WORD Presents Melissa Ditmore

05/01/2023 - 7:00pm

FREE EVENT! Limited Seating + Additional Standing Room; RSVP below

Masks appreciated!

*Please note event space is only accessible by stairs; we do not have an elevator.*


About the Book

Unbroken Chains is an urgent exposition of the pervasive human trafficking that lies just beneath the surface of the US economy—from the stories of its survivors.

The years of the COVID-19 pandemic have brought to light the exploitation of workers. In this moment of heightened visibility, Unbroken Chains demands that readers examine the hidden sector of American trafficked labor and understand its prevalence across our economy. Drawing from nearly two decades of research on US and international human trafficking, Ditmore sets forth the stories of human trafficking survivors and grounds their accounts in the long history of US indentured servitude, looking to its iterations in chattel slavery, Chinese contract labor, and prison labor. In this groundbreaking investigation of American trafficking, Ditmore unveils the unnerving reality that forced labor permeates many industries beyond sex work: in almost every aspect of consumption, people who create our everyday necessities are working amid inescapable exploitation, often without pay.

Unbroken Chains tells these workers’ stories: They are nannies for New York City’s diplomatic elites and door-to-door magazine salespeople in the American South. A trafficked person may have harvested your produce, sewn your clothes, or cleaned your apartment lobby. Ditmore offers readers an illuminating window on the world of forced labor, and a road map for participating in its destruction. 

About the author:

Melissa Hope Ditmore is a freelance consultant specializing in issues of gender, development, health and human rights, particularly as they relate to marginalized populations including sex workers, migrants, trafficked persons and people who use drugs. Her past and current clients include UNAIDS, the International Council of Aids Service Organizations, Aids Fonds Nederland, and the Urban Justice Center. She holds a PhD in sociology from the City University of New York, and her writing has appeared in outlets such as The Guardian, HuffPost, and The Daily Beast.


Interested in a signed copy but unable to attend the event?

Use the listing below to purchase a copy and leave us a note in the "Notes" field saying you'd like a signed one! We offer pick-up and shipping options. 


Unbroken Chains: The Hidden Role of Human Trafficking in the American Economy By Melissa Ditmore Cover Image
Out of Stock - Not Available
ISBN: 9780807006771
Published: Beacon Press - May 9th, 2023

An urgent exposition of the pervasive human trafficking that lies just beneath the surface of the US economy—from the stories of its survivors

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