Nearly 30 million people around the world are living as slaves, according to a new index ranking 162 countries.
The Global Slavery Index 2013 says India has the highest number of people living in conditions of slavery at 14 million.
But Mauritania has the highest proportional figure with about 4% of its population enslaved.
The report’s authors hope it will help governments tackle what they call a “hidden crime”.
Estimated number of slaves
India – 13,956,010
China – 2,949,243
Pakistan – 2,127,132
Nigeria – 701,032
Ethiopia – 651,110
Russia – 516,217
Thailand – 472,811
DR Congo – 462,327
Burma – 384,037
Bangladesh – 343,192
The index was compiled by Australian-based rights organisation Walk Free Foundation using a definition of modern slavery that includes debt bondage, forced marriage and human trafficking.
“A lot of governments won’t like hearing what we have to say,” WFF chief executive Nick Grono told the French news agency Agence France-Presse.
“Those governments that want to engage with us, we will be very open to engaging and looking at ways in which we can better measure the issue of modern slavery.”
The organisation’s 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.
India, China, Pakistan and Nigeria have …