Modern Slavery

March 31, 2010

I ran across this talk at TED about modern slavery.

For those of you who don’t know what TED is, it stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED is a small nonprofit devoted to spread ideas from all sort of intellectual arenas. (

Here’s the short summary from the ted website about this talk:

“In this moving yet pragmatic talk, Kevin Bales explains the business of modern slavery, a multibillion-dollar economy that underpins some of the worst industries on earth. He shares stats and personal stories from his on-the-ground research — and names the price of freeing every slave on earth right now.”

If you think slavery is the problem in the past, think again. That’s what I thought and boy am I wrong. I’m struck with how many slaves we still have today. Some may argue that we actually have more slaves around the world today than ever. Not only that, I’m also struck with how much little money is needed in the global context to abolish the entire world’s modern slavery (~27 million slaves).

After watching the talk, I’m conflicted inside. Have I done enough to make a difference? Have I cared enough to lift a finger? or am I too overwhelmed that the only way to cope with the reality is to push it aside and ignore it? Am I guilty of complacency? Maybe I can start by blogging it to raise awareness. Would that be enough? it’s a start, right?


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