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Where Were You?: A Profile of Modern Slavery

Matt Friedman, a former USAID and United Nations’ expert, gives an up-to-date human trafficking overview about a largely ignored present-day evil. Friedman obtained in-depth first-hand knowledge by boots-on-the-ground work throughout nearly a dozen Asian countries over 25 years. He writes that human trafficking exists in nearly every nation on earth. Few people realize that the United States alone has tens of thousands of men, women and children in slavery-like conditions. Friedman has interviewed hundreds of freed slaves throughout South and Southeast Asia, as well as imprisoned traffickers.

The slave industry is a billion dollar business that continues to grow unchecked. Slaves work in brothels, fisheries, clothing and chocolate industries, as well as a myriad of other manufacturing jobs. Friedman also offers valuable advice and guidance related to his own deeply personal experiences working in the counter trafficking and development world. These insights offer valuable lessons for those thinking about entering this field. The book was written in detail by a public servant passionate about eradicating the world’s indifference, and motivated by a desire to recruit other present-day abolitionists. Friedman’s latest TEDX complements the message outlined in this book. Proceeds from this book will go to campaigns that fight against human trafficking.

About Matt Friedman

Matt Friedman is an international human trafficking expert with more than 25 years of experience as an activist, program designer, evaluator, and manager. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer for The Mekong Club, an organization of Hong Kong-based private sector business people who have joined forces to fight human trafficking in Asia, which he also co-founded.

From 2006 to 2012, Friedman was the Regional Project Manager of the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) in Thailand, an inter-agency coordinating body that links the United Nations system with governments and civil society groups in China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Prior to this (1991-2006), Friedman worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Thailand, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Friedman is also a technical advisor to numerous governments working to stop slavery. He is frequently cited in the news media on issues related to human trafficking and slavery in Southeast Asia (CNN, TVB, BBC, NYT, IHT, Reuters, Bloomberg, etc) and invited to speak at major conferences around the world. He is the author of eleven books, on subjects ranging from human trafficking to the ancient art of Bangladesh metal casting.

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