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How to Combat Modern Slavery

By Kevin Bales | TED | April 14, 2010

The average price of a slave today is $90 and some 27 million people work in forced labor worldwide, says Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves. While proportionally this is a historic low, population growth over the past 50 years has tweaked the supply and demand of this $40 billion economy such that humans are treated more like disposable styrofoam cups.

Free the Slaves works toward sustainable freedom—dignity, citizenship, autonomy—for all slaves worldwide. According to Bales, the total cost would be a mere $10.8 billion—less than the annual aggregate spending on many superfluous consumer goods in the United States alone. The liberation process would also pay a freedom dividend as former slaves become integrated members of their communities.

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