About the Global Slavery Index

Providing a country by country estimate of the number of people living in modern slavery today.

About the Global Slavery Index.

The Global Slavery Index provides a map, country by country, of the estimated prevalence of modern slavery, together with information about the steps each government has taken to respond to this issue. This information allows an objective comparison and assessment of both the problem and adequacy of the response in 167 countries.

Research covering 167 countries

Surveys conducted in 25 countries, covering 44 percent of the global population

Surveys conducted with over 42,000 respondents

A database with over 17,000 datapoints, covering 161 government responses

About Walk Free Foundation

The Walk Free Foundation is a global organisation with a mission to end modern slavery in our generation by mobilising a global activist movement, generating the highest quality research, enlisting business, and raising unprecedented levels of capital to drive change in those countries and industries bearing the greatest responsibility for modern slavery today.

What is Modern Slavery?

While definitions vary, in this report the term modern slavery refers to situations where one person has taken away another person’s freedom — their freedom to control their body, their freedom to choose to refuse certain work or to stop working — so that they can be exploited. Freedom is taken away by threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power and deception. The net result is that a person cannot refuse or leave the situation.

Experts Consulted

The Walk Free Foundation holds biannual expert working groups with academics and anti- modern slavery experts from around the world.

Phil Marshall

Phil Marshall has been working on programmes to combat human trafficking and forced labour for the past 15 years, recently focusing on assessing the effectiveness of different types of responses at local, national and global levels. He has a particular interest in 1) ensuring that the design of programmes to respond to trafficking and forced labour are better aligned with accumulated knowledge within and outside of the sector, and 2) the potential to “crowd out” exploitative business practice through initiatives such as the development of cleaner migration pathways and the promotion of ethical buying behaviour.

Roger Plant

Roger Plant is the former Head of the ILO’s Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour, now an independent writer, consultant and training specialist. He serves on the board of organisations including the London-based Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX).

Dr. Sheldon X. Zhang

Sheldon X. Zhang is Professor of Sociology at San Diego State University. His research mostly revolves around transnational organised crime, human trafficking, and offender reentry programs in the U.S.

Jan Van Dijk

Jan Van Dijk is emeritus professor of victimology at the International Victimology Institute of the University of Tilburg, The Netherlands and visiting professor of victimology at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He is Vice President of the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) of the Council of Europe and presides the chamber handling cases of sexual abuse in youth institutions of the Dutch State Compensation Fund. He is a former director of the Research Centre of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and worked as director for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna between 1999 and 2006. In 2012 he received the Stockholm Prize in Criminology.

Graham K. Brown

Graham K. Brown is Professor of International Development and Head of Social Sciences at the University of Western Australia. His research is concerned with inequality, conflict, and migration, and he has acted as a consultant for the UNDP, World Bank, UNESCO, OHCHR, and DFID.

Dr Sriram Shankar

Dr Sriram Shankar is a Fellow at the Centre for Social Research and Methods, at the Australian National University, and a Senior Lecturer in the Research School of Economics, also at the Australian National University.

An applied economist with strong econometric background, his initial training was in electrical engineering and he worked for a few years as a software engineer. However, he had developed insatiable curiosity for economics and economic development and therefore he made a career switch and retrained himself in economics. He is actively pursuing research in a number of topics in Production Economics, Labour Economics, Development Economics and Applied Econometrics.


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