If you thought slavery was dead, at least in countries like India, then you are are mistaken. According to the Global Slavery Index 2014, India has the largest number of people under “modern slavery” in absolute terms. At 14,285,700 people affected by modern slavery, this adds up to 1.141 per cent of India’s population. Mauritania has the largest percent of population affected at 4 per cent.
The index includes people who are trafficked for recruitment and exploitation, slavery-like practices including bonded labour and forced labour for calculation.
The report says modern slavery contributes to the production of at least 122 goods from 58 countries worldwide. “The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates the illicit profits of forced labour to be $US150 billion a year. Congolese boy mining diamonds, from the Uzbek child picking cotton, to the Indian girl stitching footballs, from the women who sew dresses, to the cocoa pod pickers, their forced labour is what we consume. Modern slavery is big business,” adds the 81-page report released this week.
The ten countries with the largest estimated numbers of people in modern slavery are: India, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Thailand. Taken together, these ten countries account for 71 percent of the total estimate of 35.8 million people living in modern slavery, says the report.