The Global Slavery Index report released Thursday reveals nearly 30 million people around the world are enslaved, and India, China, and Pakistan are the biggest offenders.
Researchers estimate that up to 14.7 million people are enslaved in India, which includes some foreign nationals who are enslaved, according to the Global Slavery Index,
which was published by the Walk Free Foundation in Australia.
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There are between 2.8 million and 3.1 million people enslaved in China, including “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 study states. Pakistan is home to more than 2 million slaves.
The small West African country of Mauritania, a “nation with deeply entrenched hereditary slavery,” has between 140,000 and 160,000 people enslaved. The population of the nation is just 3.8 million.
Walk Free’s research manager Gina Dafalia told CNN
that her organization has partnered with Humanity United and the Legatum Foundation in pledging $100 million to end worldwide slavery. She said the report is aimed at bringing attention to an issue that is too often ignored.
The report, which ranks 162 countries, required a decade of research. It was produced by a team of four experts who say the study has the most authoritative data on slavery yet.
One of the world’s richest men, Andre Forrest, whom Forbes magazine estimates has a net worth of $5.7 billion, funded the project. CNN reported he adopted the cause after his daughter volunteered at an orphanage in Nepal in 2008.
The report's estimates of slaves are larger than previous studies because it uses different criteria. Dafalia said the Global Survey Index’s criteria includes human trafficking, forced labor, forced marriage, and the exploitation of children.
"Our definition of modern slavery includes, for example, forced and servile marriage, a concept not included in the ILO estimate, given the focus on ‘forced labor,’" Dafalia told CNN, referring to an International Labor Organization report last year that pegged the number of slaves worldwide at 20.9 million.
The U.S. ranked No. 134, worse off than Cuba at 149. The study’s authors said that while slavery in the U.S. was “very low risk,” it is still a prime destination for human trafficking.
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