Kevin Bales

Kevin Bales is Professor of Contemporary Slavery in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham, co-founder of the antislavery organization Free the Slaves, and lead author of the Global Slavery Index. He is the Principal Investigator on the five-year, multi-university project on the Antislavery Usable Past, supported by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council.

His book, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy, was published in ten languages. Desmond Tutu called it “a well researched, scholarly, and deeply disturbing expose of modern slavery.” In 2008 Utne Reader named Bales one of “fifty visionaries who are changing your world;” and the Association of British Universities named his work one of “100 World-Changing Discoveries.” The film based on Disposable People, which he co-wrote, won the Peabody and two Emmys. Bales has advised the US, British, Irish, Norwegian, and Nepali governments.

In 2007 he published Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves, a roadmap for the global eradication of slavery, which won the Grawemeyer Award. In 2008, with Zoe Trodd, he published To Plead Our Own Cause: Personal Stories by Today’s Slaves; and with eight Magnum photographers, Documenting Disposable People: Contemporary Global Slavery. In 2009, with Ron Soodalter, he published The Slave Next Door: Modern Slavery in the United States. His book on the relationship of slavery and environmental destruction, Blood and Earth, was published by Random House in 2016.