Modern slavery, though distinct from the historical slave trade, persists today. It occurs when individuals are forcibly trapped in a location or job due to threats, violence, coercion, deception, or abuse of power. Shockingly, as of 2018, there were an estimated 50 million people subjected to modern slavery across the globe.
The Global Slavery Index, meticulously assembled by Walk Free, has identified the ten countries with the highest reported incidence of modern slavery.
Here they are:
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- The United Arab Emirates
The report also highlights six G20 nations with the largest number of people in modern slavery:
- India (11 million)
- China (5.8 million)
- Russia (1.9 million)
- Indonesia (1.8 million)
- Turkey (1.3 million
- United States (1.1 million)
What Factors Contribute to the Persistence of Modern Slavery?
In the face of ongoing conflicts, widespread environmental degradation, climate-induced migration, and the socio-economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of modern slavery has surged since 2018.
The unexpected mass migration of millions has significantly escalated the vulnerability to exploitation, further exacerbating the issue of modern slavery. People seeking better opportunities migrate to foreign lands, often finding themselves trapped in grueling labor conditions. Furthermore, industries such as mining, renewable energy, forestry, and textile and garment production frequently resort to coerced low-cost labor for their operations.