29.8 million people enslaved

The Walk Free Foundation recently published their inaugural Global Slavery Index report. It provides a ranking of 162 countries around the world, based on three factors:

  • Estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population
  • A measure of child marriage
  • A measure of human trafficking in and out of a county

The Walk Free Foundation defines modern slavery to include: slavery, slavery-like practices (debt bondage, forced marriage, sale or exploitation of children), human trafficking and forced labour.

Based on the 2013 Global Slavery Index report, there are 29.8 million people enslaved in the world.

The countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery are: Mauritania, Haiti, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Moldova, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, and Gabon

The countries with the lowest prevalence of modern slavery are: Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Iceland

Of the 29.8 million people in modern slavery, approximately 76% are enslaved in India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. India is estimated to have 13,300,000 to 14,700,000 people in modern slavery. China is estimated to have 2,800,000 to 3,100,000 people in modern slavery, and Pakistan is estimated to have 2,000,000 to 2,200,000 people in modern slavery.

72.14% of the 29.8 million people in modern slavery are in Asia, 16.36% are in Sub-Saharan Africa, 3.78% are in North and South America, 3.36% are in Russia and Eurasia, 2.54% are in the Middle East and North Africa, and 1.82% are in Europe.

The underlying factors contributing to modern slavery in the ten countries found to have the highest prevalence of modern slavery are: poverty (low GDP per capita); a lack of human development; and culturally tolerated forms of slavery or slavery-like practices, such as chattel slavery of the Haratins in Mauritania, exploitation of children through restavec practices in Haiti and vidomegon practices in Benin, and caste and debt bondage in India and Pakistan.

Of the countries that have the lowest prevalence of modern slavery, each has a high GDP, high investment in human development (health care, education, etc), national budget allocation towards combating modern slavery, strong child protection systems, national laws addressing modern slavery and funded law enforcement agencies to enforce the laws, presence of non-government organizations funded and freely permitted to operated in response to modern day slavery, and accountability mechanisms in place.

The Global Slavery Index report can be downloaded at: http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/


Sun and leaves

Man was born into this world in fear of a destiny unknown. Society must progress and offer man the means to develop his own destiny.

~ Vincente Aleixandre (1898 – 1984)