The majority of people around the world living in slavery are in Asia, according a new index released today.
The new ‘Global Slavery Index’ revealed that India, China and Pakistan have the highest numbers of people living in slavery, with about 19 million of the world total of 30 million slaves in these three countries alone.
Three other Asian countries were also ranked in the top 10 pushing the number even higher, with Thailand (7), Burma (9) and Bangladesh (10) accounting for more than 1 million people in modern slavery between them.
The “Global Slavery Index” report by the Walk Free Foundation ranked 162 countries by estimating the number of people in each nation affected by a range of practices including forced and bonded labor, human trafficking, forced marriages, and the use of children in the military.
Walk Free Foundation was founded last year by Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest. Its index was endorsed by leaders including former U.S. Secretary Hillary Clinton, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates.
Clinton said in a statement that although the index wasn’t perfect, it provided a starting point.
“I urge leaders around the world to view this index as a call to action, and to stay focused on the work of responding to this crime,” she said.
Using reports from governments and non-profit organizations as well as statistical estimates, the charity said that Mauritania has the highest proportion of people in slavery, with many people inheriting slave status from their ancestors. About 140,000 to 160,000 people are enslaved in the west African nation, which has a population of just 3.8 million, the report said.
Haiti has the second highest proportion of slaves in the world, while Pakistan has the third.
The report pointed out that India’s ranking with the most number of slaves (13.9 million) was mostly due to exploitation of Indian citizens within India.
Countries With Highest Absolute Numbers of Slaves
1 India 13.9 million
2 China 2.9 million
3 Pakistan 2.1 million
4 Nigeria 701,000
5 Ethiopia 651,000
6 Russia 516,000
7 Thailand 473,000
8 D.R. Congo 462,000
9 Burma 384,000
10 Bangladesh 343,000
Ranking by Prevalence of Modern Slavery per Head of Population
1 Mauritania 151,000 of 3.8 million
2 Haiti 209,000 of 10.2 million
3 Pakistan 2.1 million of 179.2 million
4 India 13.9 million of 1.2 billion
5 Nepal 259,000 of 27.5 million
6 Moldova 33,000 of 3.6 million
7 Benin 80,000 of 10.1 million
8 Ivory Coast 157,000 of 19.8 million
9 Gambia 14,000 of 1.8 million
10 Gabon 14,000 1.6 million