Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia

Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia

by Siddharth Kara

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Siddharth Kara's Sex Trafficking has become a critical resource for its revelations into an unconscionable business, and its detailed analysis of the trade's immense economic benefits and human cost. This volume is Kara's second, explosive study of slavery, this time focusing on the deeply entrenched and wholly unjust system of bonded labor.

Drawing on eleven years of research in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, Kara delves into an ancient and ever-evolving mode of slavery that ensnares roughly six out of every ten slaves in the world and generates profits that exceeded $17.6 billion in 2011. In addition to providing a thorough economic, historical, and legal overview of bonded labor, Kara travels to the far reaches of South Asia, from cyclone-wracked southwestern Bangladesh to the Thar desert on the India-Pakistan border, to uncover the brutish realities of such industries as hand-woven-carpet making, tea and rice farming, construction, brick manufacture, and frozen-shrimp production. He describes the violent enslavement of millions of impoverished men, women, and children who toil in the production of numerous products at minimal cost to the global market. He also follows supply chains directly to Western consumers, vividly connecting regional bonded labor practices to the appetites of the world. Kara's pioneering analysis encompasses human trafficking, child labor, and global security, and he concludes with specific initiatives to eliminate the system of bonded labor from South Asia once and for all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231158480
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 09/25/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Siddharth Kara is Director of the Carr Center Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Fellow on Forced Labor at the Harvard School of Public Health. Kara speaks and consults extensively on contemporary slavery worldwide and advises several governments on antitrafficking policy and law. His first book, Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery, received Yale University's prestigious Frederick Douglass Book Prize.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
1. Bonded Labor: An Overview
2. Agriculture: Kamaiya and Hari
3. Bricks and Bidis
4. Shrimp and Tea
5. Construction and Stonebreaking
6. Carpets and Other Sectors
7. Bonded Labor and the Law
8. Tackling Bonded Labor
Appendix A: Global Slavery Metrics
Appendix B: Select Bonded Labor Economics
Appendix C: Select Bonded Labor Supply Chains
Appendix D: Bonded Labor as Defined by India's Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act
Appendix E: Bonded Labor Law and Cases: Pakistan
Appendix F: Select Economic and Human Development Statistics
Works Cited

What People are Saying About This

Jacqueline Bhabha

"Comprehensively and intelligently researched, though it wears its erudition lightly. Bonded Labour is beautifully lucid, a compelling mixture of history, investigative journalism, personal testimony and trenchant socio-economic criticism."

Jacqueline Bhabha, Director of Research, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University

Swami Agnivesh

As a human rights activist who has combated bonded labor for over three decades, I find Siddharth Kara's brilliant academic research very moving and rich in insight. It is powered by a passion for a world free from exploitation and for all to enjoy dignity and fulfillment. I have great joy in commending this scholarly and soulful work to readers all over the world.

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