Books to Read

The first step to becoming an advocate for change is through education of the subject, especially for fighting sex trafficking, which is amazingly complex. Whether you’re reading about personal journeys, humanities studies or social commentary — all of these insights help form a more complete picture of the issue at hand. We’ve gathered our favorites books that have moved us or inspired us. We hope you will enjoy them too.

 

The Road of Lost Innocence:
The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine

by Somaly Mam

A riveting and beautiful memoir of tragedy and hope–by a woman named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Born in a village deep in the Cambodian forest, Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery by her grandfather when she was twelve years old. For the next decade she was shuttled through the brothels that make up the sprawling sex trade of Southeast Asia. She suffered unspeakable acts of brutality and witnessed horrors that would haunt her for the rest of her life–until, in her early twenties, she managed to escape. Unable to forget the girls she left behind, Mam became a tenacious and brave leader in the fight against human trafficking, rescuing sex workers–some as young as five and six–offering them shelter, rehabilitation, healing, and love and leading them into new life.

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Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into
Opportunity for Women Worldwide

by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.
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Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy

by Kevin Bales

This award-winning book lifts the lid on slavery’s role in our lives. Slavery is illegal throughout the world, yet more than twenty-seven million people are still trapped in one of history’s oldest social institutions. Kevin Bales’s disturbing story of contemporary slavery reaches from Pakistan’s brick kilns and Thailand’s brothels to various multinational corporations. His investigations reveal how the tragic emergence of a “new slavery” is inextricably linked to the global economy. This completely revised edition includes a new preface. Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy by Kevin Bales, co-founder of Free the Slaves, describes modern slavery as a global phenomenon and investigates how it exists in five countries.

Desmond Tutu calls the book “A well-researched, scholarly and deeply disturbing exposé of modern-day slavery with well-thought-out strategies for what to do to combat this scourge. None of us is allowed the luxury of imagined impotence. We can do something about it.”
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The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade

by Victor Malarek

On the black market, they’re the third most profitable com- modity, after illegal weapons and drugs-the only difference being that these goods are human, though to their handlers they are wholly expendable. They are women and girls, some as young as 12, from all over the Eastern bloc, where sinister networks of organized crime have become entrenched in the aftermath of the collapse of Communist regimes. In Israel, they’re called Natashas, whether they’re actually from Russia, Bosnia, the Czech Republic, or Ukraine, no matter what their real names may be. They’re lured into vans and onto airplanes with promises of jobs as waitresses, mod-els, nannies, dishwashers, maids, and dancers. But when they arrive at their destinations, they are stripped of their identifi-cation, and their nightmare begins. They are sold into pros-titution and kept enslaved; those who resist are beaten, raped, and sometimes killed as examples. They often have nowhere to turn; in many cases, the men who should be res- cuing them-from immigration officials to police officers and international peacekeepers-are among their aggressors.
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The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It

by Victor Malarek

Each year more than 800,000 women and children are lured, tricked or forced into prostitution to meet an apparently insatiable demand, joining an estimated 10 million women already ensnared in the $20 billion worldwide sex trade.

To date, most research on the subject has focused on the various issues that propel these women into the trade, but little has been investigated, or written, about those who trigger the demand?the “Johns.” In this hard-hitting expos?, Malarek unmasks the kind of men?and organizations?that foster and drive the sex trade, from America to Europe, Brazil to Thailand, Phnom Penh to St. Petersburg and Costa Rica. The Johns is a chilling look into a dark corner of the world that these men have created at the expense of countless women and children.
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Girls Like Us

by Rachel Lloyd

A deeply moving story by a survivor of the commercial sex industry who has devoted her career to activism and helping other young girls escape “the life”

At thirteen, Rachel Lloyd found herself caught up in a world of pain and abuse, struggling to survive as a child with no responsible adults to support her. Vulnerable yet tough, she eventually ended up a victim of commercial sexual exploitation. It took time and incredible resilience, but finally, with the help of a local church community, she broke free of her pimp and her past.

Three years later, Lloyd arrived in the United States to work with adult women in the sex industry and soon founded her own nonprofit—GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services—to meet the needs of other girls with her history. She also earned her GED and won full scholarships to college and a graduate program. Today Lloyd is executive director of GEMS in New York City and has turned it into one of the nation’s most groundbreaking nonprofit organizations.

In Girls Like Us, Lloyd reveals the dark, secretive world of her past in stunning cinematic detail. And, with great humanity, she lovingly shares the stories of the girls whose lives she has helped—small victories that have healed her wounds and made her whole. Revelatory, authentic, and brave, Girls Like Us is an unforgettable memoir.
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