Kevin Bales Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Kevin Bales      

Professor of Contemporary Slavery, & Research Director of the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham; Co-Founder of Free the Slaves

Bales is Professor of Contemporary Slavery, and Research Director of the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, UK. In early 2016, while working at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, which won the Queen's Anniversary Prize. He was also a Co-Founder of Free the Slaves in Washington DC, the US sister organization of Anti-Slavery International, the world’s oldest human rights group founded in 1787.

Going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed how modern slavery penetrates the global economy in his Pulitzer-nominated book, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. The film based on this book, Slavery: A Global Investigation, which he co-wrote for HBO and Channel 4, won a Peabody Award and two Emmys. His book also inspired a project undertaken by seven Magnum photographers, which he helped to design and write, entitled Documenting Disposable People: Contemporary Global Slavery, which was mounted as a touring exhibition and published as a book by Hayward. Bales was named as the originator of one of “100 World-Changing Discoveries” by the Association of British Universities, and as a “visionary who is changing your world” by Utne Reader.

He serves on the Board of Directors of the Freedom Fund that aims to lead the eradication of modern slavery. For 13 years he served on the Board of International Cocoa Initiative. He also served as a consultant to the United Nations Global Program on Trafficking of Human Beings, and advised the US, British, Irish, Norwegian, and Nepali governments, as well as the governments of the Economic Community of West African States and the European Parliament, on the formulation of policy on slavery and human trafficking.

In 2004 he completed a two-year study of human trafficking into the US for the National Institute of Justice, and with the Human Rights Center at Berkeley, produced a report on forced labor in the USA. In 2008 he was invited to address the Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Paris, and to join in the planning of the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative.

Bales published To Plead Our Own Cause: Personal Stories by Today’s Slaves with Zoe Trodd; and with Ron Soodalter The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today, the first full exploration of contemporary slavery in the United States, an exposé and plan to make America slave-free for the first time in its history. On January 19, 2016 he published Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World - the breakthrough work that identified modern slavery as a major contributor to global climate change.


Blood and Earth - Kevin Bales - Home | Ideas with Paul Kennedy ...
Kevin Bales says, in a word: slavery. Paul Kennedy in conversation with the author of Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide and the Secret to Saving the  ...

Related Speakers View all

More like Kevin