A trafficking victim in Rome

1 in 10 people in North Korea are in modern slavery report suggests

The Global Slavery Index 2018 reported that over 40 million people are living in modern slavery with over 24 million in forced labour and over 15 million in forced marriage, an issue that disproportionately affects women and girls .

According to the index North Korea and Eritrea are the two nations with the highest rates of modern slavery. The findings suggest that this is due to state imposed forced labour. Other countries with high rates of slavery were Burundi, the Central African Republic, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Pakistan.

“Most of these countries are marked by conflict, with breakdowns in rule of law, displacement and a lack of physical security The report explains.

India has the greatest total number, with an estimated 8 million people living in slavery.

The index reveals that the number of people in modern slavery in developed countries is far higher than had been previously thought, stating that there are over 400,000 people in modern slavery in the US. The survey also suggests that Britain has around 136,000 modern slaves, which is ten times higher than was estimated by the government in 2013.

The report goes on to highlight the role consumers in more affluent countries play by demanding and purchasing products made by forced labour.  It is estimated that the total value of at risk products imported by G20 countries is $354 billion. The most at risk products include electronics, garments, fish, cocoa, and sugarcane.

The report explains “…even in countries with seemingly strong laws and systems, there are critical gaps in protections for groups … These gaps, which are being actively exploited by criminals, need urgent attention from governments.”

The 2018 report provides a country by country account of the amount of people living in modern slavery alongside the activities the governments are taking to respond.

Read the full report published by the Walk Free Foundation here.