India Tops Global Slavery Index With 18.35 Million People Enslaved

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India has been ranked fourth in a global survey that lists 167 countries where modern slavery is prevalent. The findings of the survey indicates that some 1.4% of the population roughly around 18.35 million people in India are victims of forced labour, prostitution, begging, manual labour and sex industries.Modern slavery refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot leave because of threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power or deception.

According to the 2016 Global Slavery Index, released by Australia-based human rights group Walk Free Foundation an estimated 45.8 million people, including women and children, are subject to some form of modern slavery in the world, compared to 35.8 million in 2014. The research included over 42,000 interviews conducted in 53 languages across 25 countries, including 15 state-level surveys in India.

Highest Slavery : North Korea , Uzbekistan, Cambodia, India and Qatar are the top five on the list that ranks the countries in terms of slavery as a proportion of population.  North Korea has the highest incidence (4.37 per cent of the population) and the weakest government response to deal with it. 

Although Incidences of slavery were found in all 167 countries in the index but Asian countries occupy the top five places and these five countries combined accounted for almost 58 per cent of the world’s enslaved, or 26.6 million people.

Neighbouring countries : China (3.39 million), Pakistan (2.13 million), Bangladesh (1.53 million) and Uzbekistan (1.23 million) were behind India in the list. 

Lowest Slavery : The countries with the lowest estimated prevalence of modern slavery by the proportion of their population are Luxembourg, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden and Belgium, the United States and Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Government actions and responses :

The study also tracked the government actions and responses to the modern slavery and of the 161 assessed, 124 nations had criminalised human trafficking in line with the UN trafficking Protocol and 96 countries had developed national action plans to coordinate government response.

  • Government taking the least action : Those governments taking the least action to combat modern slavery are North Korea, Iran, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Hong Kong, Central African Republic, Papua New Guinea, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.
  • Government taking the strongest step : The governments that have the strongest response to modern slavery are The Netherlands, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, Belgium and Norway.
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