5 Books Every Modern-Day Abolitionist Should Read

So you want to do something about slavery? Here are five must-reads to help you better understand human trafficking and how you can play a role in seeing it end.

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The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence

The Locust EffectThe Locust Effect is one of my favorite books in this genre. It is not just about human trafficking but covers the broader picture of what makes people vulnerable to human trafficking as well as other
forms of violence. This book is thoroughly researched and well written. One thing I loved was that the stories are not sensationalized. While they are heart-breaking, they are shared to show the complexities and compounding factors that make people vulnerable. The book goes on to share hope in the form of proven solutions, including a 4-year study that demonstrated how to effectively reduce the number of children available in the commercial sex trade. This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the issues of human trafficking, poverty, sexual violence, police abuse, land seizures, and forced labour.

Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy
Disposable People

Disposable People is a book brimming with hope. It thoroughly examines what slavery looks like today; how it differs from slavery of the past, economic factors related to slavery, the various forms of slavery, and most importantly, what we can do to end it. With detailed examples taken from the author’s first-hand experiences in countries around the world, we read of slavery but also of freedom. We hear of real stories of slavery successfully being pushed out of communities around the world. There’s still much to be done, and the author fearlessly shows us what is required to do that. As he puts it, “never has there been a better time to end it once and for all.”


Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking

Invisible ChainsInvisible Chains is an eye-opening look into the world of human trafficking in Canada. It’s the only book I know of that specifically addresses the problem in Canada. From Vancouver to Toronto, we find stories of the unthinkable happening in our own neighborhoods; Women being sold to massage parlour owners in Calgary, and being forced to perform sex acts in order to pay off “debts”; “micro-brothels” next door to family homes. The author tells how Canada’s immigration policy, a source of pride for many Canadians, has unfortunately also allowed for appalling incidents of human trafficking. We see what Canadian law and government is doing, and failing to do, so far in regards to convicting traffickers and protecting victims. One chapter outlines individual action plans for government, local police, businesses, and parents. There is also an appendix of organizations across Canada that are working to fight trafficking here. I recommend this book to Canadians and anyone interested in fighting slavery in Canada.


Not For Sale

Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade

Not For Sale is easy to read despite its sobering topic. It tells real stories
of slavery on U.S. soil and abroad. It gives insight into how to recognize slavery when it’s hidden in plain sight. But it also shares stories of real people setting slaves free. The author shares strategies for fighting human trafficking as well as why and how we can end slavery in our lifetime. It’s an excellent resource to educate and inspire.



Refuse To Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery

Refuse to do nothingRefuse to Do Nothing is written for the everyday person. As a stay-at-home mom myself, it really resounded with me and made me believe I could do something right where I am. This book talks about slavery here at home, as well as how slavery abroad is brought home in the everyday things we buy. It tells stories of regular moms getting involved and working together. It addresses how human trafficking and related issues affect our families, and how we can talk to our children about it. With practical tips at the end of each chapter, it gives tangible ways to do something. This book would also make a great small group study guide, with questions for reflection and discussion after each chapter.  If you want to do something about slavery, alone or with some friends, this book is a great tool to get you started.



What are some books you have read and would recommend on this topic?


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