According to the 2023 Global Slavery Index, which was released on Wednesday and found a “worsening” scenario globally since its previous survey five years prior, North Korea, Eritrea, and Mauritania have the highest frequency of modern slavery in the world.
According to the analysis, there will be an additional 10 million individuals “living in situations of modern slavery” in 2021, up from the previous projection of 40 million.
The number includes about 22 million people who are coerced into marriage and another 28 million who are forced to work.
According to the report, among other things, the situation is getting worse “against a backdrop of increasing and more complex armed conflicts, widespread environmental degradation, and effects from the coronavirus pandemic.”
In the report, which was put together by the human rights organization Walk Free, modern slavery is defined as including “forced labor, forced or servile marriage, debt bondage, forced commercial sexual exploitation, human trafficking, slavery-like practices, and the sale and exploitation of children.”
The fundamental tenet of slavery is “the systematic removal of a person’s freedom”—from the choice to accept or reject labor to the freedom to choose whether, when, and with whom to marry.
According to this metric, North Korea, which is secretive and dictatorial, has the highest rate of modern slavery (104.6 per 1,000 people).
Eritrea (90.3) and Mauritania (32), the last nation in the world to outlaw hereditary slavery in 1981, are the next two.
“Limited protections for civil liberties and human rights” is one of the criteria shared by the ten nations with the highest frequency of modern slavery.
Many of the nations are either located in “volatile” areas that are rife with conflict or unstable politically, or they are home to sizable populations of “vulnerable people” like refugees or migrant laborers.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, where the “kafala” sponsorship system limits migrant workers’ labor rights, were also among the top 10 nations worldwide.
Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Russia, and Turkey, which “hosts millions of Syrian refugees,” round out the top ten nations.
According to the report, forced labor is “deeply” connected to demand from higher-income nations even though it is more prevalent in low-income countries. It also noted that two-thirds of all forced labor instances are connected to global supply networks.
According to the report, the G20 countries, which include the EU and the top 19 economies worldwide, are currently importing $468 billion in items that may have been made using forced labor, up from $354 billion in the previous report.
As a result of the increasing demand for renewable energy items, electronics continue to be the product with the highest value that is most at risk, followed by clothing, palm oil, and solar panels.
“Every area of our society is affected by modern slavery. The group’s founding director Grace Forrest remarked, “It is woven into our garments, lights up our technology, and seasons our meals.
Modern slavery is fundamentally an expression of great inequality. Who has it and who doesn’t in any given culture is reflected in the mirror held to power, she continued.