India has the Most People Living in Modern Slavery – A Critical Review
An estimated 45.8 million people worldwide are living in modern-day slavery, of which 2.1 million are in
Pakistan and a staggering 18 million are based in India. The definition of modern slavery includes slavery itself, as well as
human trafficking and forced labour, and slavery-like practices such as debt bondage, forced marriage, and sale or
exploitation of children. India has the highest total number of enslaved people in the world, i.e. 18 million, followed by
China with 3.40 million enslaved people, and Pakistan with 2.1 million enslaved people. Over 1.20 per cent of the Pakistani
population is enforced into in some form of slavery. In India, this percentage rests somewhere around 1.13 per cent, while
in China it is about 0.22 per cent. Combined, both India and Pakistan house 54 per cent of the world’s population of enslaved
people. Mauritania and Haiti rank among the countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery. An estimated 4 per
cent of West African nation Mauritania’s population is living in some form of slavery. Pakistan and India follow the list,
ranked third and fourth respectively on prevalence of slavery. All forms of modern slavery continue to exist in India,
including intergenerational bonded labor, forced child labor, commercial sexual exploitation, forced begging, forced
recruitment into non-state armed groups and forced marriage. Though prohibited under law, the practice hasn’t been
eliminated, and persists especially in the brick-making industry and agriculture.
Key Words- Modern Slavery, human trafficking, forced labour, exploitation of children, intergenerational bonded labor,
forced begging, commercial sexual exploitation, brick-making industry, Agriculture.