30 million people worldwide living in 'modern slavery', warns Global Slavery Index

Countries ranked by number of slaves, with almost half the world’s number in India alone

A “Global Slavery Index” has been released which shows the number of people trapped in modern slavery across the world, and ranks 162 countries accordingly.

India was found to have almost 14 million people living in conditions of slavery – nearly half of the entire number of 30 million worldwide.

In terms of proportion of its population, Mauritania ranked the worst – with as many as 4 per cent of its people regarded as slaves largely because they inherit the status from their ancestors.

The UK was ranked joint-last in this proportionate table, tied 160th with Ireland and Iceland, but the report carried a strong warning that this does not mean the countries are slavery free.

“On the contrary, it is estimated that there are between 4,200 and 4,600 people in modern slavery in the United Kingdom alone,” it said.

“An analysis of the UK response on this issue confirms much more can be done, as the Government response is fragmented and disjointed, and that there have been alarming systemic failures, including the loss of trafficked children from care.”

The index was produced by the Walk Free Foundation, an Australian-based organisation founded last year which campaigns for human rights and has been endorsed by influential figures including former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

Ms 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.

WFF classed a number of different practices, customs and abuses under the broad term of slavery, which included debt bondage, forced marriage, human trafficking and the use of child soldiers.

The numbers produced are estimates, based on a detailed analysis of government reports, statistical releases and the work of non-profit organisations.

“A lot of governments won't like hearing what we have to say,” WFF chief executive Nick Grono told the French news agency Agence France-Presse.

“Those governments that want to engage with us, we will be very open to engaging and looking at ways in which we can better measure the issue of modern slavery.”

The report said the west-African nation of Mauritania had around 150,000 people living as slaves, out of a population of just 3.8 million.

In terms of proportionate rates, Haiti came second – with around one in 10 children used for child labour in an exploitative system.

Pakistan came third – in both the proportionate and total rankings – with 1.8 million people forced into bonded labour, out of a total 2.1 million people in slavery.

India, which ranked fourth proportionately because of its enormous population, had the highest number of people living in slavery by some margin due to the relative abundance of child labour and forced marriages.

Russia was the worst-faring European country in the list. With more than 500,000 people living in conditions of slavery, it ranked 49th in the proportionate table.

In absolute terms, China, Pakistan and Nigeria followed India, and along with the rest of the top 10 countries made up three quarters of the entire world’s population of people living in slavery.

 

Countries ranked by estimated number of slaves

India - 13,956,010

China - 2,949,243

Pakistan - 2,127,132

Nigeria - 701,032

Ethiopia - 651,110

Russia - 516,217

Thailand - 472,811

DR Congo - 462,327

Burma - 384,037

Bangladesh - 343,192

 

Proportionate ranking

Mauritania

Haiti

Pakistan

India

Nepal

Moldova

Benin

Ivory Coast

The Gambia

Gabon

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map