Index: Nearly 30 Million People in Slavery
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Nearly 30 million people are living in slavery across the globe, according to a global slavery index.
The index, released on Thursday by anti-slavery charity Walk Free Foundation, ranked 162 countries on the number living in slavery, the risk of enslavement, and the strength of government responses to combating the illegal activity.
It found that 10 countries accounted for 76 percent of the 29.8 million people living in slavery - India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Modern slavery was defined as human trafficking, forced labor, and practices such as debt bondage, forced marriage, and the sale or exploitation of children, Reuters reported.
Researcher Kevin Bales said he hoped the index, the first annual report to monitor slavery globally, would raise public awareness as numbers were at an all-time high and it would increase pressure on governments to take more action.
He dismissed the view that poverty was the key factor behind slavery and instead blamed corruption, calling for laws to stop organised gangs.
The report found Mauritania in West Africa had the highest number of slaves proportionately, with up to 160,000 enslaved in a population of 3.8 million, due to culturally-sanctioned forms of chattel slavery and high levels of child marriage.
The highest absolute numbers were almost 14 million in slavery in India and 3 million in China.