The inaugural Global Slavery Index published on 17 October 2013 revealed that around 30 million people across the world were living in the modern-day slavery. The Global Slavery Index 2013 was compiled by the Walk Free Foundation. The Walk Free Foundation explained in the meanwhile that India, by far, had the largest population of enslaved people. The problem of slavery was also prominent in West African nation of Mauritania, where the population of the slaves was 4 percent.
The Walk Free Foundation also explained that the annual Global Slavery Index will help all the Governments of the world to tackle with the problem.
What is Walk Free Foundation (WFF)?
• The Walk Free Foundation was established in May 2012.
• It is the 20-strong team based in Perth on the Australian west coast.
• WFF was founded by the philanthropists Andrew Forrest -- the chairman of Fortescue Metals Group along with his wife Nicola.
• WFF receives backing from the former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Britain's ex-prime minister Tony Blair, current Australian PM Tony Abbott and philanthropists Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Mo Ibrahim.
• WFF brought together the best experts in the field, data from the outside sources as well as their own analysis in order to compile the index which includes 162 countries of the world.
Definition of Slavery according to WFF
The WFF defines modern slavery as something which includes slavery itself along with other slavery-like practices such as forced marriage, debt bondage, forced labour and human trafficking. This also includes exploitation of children and the sale of children. Slavery, according to WFF, is the hidden crime, because of which it becomes difficult to monitor it.
Countries with the top rankings in Global Slavery Index 2013
• The countries that had the top rankings in the Global Slavery Index 2013 included Pakistan, Haiti and Mauritania.
• Apart from these countries, others in the top rankings included India, Nepal, Moldova, Benin, Ivory Coast, Gambia and Gabon.
• It is important to note that Moldova, which was once the part of Soviet Union, was the only European nation in the top 10 ranking of the Global Slavery Index 2013.
• The Global Slavery Index 2013 described Mauritania as a country which had deeply entrenched hereditary slavery and where the people in slavery were traded and given away as the gifts.
• Russia stood at the 49th position, China at 84th, United States at 134th, France at 139th and Britain remained low on 160.
• The total numbers of the most people in modern slavery were: India (13.95 million), followed by China (2.95 million) and Pakistan (2.1 million).
• The survey revealed that 72 percent of people in modern slavery lived in Asia.
• The Global Slavery Index 2013 revealed that by far the largest proportion of this problem is the exploitation of Indian citizens within India itself, particularly through debt bondage and bonded labour.
• The survey also revealed that the estimated 2.9 million people in modern slavery in China included forced labour of men, women and children in many parts of the economy, including domestic servitude and forced begging, the sexual exploitation of women and children, and forced marriage.
• The WFF explained that among the Top 10 nations, Moldova and Ivory Coast were working hard in order to address this issue. Also, the efforts in the top three- Mauritania, Haiti and Pakistan, were the token at best and non-existent at worst.