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India tops the Global Slavery Index with 18.35 million people with modern slavery

According to the 2016 Global Slavery Index, released by Australia-based human rights group Walk Free Foundation, 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.



The countries with the highest estimated prevalence of modern slavery by the proportion of their population are North Korea, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, India, and Qatar. In North Korea, there is pervasive evidence that government-sanctioned forced labour occurs in an extensive system of prison labour camps while North Korean women are subjected to forced marriage and commercial sexual exploitation in China and other neighbouring states. In Uzbekistan, the government continues to subject its citizens to forced labour in the annual cotton harvest.

Those countries with the highest absolute numbers of people in modern slavery are India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan. Several of these countries provide the low-cost labour that produces consumer goods for markets in Western Europe, Japan, North America and Australia.

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. These countries generally have more economic wealth, score higher on government response, have low levels of conflict, and are politically stable with a willingness to combat modern slavery.

global slavery index

Vulnerability to modern slavery is affected by different complex factors related to presence or absence of protection and respect to rights, prosperity, physical safety and security, access to the basic needs such as food, water and health care, and patterns of migration, displacement and conflict.

They compiled 24 factors which place the people in a vulnerable position, and these 24 factors are classified into 4 dimensions which as follows;

  1. Civil and Political Protections
  2. Social health and economic rights
  3. Personal security
  4. Refugee populations and conflict
Dimension 1 Civil and Political Protections Dimension 2 Social health and economic rights Dimension 3 Personal security Dimension 4 Refugee populations and conflict
Confidence in judicial system Financial inclusion: borrowed any money Financial inclusion: availability of emergency funds Impact of terrorism
Political instability Financial inclusion: received wages Violent crime Internal conflict
Weapons access Cell phone subscriptions Women’s physical security Refugees resident
Discrimination: sexuality Social safety net GINI coefficient
Displaced persons Undernourishment Discrimination: intellectual disability
The Index 2016 Government Response Tuberculosis Discrimination: immigrants
Political rights measure Water improved access Discrimination: minorities




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