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.