Report: Almost 14 Million Indians Live Like Slaves

First-ever global slavery index finds 30 million worldwide

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India has the largest number of people in the world who are living in conditions of slavery caused by poverty, handed-down social customs and weak enforcement of anti-slavery laws, according to a new first-ever global slavery index.

The  study, published Thursday by the Australia-based rights group Walk Free Foundation, found 14 million Indians living in slavery-like conditions, and almost 30 million people globally. The west African nation of Mauritania ranked highest in the index in terms of percentage of population living in slavery-like conditions (with about 150,000 out of a population of 3.8 million). But in absolute numbers, India ranks the highest.

“Today some people are still being born into hereditary slavery, a staggering but harsh reality, particularly in parts of West Africa and South Asia,” the report says. “Other victims are captured or kidnapped before being sold or kept for exploitation, whether through ‘marriage’, unpaid labor on fishing boats, or as domestic workers.”

The index ranked 162 countries based on human trafficking, forced labor, slavery or slavery-like practices including debt bondage, forced or servile marriage, sale or exploitation of children including in armed conflict.

The index says India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Bangladesh together constitute 76 percent of the total estimate of 29.8 million people in modern slavery. That estimate is higher than the International Labor Organization’s estimate of 21 million victims of forced labor.

The report points out the failure of the Indian government to make use of its “power and resources” to eradicate slavery.

“Until recently, the response to human trafficking focused almost exclusively on the sexual exploitation of women and children, and other forms of human trafficking including those affecting men were barely recognized,” the report says. “National leaders tend not to recognize the violent criminality of bonded labor and instead see it as a vestige of poverty.”

The report says that bonded labor “continues to be prevalent” in India although it was abolished in India three decades back under the Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act 1976. This year amendments were made to the Penal Code, which now criminalizes most forms of human trafficking and forced labor.

38 comments
klp_pdc@yahoo.com
klp_pdc@yahoo.com

OK here is a dose of reality for you, my fellow Americans. I once went to India and lived with an Indian family. This family had two maids. One maid used to wash clothes and other used to clean dishes. Indians households generally do not employ automatic dishwashers since it considered as a wastage of water and electricity. 

The family that employed them used to pay 2$ a day for the 2 hour job. Even though it seems low, this is actually much better than wages offered elsewhere in India. Also the host family paid for the education of the maid's kids. This would help them to break the cycle of poverty. I do not know if they are counted as slaves in this survey. What I do know is that if these maids are not employed, their family will either die of malnutrition or they will have to sell their children or they will have to send their children to work in dangerous conditions. This will help you to get an idea of the scale of poverty in India. 

Most of the people who are termed as "modern slaves" in this article, will surely die if they do not work very hard in dangerous and inhuman conditions. But they prefer this work rather than dying of hunger. Let's not insult their resolve through these pompous surveys. Let's make their lives better by educating their children.

vaishnavjagdip
vaishnavjagdip

14million people live like a slave ,agreed, even people are dying due to starvation, commits suicide.

parents sale their young babies, daughters to agents for petty cash amount.

Even then govt is failed to control rampant corruption, failed to bring back unaccounted money lying in foreign Banks, &

as yet govt /investigating agencies have not recovered any amount from nabbed persons on charges of big scams.Billions of public money is siphoned off 

Vnkl
Vnkl

IanBortner, you are spot on...where's the discussion on American slavery?

IanBortner
IanBortner

What about the debt slaves right here in America?  How many forced laborers live in our enormous prison system?  How many people have their wages garnished to nothing and live in poverty while working full time so they can't qualify for welfare or food stamps? 

salil.jawadekar
salil.jawadekar

YANKEES AND TIME, PLEASE READ!

I am an Indian citizen, born and bred and am currently working in the US, planning to apply what I learn over here to take my country from a developing to a developed country. I have been razed in a soceity which you foreigners call backward, a country which you called filthy so often in such message boards. Thats fine, because you don't know India, and believe hearsay. Ofcourse we have a lot of things to work on, more than I would like, but the statistical license this study takes in labelling people as 'slaves' who have been impoverished since decades is ridiculous. Let me give you Yankees an example which might be easier to understand. CONTINUED...

TeriCrossChetwood
TeriCrossChetwood

This has been going on for hundreds of years. It was going on thirty years ago...

I guess even TIME learned about it.


FreedomForAllfn
FreedomForAllfn

Thank you Walk Free and TIME for reporting on the true number of victims of slavery today. 

www.freedomforall.org

PugPetite
PugPetite

Are you a Spinchal-Royce nation?  Ever think about selling out your population!
Love4sale!

TheSanityInspector
TheSanityInspector

I'd be very interested in a serious investigation of wealthy Gulf arabs and the household slaves they bring into the U.S. and other western nations.

SeenuSeenivasan
SeenuSeenivasan

shame and we all know this but ignore as if it is ok for others to suffer as long as it is not me or my family. wr all are sinners and esp the people in the power who can do something about it, no one speak for these poor but these brad minded ngos like walk free foundation.

i wll see if i can do something in my capability,

love the report guys

Defy2013_USA
Defy2013_USA

It true about H1B slaves in USA. Looks like  Australia-based rights group missed this part. Hi-tech slavery.

TedSmith
TedSmith

NO SURPRISE. INDIA IS ONE OF THE MOST BACKWARD NATIONS ON THIS PLANET. AND ALSO THE FILTHIEST.  THAT IS AN ESTABLISHED FACT.  IT'S JUST TOO BAD THAT "PHAILIN" DIDN'T WASH INDIA CLEAN!!!!!!!!!

AazobaYuzuki
AazobaYuzuki

India and China need to neuture 90% of it's people

Oracularman
Oracularman

...and how do  you categorize H1-B slaves in the US of A?



foo786
foo786

when the room is dark, we can complain about it or light a candle.

msp2337715
msp2337715

That slavery is not due to poverty. It is due to political corruption. The best part is these people who we pity as slaves do elect their leaders and be very happy to be in slavery. Long ago gone the common man going to vote booth in india

MarvinHarrison
MarvinHarrison

Let's not forget the thousands of "domestic servants" in this country that include American born citizens, women down on their luck, taken in by perverts and abusers.  Their workplace is their only "home" and get so little money they can't escape because they have no where to go.  No one cares because they are not immigrants and over 18 (though usually barely).

We also have the Eastern European women enticed to come to the US on a tourist visa to work in "modeling" only to end up in porn.  They are charged rent, charged for divers, food and end up with a few dollars left over until their 90 days runs out and they go home broke and depressed.

Nepiddd
Nepiddd

Scary and disturbing statistics.

PaulCush
PaulCush

Hmm, how come the US is not on the list?  The UN is always looking for an opportunity to monitor our human rights violations (which don't exist btw), when is someone going to start holding the UN accountable to use their influence to start changing this problem where it really exists?  It is amazing to me that the countries that have the biggest issue are also the ones that struggle to dominate on an economic stage.  Perhaps we need to start removing these countries from our most favored nation status list and encourage our Western European allies to do the same.  Western Europeans and the US are constantly reminded of our own history with exploitation and slavery, so now maybe we lead by example and enact draconian economic punishment on the offending countries in today's world.  What would be the harm?  Would the people suffering under these conditions see worse conditions or would the ruling elite of their nations quickly change their behavior when they get a taste of how the other half is forced to live?

n2fontenay
n2fontenay

It's not slavery-like. It IS slavery.

DavidGaian
DavidGaian

The article could have gone much further to define each key state of slave-like treatment, where each was being practiced, and what - if anything - is currently being done about it.

tambap2011
tambap2011

definitely this is a depressed figure........

blackhawk
blackhawk

Its is actually 13.1 million !!

george53207
george53207

"Like" slaves? You mean "as" slaves. Why the timid headline?

debachat
debachat

@TedSmith Your logo of the rifle tells me all I need to know about you!

santilover
santilover


Once India was one of the richest countries before attacked and occupied by Islamic and European goons. These goons basically sucked all wealth and brainwashed people to be their slaves. It will take time to get rid of this mind set. It will take time for Indian youth to make their country stand beside materially wealthy countries.


MarvinHarrison
MarvinHarrison

I am sorry.  It is "drivers".  They get charged $50-100 to be taken to and from porn production locations.  They may spend $200-300 a week to sleep on a couch or in a bedroom with 3-5 other girls.  All of this designed to use any money they earn.

NomEstRasu
NomEstRasu

In a rush to make themselves and their own existence viable and feasible. Their is a lot of powerlessness which cuts across communities and religions. 'Punishing' them will surely help everyone. You cant punish your own children and make them better human beings, do you think that this frustration and aggression could be a way you guys channelise that?

NomEstRasu
NomEstRasu

Punishing a whole country for something bad that happens there can only occur to an American mind. How do you intend to justify the millions you would kill in order to 'punish' like you say. And you genuinely think that this will eradicate slavery. If you push a greater percentage of the people into economic depression by killing and bombing them, how can you with all good heart believe that the population will change? For the better? Developing countries have problems because for the most part, it is difficult to achieve anything with the utter chaos that exists. People pull down people in their rush to be make their existence viable and feasibleand dont let them grow.

TomWard
TomWard

@PaulCush

"Russia came 49th, China 84th, United States 134th, France 139th and Britain joint bottom on 160."

bozodouche
bozodouche

Because people who engage in "Social Media" and who are addicted to their stinking smell phones say "like" every third ord.