According to a new report, there are close to 30 million slaves worldwide with India home to nearly half, who are trafficked into brothels, forced into manual labour, victims of debt bondage or even born into servitude.
According to the report ‘The Global Slavery Index 2013’, slavery in India ranges from bonded labour in quarries and kilns to commercial sex exploitation, although the scourge exists in all 162 countries.
The survey conducted by an Australian-based rights group – Walk Free Foundation, reveals that China is a distant second with 2.9m slaves; followed by Pakistan with 2.1m; Nigeria 0.7m; and Ethiopia 0.6m.
The report ranked 162 countries based on the number living in slavery, the risk of enslavement, and the strength of government responses to combating the illegal activity.
“Today some people are still being born into hereditary slavery, a staggering but harsh reality, particularly in parts of West Africa and South Asia,” the report said.
It also added, “Other victims are captured or kidnapped before being sold or kept for exploitation, whether through ‘marriage’, unpaid labour on fishing boats, or as domestic workers. Others are tricked and lured into situations they cannot escape, with false promises of a good job or an education.”
A number of European countries, except New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Ireland and Iceland are the 10 countries with the lowest prevalence of slavery – among the 160 ranked, according to the report.
while the report found that 10 countries accounted for 76 per cent of the 29.8 million people living in slavery – India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Bangladesh.