46 million people living as slaves, latest global index reveals

Publication date

07 Jun 2016

The 2016 Global Slavery index, funded by Walk Free Foundation, says 45.8 million people are trapped in some form of slavery. The report ranks incidences of slavery in 167 countries, with India having the highest number of slaves while North Korea has the highest percentage of slaves per capita.

This year’s estimates are nearly 30% higher than in the previous report, which estimated 35.8 million people living in slavery in 2014. According to the Walk Free Foundation the rise is partially due to more accurate methodology but he also believes the number of people trapped in slavery is increasing year on year.

The index has faced criticism for its methodology and rankings system since it launched. According to the Walk Free Foundation over the last few years they have really honed their methodology and have build a solid framework to build on. They also state that measuring the problem is a hugely important factor in beginning to effectively tackle this enormous problem.

Although modern slavery constitutes a huge illegal industry, deemed the third most profitable criminal industry behind drug and arms trafficking by the UN, data remains patchy.


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