New global index looks at modern slavery worldwide

Global Slavery Index photoThe first edition of the Global Slavery Index 2013, produced by the Walk Free Foundation,  estimates there are 29.8 million people in modern slavery worldwide. It provides a quantitative ranking of 162 countries, reflecting a combined weighted measure of three variables: estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population (95% of the total), a measure of child marriage (2.5% of the total), and a measure of human trafficking in and out of a country (2.5% of the total). A number one ranking is the worst, 160 is the best.

Mauritania, a West African nation with deeply entrenched hereditary slavery, is ranked number 1 in the Index—with the highest proportion of people in slavery in the world.  In terms of absolute numbers of people in modern slavery, the Global Slavery Index found the countries with the highest numbers of enslaved people are India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Collectively, these countries account for 76% of the total estimate of 29.8 million in modern slavery.

Iceland, Ireland and the United Kingdom are tied with a ranking of 160 in the Index (Iceland with an estimate of 22 enslaved, Ireland with approximately 321 and in the United Kingdom, the numbers are approximately 4,200 – 4,600 people in modern slavery).

Canada was ranked 144 with approximately 5,863 to 6,200 people enslaved.

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