India is the country with the highest number of people trapped as modern slaves. Such an appalling report has been revealed by 2016 Global Slavery Index, a research conducted by Australia-based human rights group Walk Free.
The report observed that around 18.35 million people are trapped into forced labour, ranging from begging, prostitution, inter-generational bonded labour, forced child labour, child soldier and child marriage, reported Hindustan Times.
Where India stands?
An estimated 45.8 million people in the world are subjected to some form of modern slavery that includes women and children as well. In 2014, the figure was 35.8 million.
1.4 percent of India’s total population is trapped into slavery. The number has gone to 18.35 million this year from 14.3 million reported in 2014, the highest among all the 167 countries in the index. The report also revealed that about 58 percent of the modern slaves are from the Asian countries — India, China (3.39 million), Pakistan (2.13 million), Bangladesh (1.53 million) and Uzbekistan (1.23 million).
The countries with the highest estimated prevalence of modern slavery by the proportion of their population are North Korea, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Cambodia, India, and Qatar.
The country with the lowest prevalence of modern slavery
The countries with the lowest estimated prevalence of modern slavery by the proportion of their population are Luxembourg, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden and Belgium, the United States and Canada, and Australia and New Zealand reported Business Standard.
The study also monitored how the governments of different countries are responding to the issue of modern slavery. Out of the 161 countries assessed, 124 nations had criminalised human trafficking in line with the UN trafficking Protocol and 96 nations had developed national action plans to coordinate government response.
What India is doing about it
The report comes at a time when the Central Government of India unveils a draft bill, ensuring punishment for gangs involved in human trafficking and scrutiny of placement agencies. Many of these agencies are accused of forcing children into bonded labour and prostitution. India has criminalised trafficking, slavery, forced labour, child prostitution and forced marriage.
The least action was being taken by the governments of North Korea, Iran, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Hong Kong, Central African Republic, Papua New Guinea, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan.
Another matter of concern we have in our country today is the recruitment of child soldiers by militant groups active in some states, like Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand.
The Logical Indian appeals to the government to implement more severe punishment for offenders of human trafficking. We urge our readers to be alert and report any such incidents of human trafficking or forced labour to the local police.