A key finding from this Index is that there are an estimated
people in modern slavery globally *
According to the index, the prevalence of modern slavery is highest in…
- Cote d’Ivoire
- The Gambia
However, when considered in absolute terms, the countries with the highest numbers of enslaved people are…
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
Taken together, these ten countries account for
of the total estimate of 29.8 million enslaved people.
* The Index provides an estimated range of the number of people in modern slavery, for each of the 162 countries covered by the Index. The lower range of the estimate is 28.3 million in modern slavery, and the upper range of the estimate is 31.3 million in modern slavery. The figure of 29.8 million is the mean of these estimates.
The Global Slavery Index provides a ranking of 162 countries, reflecting a combined measure of three factors: estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population, a measure of child marriage, and a measure of human trafficking in and out of a country. The measure is heavily weighted to reflect the first factor, prevalence. A number one ranking is the worst, 160 is the best.
Mauritania, a West African nation with deeply entrenched hereditary slavery, is ranked number 1 in the Index. This reflects the high prevalence of slavery in Mauritania – it is estimated that there are between 140,000 – 160,000 people enslaved in Mauritania, a country with a population of just 3.8 million. This ranking also reflects high levels of child marriage, and to a lesser extent, human trafficking.
Haiti, a Caribbean nation plagued by conflict, natural disaster and with deeply entrenched practices of child slavery (the restavek system), is second on the Index. This reflects high prevalence of modern slavery – an estimated 200,000 – 220,000 people are in modern slavery in Haiti, a country with a population of just 10.2 million. This ranking also reflects high levels of child marriage, and human trafficking from Haiti itself.
Pakistan, with its porous borders to Afghanistan, large populations of displaced persons and weak rule of law, is third on the Index. It is estimated that there are between 2,000,000 – 2,200,000 people in various forms of modern slavery in Pakistan, a country with a population of over 179 million.
Iceland, Ireland and the United Kingdom are tied with a ranking of 160 in the Index. This does not mean these countries are slavery free. On the contrary, it is estimated that there are between 4,200 – 4,600 people in modern slavery in the United Kingdom alone. The estimated size of the problem in Ireland and Iceland is much smaller, with Ireland estimated to have 300 – 340 people in modern slavery, and Iceland less than 100. 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.
Estimated number of population in modern slavery
The Global Slavery Index also provides insight into the estimated absolute numbers of people in modern slavery, in 162 countries. When the estimated number of enslaved people is considered in absolute terms as a single factor, the country ranking shifts considerably.
The countries with the highest numbers of enslaved people are India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Taken together, these countries account for 76% of the total estimate of 29.8 million in modern slavery.
The country with the largest estimated number of people in modern slavery is India, which is estimated to have between 13,300,000 and 14,700,000 people enslaved. The India country study suggests that while this involves the exploitation of some foreign nationals, by far the largest proportion of this problem is the exploitation of Indians citizens within India itself, particularly through debt bondage and bonded labour.
The country with the second highest absolute numbers of enslaved is China, with an estimated 2,800,000 to 3,100,000 in modern slavery. The China country study suggests that this includes the forced labour of men, women and children in many parts of the economy, including domestic servitude and forced begging, the sexual exploitation of women and children, and forced marriage.
The country with the third highest absolute number in modern slavery is Pakistan, with an estimated 2,000,000 to 2,200,000 people in modern slavery.
The Progress Update provides a snapshot of data that will be used to assess government responses in the 2014 Index. This information came from questionnaires completed by 37 governments, as well as research into development spending by 12 OECD countries.
The 37 governments that responded to the questionnaire collectively cover over 50% of the total estimated population in modern slavery. The majority of these respondents are working hard to eradicate slavery within their borders. Nearly all governments who responded run public awareness campaigns, provide support services for victims, and have effective legislation in place. Regulation of business practices is less common, with less than 50 percent of government respondents indicating that they regulated investors, had policies to encourage businesses to regulate supply chains, or had even made public commitments to slavery-proof their own supply chains.
A few notable good practices include:
- India has launched Anti-Human Trafficking policing Units (AHTUs) as part of a critical scheme of the Government of India. A pilot program with UNODC found that there were two large scale interventions that would be effective combat human trafficking on the ground: the establishment of AHTUs; and the sensitisation and capacity building for key stakeholders within the criminal justice system, including the police, prosecutors, the judiciary, and NGOs. There are currently 215 AHTUs, with plans to include one in each of the 650 districts of India.
- The US has comprehensive awareness raising and behavioural change campaigns, targeting all sectors of society. The Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students, for example raises awareness of the dangers of domestic trafficking among students, while the Department of Defense provides Combating Trafficking in Persons Training to all military and civilian personnel.
- Brazil has, since 2005, worked closely with Brazilian and multinational companies to negotiate with those companies that use slave labour, through the National Pact to Eradicate Slave Labour. As well as economically restricting employers who commit this crime, the Covenant provides for the promotion of decent work, social integration of workers in vulnerable situations, and prevention of recruitment into slave labour.
Research into international spending on modern slavery programs by 12 OECD countries has found that an average of USD 124 million is spent annually. Programs are funded in Asia, Eastern Europe and Sub Saharan Africa by the United States, Norway, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, UK, Sweden, Canada, France, Germany, Austria, and Finland.
20 Country Studies, for the worst 10 and best 10 countries by prevalence, are contained in the report. These studies describe the problem, government responses, and action needed to address modern slavery in these countries. Supplementary Country Studies are in development and will continue to be made available here.
Supplementary studies are in development and will continue to be made available here.
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||23|
Full Table and Rankings
The Global Slavery Index presents a ranking of 162 countries, based on a combination of their estimated prevalence of modern slavery, levels of child marriage, and levels of human trafficking into and out of the country.
Not all the countries in the world are represented in the Global Slavery Index. The 162 countries that are included, however, represent nearly all of the world’s 7.1 billion people. These countries collect a sufficient amount of standardised data to allow comparison across countries and regions. While equally as important, for the most part, those countries that have not been included are those having fewer than 100,000 citizens.
|Rank||Country Name||Population||Calculated Number of Enslaved||Estimated Enslaved (Lower Range)||Estimate Enslaved (Upper Range)|
|19||Republic of Congo||4,337,051||30,889||29,000||32,000|
|23||Democratic Republic of the Congo||65,705,093||462,327||440,000||490,000|
|31||Central African Republic||4,525,209||32,174||31,000||34,000|
|59||Bosnia and Herzegovina||3,833,916||13,789||13,000||15,000|
|88||United Arab Emirates||9,205,651||18,713||18,000||20,000|
|106||Papua New Guinea||7,167,010||6,131||5,800||6,400|
|133||Trinidad and Tobago||1,337,439||486||460||510|
|141||Hong Kong, SAR China||7,154,600||1,543||1,500||1,600|