Nov 142013
 

picturegallery3_clip_image002_0003Walk Free, an Australian-based rights group has released statistics that estimated some 30 million people are enslaved worldwide, trafficked into brothels, forced into manual labor, victims of debt bondage or even born into servitude. Walk Free states that almost half are in India, where slavery ranges from bonded labor in quarries and kilns to commercial sex exploitation, although the scourge exists in all 162 countries

Its estimate of 29.8 million slaves worldwide is higher than other attempts to quantify modern slavery. The International Labour Organisation estimates that almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour.

Hereditary Slavery and Kidnapping:

Particulary in partsd of West Africa and South Asia, people are being born into hereditary slavery or kidnapped.  Some are sold into marriage or used as unpaid labour on fishing boats or as domestic labour.  Many are lured with lies of a good job or education.

The Global Slavery Index 2013

-defines slavery as the possession or control of people to deny freedom and exploit them for profit or sex, usually through violence, coercion or deception. The definition includes indentured servitude, forced marriage and the abduction of children to serve in wars.  According to the index, 10 countries alone account for three quarters of the world’s slaves.

Largest Offending Countries:

After India (13 millon), China has the most with 2.9 million, followed by Pakistan (2.1 million), Nigeria (701,000), Ethiopia (651,000), Russia (516,000), Thailand (473,000), Democratic Republic of Congo (462,000), Myanmar (384,000) and Bangladesh (343,000).

The index also ranks nations by prevalence of slavery per head of population. By this measure, Mauritania is worst, with almost 4 percent of its 3.8 million people enslaved. Estimates by other organizations put the level at up to 20 percent.

Chattel slavery is common in Mauritania, meaning that slave status is passed down through generations. “Owners” buy, sell, rent out or give away their slaves as gifts.

After Mauritania, slavery is most prevalent by population in Haiti, where a system of child labour known as “restavek” encourages poor families to send their children to wealthier acquaintances, where many end up exploited and abused.

Pakistan, India, Nepal, Moldova, Benin, Ivory Coast, Gambia and Gabon have the next highest prevalence rates.

Developed Countries with Slaves?

At the other end of the scale, Iceland has the lowest estimated prevalence with fewer than 100 slaves. Next best are Ireland, Britain, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Finland and Denmark, although researchers said slave numbers in such wealthy countries were higher than previously thought.

Source: Reuters.

 

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