Modern Slavery: MIT-BBC Symposium

SAT, MAY 14, 2005 (44:18)

In an effort to shine light on this issues of forced labor, enforced prostitution and human trafficking, MIT's Program on Human Rights and Justice at the Center for International Studies partners with the BBC World Service Trust, an independent BBC charity that promotes development through the innovative use of the media, to present a day-long public symposium on the problem of forced labor in the global economy and what can be done about it.

The event coincides with the May 11, 2005 release of a major report by the International Labor Organization. The ILO report provides the first estimates by an international organization of forced labor, globally and regionally, and the first estimate of profits made by those exploiting trafficked workers.

Cosponsored by MIT's Center for International Studies and The MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice. MIT's Center for International Studies is one of the country's leading international affairs research centers. The MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice is the first human rights program with a focus on the human rights aspects of economic, scientific and technological developments.

+ BIO: Jagdish Bhagwati

Jagdish Bhagwati, is University Professor at Columbia University and Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been Economic Policy Adviser to Arthur Dunkel, Director General of GATT, Special Adviser to the UN on Globalization, and External Adviser to the WTO. He has served on the Expert Group appointed by the Director General of the WTO on the Future of the WTO and the Advisory Committee to Secretary General Kofi Annan on the NEPAD process in Africa, and was also a member of the Eminent Persons Group under the chairmanship of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso on the future of UNCTAD.

Professor Bhagwati has published more than three hundred articles and has authored or edited over fifty volumes; he also writes frequently for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times, as well as reviews for The New Republic and The Times Literary Supplement. Professor Bhagwati is described as the most creative international trade theorist of his generation and is a leader in the fight for freer trade. He is a Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research . He was advisor to India 's Finance Minister, now Prime Minister, on India 's economic reforms. He works with several NGOs in the US and India.

He was chosen as the first recipient of the Asian NGOs' Award, the Suh Sang Don Award. A native of India, Professor Bhagwati attended Cambridge University where he graduated in 1956 with a first in Economics Tripos. He then continued to study at MIT and Oxford returning to India in 1961 as Professor of Economics at the Indian Statistical Institute, and then as Professor of International Trade at the Delhi School of Economics. He returned to MIT in 1968, leaving it twelve years later as the Ford International Professor of Economics to join Columbia.

+ BIO: Kevin Bales

Kevin Bales is President of Free the Slaves, the US sister organization of Anti-Slavery International (the world's oldest human rights organization), and Professor of Sociology at Roehampton University in London.

He also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Cocoa Initiative. His book Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy, published in 1999, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and has now been published in 10 other languages. Archbishop Desmond Tutu called it a well researched, scholarly and deeply disturbing expose of modern slavery. A revised edition was published in 2005. In 2006, his work was named one of the top 100 World-Changing Discoveries by the association of British universities.

+ BIO: Jean Robert Cadet

As a former restavec, I came to the United States at the age of fifteen to resume my restavec status in the home of my former "masters." When they realized that the restavec system was not conducive to American society, I was shown the door to fend for myself in the streets of New York.

In Restavec, my autobiography, published by the University of Texas Press, I show the faces of the restavec children behind the mask. I vividly describe my childhood in restavec servitude as well as my subsequent life in the Unites States, where, despite American racism, I put myself through college and found success in the United States Army and in business. Today I am a high school teacher in Ohio.

+ BIO: Regina Abrami

Regina Abrami is a senior fellow and faculty chair of the HBS Immersion Experience Program (IXP). In addition, she is an executive committee member of Harvard University's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and a faculty associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Her primary area of expertise is comparative political economy, with special focus on China and Vietnam. Abrami's research is broadly concerned with institutions of accountability and their impact on patterns of economic organization and change. At HBS, Abrami has taught courses in the M.B.A., executive education, and doctoral programs, all focused on issues of international business, including most recently the 2nd year MBA course Doing Business in China and a doctoral course on Political Economies of Business in the Developing World. In addition, she has consulted to the World Bank, the UNDP, and business on strategic issues related to corporate diplomacy, private sector development in emerging markets, and doing business in Vietnam and China. Abrami earned her PhD. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was both a Reinhard Bendix and John L. Simpson Memorial Fellow.

+ BIO: Roger Plant

Roger Plant is an English rock singer and songwriter, famous for his membership in the former rock band Led Zeppelin as the lead vocalist and lyricist, as well as for his successful solo career. In 2007, he released an album, Raising Sand, produced by T-Bone Burnett with American bluegrass soprano Alison Krauss, which won the 2009 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Partner
WGBH Forum Network
Series
Human Rights Series
Slavery and the Making of America Series