The Resurgence of Modern Slavery in 2016
By admin June 6, 2016

modern slavery

The Walk Free Foundation unveiled last week its most recent Global Slavery Index, estimating that 45.8 million people globally are trapped in some form of forced labor. The estimate is 28 percent higher than the previous estimate two-years ago, attributable at least in part to a change in methodology for collecting and determining the statistics.

Fifty-eight percent of those living in slavery live in five countries: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan. The countries with the highest proportion of their population living in slavery are North Korea, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, India and Qatar. Although Western countries tend to rank lower on the index, many of the products made from low-cost labor in conditions of modern slavery are destined for Western markets.

Modern slavery includes forced labor and bonded labor, human trafficking, forced and early marriage and other forms of labor exploitation. According to the International Labour Organization, “Forced labour [sic] refers to situations in which persons are coerced to work through the use of violence or intimidation, or by more subtle means such as accumulated debt, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration authorities.” Approximately one-fifth of forced labor is forced sexual exploitation. A quarter of victims are under eighteen-years of age, with the most vulnerable demographic being hit the hardest: women and girls.

In order to combat modern forms of slavery, countries must be diligent in enacting and enforcing laws to protect both citizens and migrants as well as addressing underlying factors of economic and political instability that contribute to exploitation.


For more information:

Global Slavery Index

Walk Free Foundation

International Labour Organization: Forced labour, human trafficking and slavery

46 millions people living as slaves, latest global index reveals

UNODC: Human Trafficking

The Polaris Project

Anti-Slavery International

Modern Slavery Estimated to Trap 45 Million People Worldwide


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