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Event Detail

SAI: Global Sex Trafficking and the Business of Modern Slavery
Date: February 09, 2009 from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm EST
Location: Columbia University
Morningside Campus
International Affairs Building, Room 1134
Contact: For further information regarding this event, please contact Sabrina Buckwalter by sending email to sb2997@columbia.edu or by calling 212-854-5514.

The Southern Asian Institute (SAI) presents: "Global Sex Trafficking and the Business of Modern Slavery,"  with author Siddharth Kara.

Co-Sponsored by the Center for East European Studies and the Human Rights Program.

Every year, millions of women and children are abducted, deceived, seduced, or sold into forced prostitution. Generating huge profits for their exploiters, sex slaves form the backbone of one of the world's most profitable illicit enterprises.

Siddharth Kara’s new book, Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery investigates the mechanics of the global sex trafficking business across four continents -- and its primary sources of origin in South Asia, Eastern Europe, and East Asia—and takes stock of its human toll.

Drawing on his background in finance and economics, Kara provides a rare business analysis of sex trafficking, focusing on the local drivers and global macroeconomic trends that gave rise to the industry after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He quantifies the size, growth, and profitability of sex trafficking and other forms of modern slavery—metrics that have never been published before—and locates the sectors that would be hardest hit by specifically designed interventions and penalties.

Since first encountering the horrors of sexual slavery in a Bosnian refugee camp in 1995, Kara has taken multiple research trips to India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Albania, Moldova, Mexico, and the United States. He has met hundreds of slaves, has witnessed the sale of numerous human beings into slavery, and has confronted some of the criminals who have exploited them.

Siddharth Kara is a former investment banker and business executive with an MBA from Columbia. He set aside his corporate career to pursue anti-slavery research, advocacy, and writing, and, more recently, a law degree. He serves on the board of directors of Free the Slaves, an organization dedicated to abolishing slavery worldwide. In 2005 he was invited to testify on contemporary slavery to the US Congressional Human Rights Committee.