Cover image of the book ‘Unbroken Chains’ by Melissa Hope Ditmore with the title and subtitle of the book superimposed on an abstract image of chains.

About the Book

“Unbroken Chains: The Hidden Role of Human Trafficking in the American Economy” exposes the pervasive trafficking that lies just beneath the surface of our economy—told through the stories of its survivors. Drawing from nearly two decades of research on US and international human trafficking, Melissa Hope Ditmore sets forth these harrowing stories, unveiling the 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” offers a window into the world of forced labor which exists within our own, and a road map for participating in its destruction.

About the author

Dr. Melissa Hope Ditmore is a freelance consultant in issues of gender, development, health and human rights, particularly relating to marginalized populations such as sex workers, migrants, trafficked persons and people who use drugs. She has worked in Asia, Africa and the United States, for organizations including UNAIDS, the Asia Development Bank, the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations, and AIDS Fonds Nederland. She is a co-founder of the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center.

In addition to her consultancy work, she has written and edited a number of books, including The Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work (Greenwood Press), Sex Work Matters (Zed Books), and Prostitution and Sex Work (Greenwood Press).

She has a PhD in Sociology from the City University of New York.

For more information, see her website at

Buy the Book

“Unbroken Chains” will be published in the United States by Beacon Press on May 9, 2023. You can pre-order the book from the following vendors: