Where were you?: A Profile of Modern Slavery (Paperback)

Where were you?:  A Profile of Modern Slavery By Matthew S. Friedman Cover Image


"My boots-on-the-ground work to fight human trafficking throughout Asia.

There are more slaves in the world today than any other time in history.
Enter the world of human trafficking and explore what we can do together to end this global crime. Where Were You?: A Profile of Modern Slavery by Matthew Friedman provides an up-to-date overview of human trafficking, a largely ignored present-day evil, and recounts true stories of enslavement in Asia today. Former United Nations and USAID expert Matthew Friedman obtained in-depth first-hand knowledge with boots-on-the-ground work over 30 years throughout Asia. Human trafficking exists in nearly every nation on earth and Friedman has personally interviewed hundreds of freed slaves and imprisoned traffickers throughout South and Southeast Asia.
The modern slave trade operates in brothels, fisheries, clothing and chocolate industries, as well as a myriad of other manufacturing jobs and is a billion dollar business that continues to grow unchecked.
Even with the collective response of governments, the UN and civil society partners, less than 0.2 percent of the victims are assisted.

About the Author

Matthew Friedman is a leading, internationally renowned global expert on modern slavery and human trafficking. An award-winning public speaker, author, filmmaker, and philanthropist, Friedman regularly advises heads of governments and intelligence agencies. As the founder and CEO of The Mekong Club, Friedman is considered the leading catalyst of the anti-slavery movement in Asia’s business sector by captains of industry.

Praise For…

‘Matt’s grasp of the issue(s) of human trafficking is thirty years deep, and reflects a long journey of action and reflection which he graciously allows us to learn from. There is something here for all of us, and indeed it will TAKE all of us to end human trafficking. That’s the moral of Matt’s superb book.’

-Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag Co-founder, European Freedom Network Core team, Freedom Business Alliance Member, World Evangelical Alliance Global Human Trafficking Task Force

‘Must read for all. I highly commend this book for everyone to read whether you are an inquirer or a veteran abolitionist. If you are a government employee, business person or NGO worker, this is a must read. There is a growing list of literature to read on the topic of slavery and human trafficking, this one should be one of the first to read. In this new and very readable profile of modern slavery, Matt Friedman gives a well-balanced take on the issue, his experience, and what each of us can do practically to join the “second generation abolition movement”.’

-Peter J Mihaere, CEO, Stand Against Slavery

Where Were You?: A Profile of Modern Slavery by Matthew S. Friedman, is a short text that has appeal for both the beginner and the veteran abolitionist. The theme of the book is really that of Friedman’s personal experience as a counter trafficking agent over the past few decades… Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I felt the author’s transparency was very inspiring.’

-Rachael Williams-Mejri, Editor, Grace As Justice Magazine

‘Accounts Mr Friedman relates are disturbing, troubling, and overwhelming, but must be told. In often what seems too-vivid detail, he describes lives of some of the most forgotten and used unfortunates, who are mostly women. Where Were You?, a readable, concise account of human suffering, must be read by all the fortunate enjoying a safe, comfortable life, to be enlightened that not all humans are so lucky. We Americans too easily dismiss human trafficking as something that happens “over there”. Detailing the extent of the problem in the US, he honestly labels it what it is—slavery. Read it. You will be moved, angry, overwhelmed.’

-Frank Hilo

‘Although often difficult to read due to its subject matter, members of the counter-trafficking community will find a wealth of valuable insights in this book about not only the world of slavery, but how to fight it.’

-B M Vance

‘It is with great pleasure that I write in recommendation of Matthew S. Friedman. Throughout the world there are many deeply committed individuals and organizations engaging in vital anti-slavery work. Matthew stands out among them for his pioneering and leadership work in the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery for more than thirty-five years. He has helped mobilize a small army of people around the world who have stepped up to be a part of an abolitionist movement.
Matthew currently is the CEO of the Mekong Club, an Asia-based global non-profit organization that enlists the support of the private sector to be active responders in the fight against modern slavery. He has recruited over a hundred business professionals and captains of industry to step up and use their expertise to participate in working groups, develop tools and promote pro-business agenda related to the anti-modern slavery movement. I believe The Mekong Club is a leader—uniting and mobilizing the private sector for a common cause—to disrupt and abolish modern slavery.
Since 1985, Matthew has worked for the US Government, United Nations, NGO and private sector, and his list of extraordinary milestones include: 

• Giving presentations on human trafficking and modern slavery to over 120,000 people in thirty countries;
• He has completed speaking tours across five Asia Pacific Countries: Singapore, Japan, Sri Lanka, Australia, and Bangladesh; 
• Matthew and his two adult sons completed an eighteen-day road trip across the USA to reach companies, schools, and the general public to promote an abolitionist campaign (over 10,000 people reached through twenty-five events);
• With his wife Sylvia, they have completed a seventy road-trip speaking tour across the USA (114 presentations to over 15,000 people reached);
• Raised over US$18 million for a range of programs implemented by the UN, US government and NGOs;
• Helped to set up national anti-trafficking programs in nine countries to best utilize their available resources to have the most impact;
• Managed two major regional government platforms to bring about multi-lateral collaboration between countries;
• Provided technical assistance to twenty-three governments to help them refine and improve their anti-human trafficking program efforts;
• Advised fourteen global donors to help them make more responsible funding decisions;
• Developed eleven country/regional training programs to train UN, NGO and legal responders;
• Provided funding to over thirty-five NGOs, helping to directly rescue 2,000 victims;
• Media interviews on human trafficking and modern slavery with over 300 American and international TV, radio, and press articles and stories;
• Set up one of the first business to business organizations working with the private sector—the Mekong Club non-profit which has helped rescue more than 2,200 people in slavery;
• Published three books on modern slavery out of his twelve books (including a Penguin Random House book to be published this November 2021);
• Helped in the production of three award-winning films including one Emmy award-nominated;
• Catalyzed and supported a range of cutting-edge research to help understand the issue to help establish better responses;
• Interviewed and directly worked with over 2,000 trafficked persons; and
• Funded the MTV Exit media platform during his time at USAID—reaching millions with prevention messages.

Matthew’s most important milestone was his book project that involved interviewing over 350 young girls who had been trafficked from Nepal to India. Five years later, nearly all of them had died of HIV/AIDS. Their premature deaths had a profound impact on Matthew and motivated him to commit his entire life to the fight against this global scourge. He inspires us greatly to believe that we can make a difference and help end this evil and ancient form of human slavery in our generation. I commend Matthew Friedman for his outstanding work as a pioneer in the field of fighting modern slavery.’

-US Senator Max Cleland (Ret.)

‘An urgent, affecting exposé of slavery around the world.’

-Kirkus Review

‘Fantastic, not surprised that Matt’s understanding and leadership in this topic transfers brilliantly into the written word.’

-David Capperauld, the Founder & Director at Purpose Led.

‘A classic that will impact generations to come written by the world’s leading expert on modern slavery.'

-Jonathan Chong, S.T.A.R.S. Foundation

‘It is an important book for understanding modern slavery and learning how one can contribute to countering this evil.’

-Han Shih Toh, PhD, Reviewed in the Asia Sentinel

'Out of all the books and literature I have read to gain a comprehensive understanding from an academic and research standpoint, Where Were You stands alone. The sincerity and authenticity of the author generated a reflective repositioning on my own vantage point, and I believe this would be replicated in any conscientious human being. If you desire to immerse yourself in a book which will provide a crosswalk between the many sectors and factors relating to human trafficking across the globe, this is the book for you.’

-Christian Nanry, PhD, Senior Inspector, United States Marshals Service

Product Details
ISBN: 9789814954433
ISBN-10: 9814954438
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: October 26th, 2021
Pages: 240
Language: English