Putting a price on humanity

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Think about your best friend, mom, dad, brother, or sister. Now, how much money would you sell them for?  To most people, this is a degrading way to think about another human being. In the human trafficking trade, however, humans are nothing more than commodities, like sugar, cotton, or wheat.

Kevin Bales, co-founder of Free the Slaves and author of Disposable: New Slavery in the Global Economy, has traveled around the world, interviewing present-day slaves and slave owners and collecting data to track trends in the international slave trade.  His estimate for the global average price of a slave: $90.  Bales joined Full Frame to talk about how the global economy has changed the slave trade and what we should be doing to eradicate it. And while slavery is still pervasive, with approximately 30 million people enslaved worldwide, Bales remains optimistic.

Anti-slavery activist estimates average slave price at $90

Kevin Bales, author and co-founder of Free the Slaves estimates the global average price of a slave is $90.

“While that 30 million people is a lot of people in slavery, it’s actually the tiniest fraction of our global population of 7 billion to be enslaved,” Bales said. “In other words, the proportion of our global population in slavery is actually the smallest in history. We’ve actually pushed slavery to the edges of its own extinction and that means, if we focus and we push hard, we can get rid of it.”

Bales told Mike Walter that he remains optimistic that slavery can come to an end in our lifetime.

Follow Kevin Bales @kevin_bales