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Collection: BOOKS, Books


Gjest: Catharina Drejer


Tankesmien Skaperkraft

Med Vert: Silvija Seres

In this episode of #LØRN book club, Silvija Seres has invited the author of the book, #Slavetech – a snapshot of slavery in a digital age, Catharina Drejer. The book was published in 2018 by Frekk Forlag and is co-written with Kevin Bales. We look at the meaning of modern slavery, and the conversation highlights that if our understanding of slavery is rooted in the past we miss the terrible crimes that may be happening right in front of us. Today, many of these abuses take place in cyber-space, a shadowy digital world beyond our laws and human rights conventions. 

Title: Ph.D. candidate (applying for admission to the Ph.D. program) and university lecturer in the subject ‘modern slavery’ at the College of Management and Theology.

Education: Sociologist, MA Slavery & Liberation.

Hobbies: Cooking for friends and family, taking a walk in nature, watching documentaries like HUMAN and WOMEN.

Book name, publisher, and year: #Slavetech - a snapshot of slavery in a digital age, Frekk Forlag, 2018.

When was the book written, and why?

The book was written in 2016 and published in 2018. I would like to shed light on how digital technology affects human trafficking and slavery today. Both on the positive and negative.

What is the most important thing you want to convey with the book?

That "tech" is not a silver bullet and that even though it appears in the media as THE solution to all kinds of problems, it is not. One must use good knowledge to develop and use technology to solve human rights problems.

Why did you have to write this book, now?

In 2016, there was not much knowledge about the link between human trafficking and digital technology and how it is used for the positive and the negative (online recruitment, online exploitation, use of social media such as blackmail, etc.).

What is the central dilemma here for you?

There is a lot of hype around the different technologies and I have found that it can be a bit dangerous when you only develop an app for items. with good intentions, but have not thought about the consequences (that it should be tested on people who are already in a vulnerable situation, that they must have a life after funding is being pulled out, etc.).

What have you changed your mind about?

That all criminals are "way ahead of us" who are often communicated in relation to technology and crime (human trafficking).

Give us your 3 favorite examples from the book?

1.that parents have a great responsibility to help their kids stay safe online (interview with the mother of a girl who was recruited on social media).

  1. that the internet means that those who are sexually exploited do not just have one perpetrator, with several - all those who watch that material online - again and again.
  2. Survivors of Slavery gave me good input on how technology can be used to prevent online recruitment.

What do you want us to remember from the book, if that's a thing?

Good intentions are good, but do not go far in developing solid technology that really solves problems - we must never forget that we are dealing with real, vulnerable people when we fight human rights violations such as slavery with digital technology.

What other similar books should people read, possibly see?

General on Slavery and Trafficking: "Disposable People" by Kevin Bales (2012) - and a more academic book "From Human Trafficking to Human Rights: Reframing Contemporary Slavery" by Alison Brysk and Austin Choi-Fitzpartick (2012).

Your next book project?

I am a research fellow and will research the use of Live Stream technology and sexual exploitation of children online (a form of human trafficking. This can be a book. I think that in the social field we must be better at understanding 1) digital technology, 2 ) the consequences of digital technology for those victims.


Dette LØRNER du:



Slavery discussion  


Digital age 


Anbefalt litteratur:

Disposable People” by Kevin Bales (2012) 

“For too long advocates have tried to solve problems while forgetting those who carry the solutions; those who have suffered yet have survived,” - quote from the book.  

Catharina Drejer

Dette er Tankesmien Skaperkraft

Catharina Drejer advises in the think tank Skaperkraft. Slavery, human trafficking, human rights, poverty, international work, and technology are central themes in her work. She has a master's degree in Slavery and Liberation from the University of Nottingham. Drejer has written the book #Slavetech - a snapshot of slavery in a digital age together with Professor Kevin Bales.