PHOTOS THAT BEAR WITNESS TO MODERN SLAVERY

In India and Nepal, I was introduced to the brick kilns. This strange and awesome sight was like walking into ancient Egypt or Dante's Inferno. Enveloped in temperatures of 130 degrees, men, women, children, entire families in fact, were cloaked in a heavy blanket of dust, while mechanically stacking bricks on their head, up to 18 at a time, and carrying them from the scorching kilns to trucks hundreds of yards away. Deadened by monotony and exhaustion, they work silently, doing this task over and over for 16 or 17 hours a day. There were no breaks for food, no water breaks, and the severe dehydration made urinating pretty much inconsequential. So pervasive was the heat and the dust that my camera became too hot to even touch and ceased working. Every 20 minutes, I'd have to run back to our cruiser to clean out my gear and run it under an air conditioner to revive it, and as I sat there, I thought, my camera is getting far better treatment than these people. 

Back in the kilns, I wanted to cry, but the abolitionist next to me quickly grabbed me and he said, "Lisa, don't do that. Just don't do that here." And he very clearly explained to me that emotional displays are very dangerous in a place like this, not just for me, but for them. I couldn't offer them any direct help. I couldn't give them money, nothing. I wasn't a citizen of that country. I could get them in a worse situation than they were already in.

Lisa Kristine 

(TED Talk)  - June 2012