Kevin Bales was interviewed on the website LifebyMe.com. The site bills Bales—who is co-founder and President of Free the Slaves—a “Game Changer.” We agree. When Free the Slaves was founded in 2000, most people around the world did not know that slavery was still in existence. Bales’ research and activism gave way to increased understanding of this global phenomenon, and identified ways that it could be eradicated.
Here is Bales’ interview with Life by Me:
I feel a complete certainty about what’s very meaningful to me right now. One is my son, who’s 13, and the other is my work on contemporary slavery. Both give me enormous amounts of pleasure and meaning.
A lot of people think it must be discouraging and depressing to work against slavery, but I have to tell you that it’s not. There are currently 27 million people in slavery all over the world, but that’s the smallest percentage of global population that’s ever been in slavery in history. The money currently put into slavery by the global economy is the smallest percentage in history. Slavery is against the law in every country. There is a long line of abolitionists who have gone before us. We’re now standing at the end of the line, at a point in time when slavery can really be brought to an end.
My interest in abolishing slavery began as curiosity. When I first became aware of contemporary slavery I was a university professor of research methods, statistics, and sociology. I found it very hard to believe contemporary slavery existed. When I looked into it, all I found were anecdotes – no facts. And that led me to the next step, which changed my life.