Siddharth Kara is one of the world's foremost experts on human trafficking and modern slavery. He is the Director of the Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he is also an Adjunct Lecturer and teaches the only course on human trafficking at HKS. In addition, Kara is a Visiting Scientist on Forced Labor at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Kara is the author of three books on modern slavery. His first book, Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery, was co-winner of the prestigious Frederick Douglass Award (2010) at Yale University for the best non-fiction book on slavery. The book has since been adapted by Kara into a Hollywood feature film, called TRAFFICKED. Kara's second book, Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia was released in October, 2012. Just as Sex Trafficking provided the first comprehensive overview of the global sex trafficking industry, Bonded Labor provides the first comprehensive overview of the system of debt bondage endemic to South Asia. Kara's third book, Modern Slavery: A Global Perspective is Kara's culminating work on slavery and was launched at the United Nations in October 2017. The book provides a foundational overview of the key manifestations of slavery around the world.
Since first encountering human trafficking in a Bosnian refugee camp in the 1990's, Kara has traveled to more than fifty countries across six continents to research modern slavery, personally documenting the cases of several thousand former and current slaves of all kinds, witnessing firsthand the sale of humans into slavery, and confronting some of those who trafficked and exploited them. During the course of his research, Kara has meticulously mapped global human trafficking networks, explored the perilous underground of trafficked sex slaves, delved into the inner workings of organized crime groups that traffic in human organs, and traced global supply chains of numerous commodities tainted by slavery and child labor. In addition to self-funding most of his research, Kara has received support from Humanity United, the C&A Foundation and Google.org.
Kara currently advises the United Nations, International Labour Organisation, the U.S. Government, and several other governments on anti-trafficking policy and law. Kara has testified before the U.S. Congress and several foreign Parliaments on his research. Kara's has also appeared extensively in the media as an expert on modern slavery, including on CNN, the BBC, the Guardian, CNBC, National Geographic, and numerous documentary films.
Previously, Kara was an investment banker at Merrill Lynch, then ran his own finance and M&A consulting firm. He holds a Law degree from England, MBA from Columbia University, and BA from Duke University.
Follow Siddharth on Twitter: @siddharthkara.