Book Review: Bonded Labor - Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia

I had read another book by Siddarth Kara, Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery and want to read the sequel (actually a trilogy, the third book hasn't come out yet).

Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia
By Siddarth Kara
2012
336 pages

Like his first book, Bonded Labor is incredibly well researched, documented and written. Kara certainly knows what he's talking about, and goes into such rich detail, presenting the lives of the many people he talked to who were forced into bonded labor. Like his first book, it's hopelessly unsettling. I can't believe this still goes in in this day and age (says the girl of privilege from a prosperous nation). Kara presents the real life situation in such sectors as agriculture, bricks, construction, shrimp, tea, carpets, and domestic servitude. Such a bleak picture. I'm going to try to never eat shrimp again.

Kara does an excellent job of also presenting realistic and extensive solutions to the issues, but I couldn't help but think how hopeless this was. Yes, there are laws, and yes there are ways to break millions of people out of dismal modern day slavery, but the governments of India and South East Asia look the other way, the law enforcement officials are bribed, the rich get richer and the poor hope for death.

So sad.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants their eyes opened to stories that will make then change their buying and consumption habits. It's important people know that modern day slavery is a thing. Only then will something maybe change.

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