Washington D.C.: Free the Slaves, 2006. 7 Jun 2008

This research article was compiled by Judith Hyde, Kevin Bales, and Mark Levin. Bales is known as one of the foremost experts on modern slavery, bringing credibility to this project. This research focuses on the effectiveness of programs designed to reintegrate children who have been enslaved into normal society. The objectives are to identify the needs of children who have been subjected to slavery, and to evaluate the approaches of organizations seeking to meet those needs. This article contains a great deal of useful data, including maps of the regions discussed and definitions of terms related to child slavery.

International Sites

"Anti-Slavery." Anti-Slavery International. 7 June 2008.

Anti-Slavery International is a charitable organization based out of the United Kingdom. The organization dates its founding back to 1839, and continues to address issues of slavery in the modern world. The organization works at all levels, from international to local, and works with local organizations to spread awareness of slavery. Anti-Slavery also lobbies governments for slavery-related legislation and conducts research on the topic. This track record of involvement in the issue of slavery makes Anti-Slavery a valuable resource for a researcher or journalist.

"SARI: South Asia Regional Initiative/Equity Support Program." SARI/Equity. 2005. 9 Jun 2008

The South Asia Regional Initiative (SARI) program operates in the South Asia/India region to prevent the exploitation of women and children. The site contains resources on trafficking that would be useful for a researcher, such as scholarly articles and regional information. The SARI organization itself operates to provide work for women in the South Asia area who might otherwise be susceptible to forced labor or the sex trade. Personal testimonies on the site might be useful for a journalist who has time to track down the individuals for more in-depth interviews.

Statistical Sources

"Child Labor Statistics." International Labour Organization. (2008) 16 Apr 2008.

The International Labor Organization is responsible for monitoring labor conditions and promoting social justice along with human and labor rights. This portion of the site is devoted to providing compendiums of statistics pertaining to child labor. This data would allow a researcher to follow trends in unfair labor practices, such as slavery, that affect children around the world. The site includes a section that provides guidance for understanding and interpreting the statistics provided.

Bellamy, Carol. "The State of the World’s Children 2004: Girls, Education, and Development." New York: UNICEF, 2003. 9 Jun 2008.

Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund Carol Bellamy compiles and unpacks statistics on conditions for children around the world. This is applicable for research on slavery because, as Bellamy writes, “according to the International Labour Organization, every year an estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked into forced labour or prostitution.” Bellamy makes the argument that girls are particularly vulnerable, and that one of the best ways to improve conditions for girls is through education. This article is rich in statistics about the educational systems in third world countries and how they rank in educating girls. Page 51 contains statistics pertaining directly to percentages of children in Africa who are in slavery or slave-like conditions.

Expert Sources

Kevin Bales, President, Free the Slaves. 1012 14th St NW, Washington DC 20005, 202-638-1865.

Kevin Bales is president of the non-profit organization Free the Slaves, based out of Washington D.C. He has authored several books on the topic of slavery in the modern world, and has conducted research on modern slavery in the United States. He is currently lecturing about the presence of slaves in the U.S. As someone currently at the forefront of the fight against slavery, he would be an excellent source for a researcher looking to learn more about the movement.

David Batstone, President, Not for Sale. Box 371035, Montara, CA 94037. (650) 728-1332.

David Batstone heads the organization Not for Sale and is the author of a book by the same title. He initially became interested in the topic when he learned that one of the restaurants he frequented on the West Coast was discovered to be trafficking women for labor. This provoked Batstone to travel the world investigating the slave trade. He has won two national journalist awards, making him a credible source for a researcher looking for someone who has delved in-depth into the topic of modern slavery.

Luis Enrique Bazan, Executive Director, Children’s Aid Fund. P.O. Box 371035, 122 Seacliff Court, Montara, CA 94037.

Bazan grew up in Peru where his mother had a shelter for the protection of street children who were victims of violence. He earned his Master’s degree at the University of San Francisco and has traveled the world as an advocate for children at risk. Bazan would be a good source for a journalist looking to learn more about the crusade against slavery, especially with his current work as executive director of the Children’s Aid Fund. This organization is involved with International Justice Mission in Cambodia and Thailand, rescuing victims of slavery.

Louise Shelley, School of International Service. American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20016 – 8071. (202) 885-2659.

Louise Shelley is an expert on organized crime and founded the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center. She has received numerous degrees and fellowships while studying criminology, law and sociology. Although the focus of her work has been on Russia, her experience makes her a much sought-after source for many other areas of international crime, including slave trafficking. Shelley’s input would be useful to a reporter as she approaches the trafficking issue from the perspective of organized and international crime. It would be useful to learn from her what part organized crime has had in slave proliferation and how she feels this could best be combated.

Guy Jacobson, President, Priority Films. 150 West End Ave. Suite 27H, New York City, NY 10023. (212) 724-3254.

Guy Jacobson first became aware of the extent of the child sex trade while he was backpacking in Cambodia. He said in an interview that he was walking down the street one day and found himself surrounded by 5 or 6-year-old girls soliciting him for money in exchange for sex. Shocked by this incident, he determined to do something about the situation. As a filmmaker and owner of the production company Priority Films, Jacobson decided to make a film in Cambodia that would address the exploitation of children and spread awareness of the issue. He went back to Cambodia to explore the brothels and interview the people there while he was disguised as a customer. This personal experience of Cambodian brothels and interaction with actual people involved in the sex trade would make Jacobson a valuable resource for a journalist looking for a first-hand perspective.

Newspaper or Magazine Articles

Bernstein, Nina. “Foes of Sex Trade Are Stung by the Fall of an Ally.” New York Times. 12 Mar 2008. 6 Jun 2008.

While this article starts out by addressing the hypocrisy of New York’s Attorney General Eliot Spitzer who cracked down on prostitution rings and was later discovered to be a patron himself, it winds up elaborating on the development of strategies designed to fight prostitution. This article provides useful information to a reporter researching sex-slavery, as it elaborates on the novel approach taken to fighting prostitution in New York. Rather than trying to find and punish prostitutes and the people who run the brothels, Spitzer signed a bill that increased the penalties for men who frequented the brothels. This article provides an interesting background on the development of a plan for attacking the demand side of the sex-trade.

Kaur Gill, Amardeep. “Today’s Slavery.” Canadian Dimension. May/June 2007, Vol. 41 Issue 3, p. 19-22. 7 Jun 2008.

This article was published in the leftist-leaning magazine Canadian Dimension. While there are several references in the article to gender-based oppression, in general the article is simply a description of actual victims of labor exploitation. This would be interesting to a journalist because it is a story about a real person who was tricked into moving overseas for work, where she wound up being employed for next to nothing at an illegally-run restaurant. Also of interest is the list of recommended reading at the end of the article, which provides several other topical articles that could be useful to a researcher.

“Of Human Bondage.” Wall Street Journal. 9 Jun 2008. 9 Jun 2008.

This article from the Wall Street Journal highlights the effect recent economic trends have had on labor. Namely, the increase in food prices have led to higher levels of slavery in Brazil. This article would be useful to a reporter as it gives a synopsis of some of the information contained in the U.S. State Department's report on trafficking and relates that to current global economic trends. For example, one of the results of higher food prices is that forced labor is being used more frequently to produce crops to meet the demand.

Non-Profit Organizations

Free the Slaves. 2007. Free the Slaves. 6 Jun 2008.

Free the Slaves is a non-profit organization headed by Kevin Bales, the author of the book Disposable People. According to the organization’s website, Free the Slaves is involved in the fight against slavery on all levels. They not only work with ground-level liberators, but also are involved with recovery programs and research into finding a solution that will end slavery. The mantra for the organization is that slavery can be ended in our lifetime. This organization is a rich resource for a journalist looking for a wide variety of materials regarding slavery. Particularly useful are links from the website to informational media and research. Also, many of the people involved with the organization would be useful sources to interview since they have personal knowledge of the topic and have conducted their own research.

Not for Sale. Not for Sale Fund. 8 Jun 2008.

This is a non-profit corporation that is designed to spread awareness of slavery in the world and enlist ordinary citizens to do what they can to fight against its perpetuation. The site provides practical information for various groups of people to become involved, learn about slavery in the world, and do something about it. This corporation provides information for a journalist who is interested in learning more about what is being done at a grassroots level to campaign against slavery.

Shared Hope International. 2008. Shared Hope International. 9 June 2008.

Women and children are frequently the targets of sex traffickers, and this non-profit organization is designed to expose the predators and decrease the demand for sex slaves. Some of the actions taken by this organization include conducting interviews with both the victims and the perpetrators, underground investigations, and presenting evidence to governments around the world. The extensive investigations Shared Hope has conducted would provide excellent source material for a researcher of modern slavery.

Multimedia Sources

CNN Report. "Modern Day Slavery." Added 17 Dec 2007. 8 Jun 2008.

This video juxtaposes the commentary of human trafficking expert Louise Shelley with the story of a New York couple convicted of keeping two Indonesian women as slaves. This video would be helpful to a reporter as it provides details on the international slave trade as it is conducted in the United States. Also, Shelley shares information on some of the major perpetrators of slavery, including crime bosses. In this particular instance, she notes that this convicted couple had ties to Indonesia and were apparently able to use those channels to procure the slave help. What is perhaps the most shocking and telling part of this video is that the women were kept as slaves in an affluent neighborhood, and while many people noticed the harsh treatment and poor conditions the women were forced to work under, it still took time before anyone brought charges against the couple.

NPR: Talk of the Nation. “Slavery in the 21st Century.” 27 Aug 2003. 9 Jun 2008.

NPR’s Talk of the Nation tackles the issue of modern slavery through interviews with guests from National Geographic who did a piece on slavery in the modern world. During the program, people call in to ask questions and clarify their understanding of modern slavery. This audio program is useful for a reporter since it provides insight into the kinds of questions people ask and the information that would be useful and interesting to the public. In addition, experts who have researched the issue are brought onto the show to offer insight and perspective on how best to respond to slavery in the world.

YouTube: Broadcast Yourself. 2008. “Modern Slavery.” Added 1 Apr 2007. 9 June 2008.

Modern slavery has a face in this 10-minute video produced by Kevin Bales and Free the Slaves. While statistics and background information that would be helpful to a journalist are explained in this video, the most interesting information comes in the form of face-to-face interviews with individuals who have escaped slavery. Girls share their testimonies of domestic enslavement, and hidden cameras capture footage of two men being sold into slavery. In one part of the video, a man whose son has disappeared takes part in the raid of a loom factory that uses child labor.

Specialized Print Reference Books

Bales, Kevin. New Slavery: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2000.

This book is part of the Contemporary World Issues Series published by ABC-CLIO. The author is professor, researcher, and President of Free the Slaves Kevin Bales. This is a rich resource for a researcher looking for information on slavery. The book contains documents relating to slavery, statistics, databases and biographical sketches. It includes a history of slavery up to the present, and devotes several chapters to discussing specific world regions. In addition, it clarifies the different forms of slavery and provides background on the various causes of slavery. The book also provides information on a variety of other resources, including organizations, reports, briefings, and periodicals.

Rodriguez, Junius P., ed. The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 1997.

While The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery is a comprehensive work covering the history of slavery since the development of society, it contains entries that focus on modern slavery. The usefulness of this resource would be to provide a reporter with a historical context in which to understand the basis of modern slavery. It would be interesting to compare the history of slavery in a country to the current state of slavery in that area. This encyclopedia provides a history of the legislation against slavery in each world region that would be useful for such a purpose.

Recent Books

Anker, Christien van den. The Political Economy of New Slavery. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

Anker is a political theorist who deals with issues of global import that cannot be solved by individual nations. This book covers multiple facets of the battle against modern slavery in an international context. Particularly of use to a researcher would be the portions devoted to international law and global policy. Anker examines the impact of globalization on worldwide slavery as well as the effectiveness of policy designed to address slavery. She also weighs the effectiveness of programs proposed to aid slavery victims.

Batstone, David. Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade – and How We Can Fight It. 1st ed. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2007.

This book raises awareness of the modern abolitionist movement and the extent of modern slavery. Journalist Batstone exposes the reaches of slavery and advocates for those who are frequently a target: children. The book also delves into one of the reasons for the perpetuation of slavery: it is one of the most profitable criminal practices in existence. A well-researched book, this would be an excellent source for a journalist seeking information on the measures being taken to address slavery around the world.

Córdova, Efrén. Modern slavery: labor conditions in Cuba / Efrén Córdova, Eduardo García Moure; with an introduction by Juan Carlos Espinosa. Coral Gables, FL: Institute for Cuban & Cuban-American Studies, School of International Studies, University of Miami, 2000.

Cuban labor movement historian Efrén Córdova relates the historical developments leading to harsh work conditions in Cuba, including forced labor and child labor. While this source is not the most topical in that it covers a broad spectrum of working conditions in addition to slavery, it would provide an in-depth portrait of the conditions that lead to the perpetration of slavery in a country. Specifically, Córdova examines the development of Cuba’s socialist regime and the creation of a subdued workforce. Cuban workers do not have the right to strike and the communist government makes a profit on labor for overseas production. Córdova makes the argument that this climate allows for child slavery and worker exploitation.