Research and Documents

Here you’ll find documents, links, and other resources to help you learn more about the modern anti-slavery movement.

Research and Publications

Slavery in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Read our 2013 in-depth report on slavery at mines in South Kivu province. Download it in English. Download it in French.

Read our 2013 in-depth report on forced marriage slavery in the Congo. Download it in English. download it in French.

Read our 2011 report on the extent of slavery in eastern Congo mines. Download it in English. Download it in French.

Rebuilding Lives: An Introduction to Promising Practices in the Rehabilitation of Freed Slaves
This manual provides practical suggestions for all aspects of helping former slaves to recover.  It is written as a simple tool for frontline anti-slavery workers who want to start new programs for freed slaves, improve their existing work, or show funders the types of assistance that are needed.  The manual was written for Free the Slaves by Helen Armstrong, drawing on the experience of rehabilitation programs around the world. Download the original English version. Download a scanned copy of the French version.

Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves

A revolutionary proposal by Free the Slaves' co-founder Kevin Bales: we can end slavery in our lifetime. "Read Kevin Bales' practical and inspiring book and you will discover how our world can be free at last." - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy 

This award-winning book by Dr. Kevin Bales lifts the lid on slavery’s role in our lives.

Understanding Global Slavery: A Reader

Free the Slaves’ co-founder Kevin Bales explores broader themes about slavery’s causes, its continuation, and how it might be ended.

Recovering Childhoods

Published in fall of 2005, this report investigates the current problem of–and possible solutions to–child trafficking in northern India.

Hidden Slaves: Forced Labor in the United States

Co-authored by Free the Slaves and UC Berkeley, Hidden Slaves investigates modern slavery presently occurring in the United States.

Trafficking in Persons in the United States - National Institute of Justice

This was the first in-depth study of a range of human trafficking cases in the United States. It discovered new ways to understand the trafficking process, and helped the government to understand what it could do to better enforce anti-trafficking law.

Physical and Mental Health Aspects of Rehabilitating Children Freed from Slavery - Department of Labor

Explores the best practices in the rehabilitation of children who have been enslaved.

Testing a Theory of Modern Slavery

This study by Dr. Kevin Bales includes an academic exploration of the realities of modern slavery as well as a quantitative analysis of the push factors correlated to the rise or fall of the practice of modern slavery within various countries.

Slavery Map

Is there slavery in your own backyard? Explore this interactive map to find out.

Free Indeed: Modern Church's Opportunity to End Slavery, Again

This article by Free the Slaves’ Outreach Coordinator, Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, MA describes the opportunity for the modern church to once again speak out against the injustice of slavery. Originally published in the magazine Prism, the article poses a distinct challenge for people of faith seeking to bring systemic change.

Emerging Thought

Measuring Effectiveness of Anti-slavery Work  

If we are going to make real progress against global slavery, we need to design programs and policies that will be powerful and lead to permanent freedom. To design such programs we must first have a way to evaluate the programs and policies that are currently in place. Then we must learn and improve as we go, always aiming for three basic goals: freedom for slaves; rehabilitation of slaves leading to full citizenship with dignity; and the replication and extension of our projects and policies until all slaves are free. Also published as appendix to Kevin Bales' Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves. By: Ginny Baumann and Marc Levin

Slavery and Women- Theory of Change

From country to country, continent to continent, the first-hand testimonies of women who are emerging from slavery tell how the daily exploitation of their labor is consistently compounded by rape and sexual violence.  The reports of survivors show that the lack of sexual autonomy and reproductive rights – and the sheer horror of absolute vulnerability - is almost always an intrinsic part of women’s experience of slavery. By: Ginny Baumann

What Predicts Human Trafficking?

For any case of trafficking there is a unique set of causes and effects. The broad variation of trafficking in persons across regions and cultures means that there can be no uniform answer to the question “what causes trafficking?” That said, there are number of commonalities in trafficking. Root causes of trafficking in persons include the greed of criminals, economic pressures, political instability and transition, and social and cultural factors. Many traffickers are involved in other transnational crimes. Criminal groups choose to traffic in persons, in part, because it is high-profit and often low risk, because unlike other “commodities” people can be used repeatedly, and because trafficking in persons does not require a large capital investment. By: Kevin Bales

How to Recognize Good Work on the Frontlines of Slavery and Human Trafficking

It does not take much imagination to figure out what is wrong with slavery.  But to bring about an end to this appalling practice, reactions of horror and revulsion are not enough.  We need to carry out sustainable liberation and prevent future vulnerability to slavery.  We also need to use this practical work to push for changes in international policies and to get more people involved.  Free the Slaves does this by forming long-term partnerships with social movements that are rooted in the contexts where slavery exists. By: Ginny Baumann

Defining and Measuring Modern Slavery

Definitions of modern slavery fall into a number of categories. There are legal definitions, those given in international treaties and conventions, and those that exist in the public mind. As with so many important and universal concepts, the word “slave” tends to have subtly different meanings in different languages. How can we arrive at a definition that encompasses all forms of slavery?
By: Kevin Bales

Useful Downloads

Cocoa Protocol

There has been an historic breakthrough in the way the anti-slavery movement meets the challenge of slavery in the products we buy – it is called the Cocoa Protocol.

What Does It Cost To Free Slaves?

Freedom is a bargain. Download real word examples of what our work on the ground costs. 

Community Members Guide

This booklet explains slavery and trafficking, in the US and around the world. There are stories of survivors and of their rescuers, an overview of actions the government is taking to end the exploitation and a detailed list of practical steps you can take to fight this human rights violation.


Words commonly used in reference to slavery, both historical and modern-day.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

We are often asked about specific aspects of our work. Here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions.   

Top 10 Facts About Modern Slavery

A small graphic poster that says a lot.

Los datos más importantes respecto al tráfico de seres humanos

Top 10 datos sobre la esclavitud moderna.

What You Can Do

Everyone has a role to play in ending slavery. This small graphic poster suggests big acts and small. All important. 

The "S" Word

The 'S' word is unpopular. It seems no one wants to be associated with the word, especially slave owners, businesses using slaves or governments that are not dong enough to get rid of slavery. 

Education Pack #1
Education Pack #2
Education Pack #3
Education Pack #4
Education Pack #5

Use this education pack in the classroom or in your community to teach others about modern slavery and get them involved in the fight to end slavery.

The Silent Revolution Documentary - Study Guide

Study guide and discussion notes to accompany Peggy Callahan's documentary film, Silent Revolution. 

Dreams Die Hard Documentary - Study Guide

Study guide and discussion notes to accompany Peggy Callahan's documentary film, Dreams Die Hard.  

Freedom and Beyond Documentary - Study Guide

Study guide and discussion notes to accompany Peggy Callahan's latest documentary film, Freedom and Beyond.

Fundraiser and House Party Preparation Guide

How to prepare, how to attract people and raise funds for Free the Slaves by throwing a house party.