Does Slavery Still Exist in the World? - Answers

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Does Slavery Still Exist in the World?

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World map depicting countries inflicted with Slavery

Slavery was one of the most abhorrent and disgusting man-made tragedy. It not only wrecked the lives of the people who had the misfortune to fall in its trap, but also that of the affected person’s family members. Slavery was once widely practiced; however, in the modern age all the recognized countries have outlawed it.

However, if you are harboring the illusion that slavery is long dead and gone from the face of the earth, it is time for reflection. Slavery is very much rampant in the modern world, though it is no longer recognized. An estimated 40.3 million people are still in “modern slavery” around the world. Human trafficking, debt bondage, child soldiers, forced marriages, and domestic servants kept in captivity are only a few forms of the modern slavery.

Many people in the continent of Africa, hope to migrate so they can avoid becoming a victim to extreme abuse which comes under sections of modern slavery. The problematic issue is noticed more in nations which have lower economic wealth or weak rule of law. It is also persistent in countries which are disrupted with internal conflicts.  On the same note, Global Slavery Index released in 2017, also reflects how nations which are economically well-developed are responsible for perpetuating modern slavery. Despite the wealth in these countries, crimes related to slavery are occurring at an alarming rate and within their global chains.

Meanwhile, progressive actions to eliminate slavery are being processed, and countries are welcoming the new anti-slavery laws. Yet, weak labor laws and restricted immigration policies are some reasons why abuse continues. People working in the “gig economy”, that is, the ones who don’t sustain permanent jobs and remain on the look out for short-term projects, are more vulnerable to be a victim.

According to a data by the Global Slavery Index 2017, India had more than 7 million people under modern slavery. It was back in colonial times, that Indians were turned into slaves by British Raj. However, with Slavery Abolition Act 1833, slavery was criminalized. In the modern times, bonded labor, child labor, forced marriage, human trafficking, forced begging, etc are quite evident in the country.

Next in the index, stands Pakistan, the neighboring country of India, having over 3 million people under slavery. It is followed by China and North Korea. Even if these are Asian countries, if data is estimated regionally, Africa has the highest average vulnerability score, i.e. 62% and Arab states had the second highest vulnerability, i.e. 57%. Europe and Central Asia on the other hand, had the least vulnerability to slavery victimization, i.e. 28%.

Unfortunately, even in the most developed and advanced countries around the world, there were quite a few people in modern slavery. For example, in the United States, the figure stood at 403,00. Human trafficking persists in the country to a large extent. Every year, about 17,500 foreign nationals and over 200,000 American citizens are trafficked into and within the USA, of which 80% of the victims are women and children.

The lowest ranked countries were Iceland and Luxembourg, having less than 1000 people stuck in modern slavery. Globally, the number might have decreased, but the rate is slower than one would have hoped.  The need of the hour is strict policies and numerous government strategies to combat the problem, and avail freedom to everyone.

The data provides information on the number of people in modern slavery around the world.

Country Number of People in Modern Slavery
India 7,989,000
Pakistan 3,186,000
China 2,864,000
North Korea 2,640,000
Nigeria 1,386,000
Iran 1,289,000
Indonesia 1,220,000
Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,045,000
Russia 794,000
Philippines 784,000
Afghanistan 749,000
Ethiopia 614,000
Thailand 610,000
Bangladesh 592,000
Myanmar 575,000
Egypt 518,000
Turkey 509,000
Sudan 465,000
Eritrea 451,000
Vietnam 421,000
Burundi 408,000
United States of America 403,000
Brazil 369,000
Mexico 341,000
Tanzania 336,000
Kenya 328,000
Uganda 304,000
Ukraine 286,000
Cambodia 261,000
South Sudan 243,000
Somalia 216,000
Malaysia 212,000
Angola 199,000
Madagascar 182,000
Venezuela 174,000
Iraq 174,000
Nepal 171,000
Chad 168,000
Germany 167,000
Uzbekistan 160,000
Cameroon 157,000
South Africa 155,000
Mozambique 152,000
Italy 145,000
Cote D’Ivoire 137,000
Syria 136,000
United Kingdom 136,000
Rwanda 134,000
Niger 133,000
Ghana 133,000
Malawi 131,000
Colombia 131,000
France 129,000
Poland 128,000
Algeria 106,000
Zimbabwe 105,000
Spain 105,000
Belarus 103,000
Central African Republic 101,000
South Korea 99,000
Guinea 94,000
Zambia 92,000
Mauritania 90,000
Greece 89,000
Romania 86,000
Morocco 85,000
Yemen 85,000
Burkina Faso 82,000
Papua New Guinea 81,000
Peru 80,000
Kazakhstan 75,000
Mali 62,000
Laos 62,000
Turkmenistan 62,000
Saudi Arabia 61,000
Haiti 59,000
Benin 58,000
Argentina 55,000
Togo 50,000
Libya 48,000
Guatemala 47,000
Sri Lanka 44,000
Senegal 43,000
Cuba 43,000
Azerbaijan 43,000
Dominican Republic 42,000
Republic of the Congo 40,000
Ecuador 39,000
Tajikistan 39,000
Mongolia 37,000
Japan 37,000
Sierra Leone 36,000
Hungary 36,000
Liberia 33,000
Bulgaria 32,000
Israel 31,000
Czech Republic 31,000
Honduras 30,000
Serbia 30,000
Netherlands 30,000
Portugal 26,000
Tunisia 25,000
Croatia 25,000
Kyrgyzstan 24,000
Bolivia 23,000
Belgium 23,000
Moldova 22,000
Albania 20,000
Singapore 19,000
Nicaragua 18,000
Macedonia 18,000
Canada 17,000
Jordan 17,000
Lithuania 17,000
Georgia 17,000
El Salvador 16,000
Armenia 16,000
Slovakia 16,000
United Arab Emirates 15,000
Australia 15,000
Austria 15,000
Sweden 15,000
Chile 14,000
Switzerland 14,000
Guinea-Bissau 13,000
Swaziland 12,000
Taiwan 12,000
Bosnia and Herzegovina 12,000
Gambia 11,000
Paraguay 11,000
Lebanon 10,000
Timor-Leste 10,000
Hong Kong 10,000
Gabon 9,000
Lesotho 9,000
Oman 9,000
Norway 9,000
Finland 9,000
Denmark 9,000
Botswana 8,000
Namibia 8,000
Panama 8,000
Kosovo 8,000
Latvia 8,000
Ireland 8,000
Djibouti 7,000
Equatorial Guinea 7,000
Jamaica 7,000
Costa Rica 6,000
Kuwait 6,000
Brunei Darussalam 5,000
Cyprus 5,000
Estonia 5,000
Slovenia 5,000
Trinidad and Tobago 4,000
Uruguay 4,000
Qatar 4,000
Montenegro 4,000
Bahrain 3,000
New Zealand 3,000
Cape Verde 2,000
Guyana 2,000
Mauritius 1,000
Barbados 1,000
Suriname 1,000
Iceland <1000
Luxembourg <1000

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World Map
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Which of the 13 Colonies allowed Slavery?

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