The Global Slavery Index 2014 report finds that globally, almost 36 million people are subject to modern slavery
India is home to the largest number of enslaved, with over 14 million people living in bondage
Mauritania has the highest percentage, with 4% of the population enslaved
Iceland and Luxembourg have the lowest number, both in prevalence and in absolute numbers
(CNN) — The second annual edition of the Walk Free Foundation’s Global Slavery Index has found that globally, almost 36 million people are subject to modern slavery.
While incidences of slavery were found in every one of the 167 countries surveyed, five countries — India, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Russia — accounted for nearly 22 million people (61%) suffering in bondage. The worst offender, India, accounted for an estimated 14.29 million people.
Human slavery, the report states, is defined as “human trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage, forced or servile marriage, or commercial sexual exploitation.”
Surge in cases
The report found an increase of 20% on the foundation’s findings a year ago, although it attributed the rise to more sophisticated data collection and analysis.
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“There is an assumption that slavery is an issue from a bygone era. Or that it only exists in countries ravaged by war and poverty,” Andrew Forrest, Chairman and Founder of the Walk Free Foundation, said in a statement.
“The first step in eradicating slavery is to measure it. And with that critical information, we must all come together — governments, businesses and civil society — to finally bring an end to the most severe form of exploitation.”
While some of the world’s most populous nations were home to the bulk of the incidences of modern slavery, other countries had higher percentages of their populations enslaved.
The West African nation of Mauritania, the report found, had the highest prevalence, with an estimated 4% of its population in bondage. Other offenders include Uzbekistan (3.97%), Haiti (2.3%) and Qatar (1.35%).
The Emirate, which will play host to the World Cup in 2022, has faced numerous questions concerning its labor laws and the kafala sponsorship system, which limits foreign workers’ rights of movement.
“Qatar hosts significant numbers of foreign workers, and has risen in the ranking due to improved survey data, giving better insight into the high number of enslaved migrant workers in the nation,” Gina Dafalia, the foundation’s policy and research manager, told CNN. “It is ranked fourth with an estimated 1.4% of the population in modern slavery. We consider this to be a conservative estimate.”
There is an assumption that slavery is an issue from a bygone era. Or that it only exists in countries ravaged by war and poverty.
Andrew Forrest, Walk Free Foundation
Qatar has promised to address criticisms and expects to make announcements concerning repeal of the kafala system in early 2015.
Refugees most vulnerable to slavery
Kevin Bales, lead author of the report, told CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout that vulnerability is a key factor in the prevalence of slavery in a country, and that refugees are particularly susceptible to modern enslavement.
“It’s not a surprise that many of the countries where we see large proportions of the population in slavery are also those countries that are beset by conflict, like Syria, and by other economic and environmental problems,” he said.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that forced labor generates more than $150 billion in illicit profits every year, making it the second largest source of profits for international organized crimes behind the drugs trade.
Iceland and Luxembourg, the report finds, have fewer than 100 people each living in slavery, the lowest number both in prevalence and in absolute numbers.
While it acknowledges the efforts made by some countries, such as the Netherlands, Sweden, the U.S. and Australia to tackle the global issue, the report also reprimands some rich countries for not doing more.
Hong Kong, Singapore and Brunei, along with Qatar and Kuwait are singled out for mention.
The Walk Free Foundation, a global human rights organization with a mission to end modern slavery in a generation, was founded by Australian philanthropists, Andrew and Nicola Forrest.
-I know that I have excoriated people in the recent past for being greedy selfish sheeple assisting in the sale of our country to the highest bidder, but my efforts to save children will continue to become more complex. I hold adults responsible for their actions but also must realize that if 90% of them are sheep, then personal responsibility actually IS not the best course of thought in which to follow. Those of us who pride ourselves on not following the latest fads or for thinking outside of the box actually have a greater level of responsibility to our fellow humans to protect them from themselves, and if that takes exerting more control over them for their own good than so be it.
Too many people are having children that they cannot support due to their own stupidity in following their most base animal urges. These children are brought into a world that is very unforgiving and that is filled with evil people who don’t hesitate to exploit them. All children deserve a chance and until we can force people to use birth control, we need to protect the children that are already here. My children come home from school every night into a bed that I have worked my ass off to provide for them, many kids never return home from the days of slave labor that they are forced into. As long as there are little ones who do not return home, I will continue to write, donate, pontificate, march and dig my hands in to help these faceless innocents return from brutality.
These kids are not a world away, they are as close as your front doorstep in many areas. I post flyers on signs to look for, I post links on this blog to guide people to resources. I am venturing deeper into this world and learning more effective ways to assist because I detest an armchair quarterback who sits on his/her lazy ass and tells everyone else how the world should run but never tries to make a difference. Please pay attention, and please realize that the problem only gets worse with population increase. I mention this because if we don’t start examining the bigger picture the problems of this planet will never be solved. Most of our problems are created by too many rats in the maze and a bunch of bigger rats hoarding resources. If we fail to control our populations than the governments will surely damage personal freedoms a lot more than anyone can imagine. So please, help those in bondage out there now but think of the things that actually lend to these problems.