The Global Slavery Index, published by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation, says that over 30 million individuals worldwide are still slaves with an “owner.” The shocking report, which claims to provide the most authoritative data on the global slave trade, lists slaves by country, and shows India topping the list with over 14 million slaves, says the AFP via Yahoo! News on Oct. 16.
The report describes itself as measuring “the size of the modern slavery problem, country by country. The Index provides a quantitative ranking of 162 countries around the world according to the estimated prevalence of slavery, that is, the estimated percentage of enslaved people in the national population at a point in time.”
The top three countries with enslaved individuals:
- India, population 1.2 billion, 14 million slaves
- China, population 1.4 billion, 3 million slaves
- Pakistan, population 179 million, 2 million slaves
The United States ranked 134th on the list, with a population of 313,914,040 people and 59,644 slaves.
Walk Free research manager Gina Dafalia said the report was intended to shine a spotlight on the issue, and quantify the problem so that it can more readily be addressed.
“When we started working in this area we realized that we didn't have a good understanding of what exactly the situation of slavery is in the world,” DaFalia said. “We needed that information before we started doing any interventions.”
The definition of slavery used to characterize the report was broader than what one might imagine when trying to define a slave.
The explicit definition used in the report was:
“The possession and control of a person in such a way as to significantly deprive that person of his or her individual liberty, with the intent of exploiting that person through their use, management, profit, transfer or disposal. Usually this exercise will be achieved through means such as violence or threats of violence, deception and/or coercion.”
The definition of slavery included such things as forced marriages of minors and servile marriages, which would account for the skyrocketed numbers in places like India and other countries.