India has topped as the country for having the highest absolute numbers of people trapped in slavery with 18.35 million slaves among its 1.3 billion population. According to the 2016 Global Slavery Index released by Australia-based human rights group Walk Free Foundation today, 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.
Statistics show startling numbers of slave population in India with 18.35 million victims of forced labour, ranging from prostitution and begging. It also showed that North Korea has the highest incidence (4.37 per cent of the population) and the weakest government response to deal with it.
By Modern slavery, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot leave because of threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power or deception.
To no surprise Asian countries occupy the top five positions for people trapped in slavery globally. India stands first followed by China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan.
These five countries together account for almost 58 per cent of the world’s enslaved, or 26.6 million people. This survey was presented based on proportion of the population that is estimated to be in modern slavery.
The research included over 42,000 interviews conducted in 53 languages across 25 countries, including 15 state-level surveys in India.
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, and Australia and New Zealand.
Though it was also noted that India had more people enslaved than any other country but it had made significant progress in introducing measures to tackle the problem.