A report by an international foundation on modern slavery has revealed that nearly 30 million people are enslaved across the globe.
The index released by the Walk Free Foundation (WFF) on Thursday said the slaves are either trafficked into brothels, forced into manual labor, fall victims to debt bondage, or are even born into servitude.
Almost half of these people are in India, where “by far the largest proportion of this problem is the exploitation of Indian citizens within India itself, particularly through debt bondage and bonded labor,” the survey found.
The index also showed that aside from India, the problem is most rampant in the West African country of Mauritania, where four percent of the population is estimated to be held in slavery.
The report by the Australian-based group described Mauritania as a nation with “deeply entrenched hereditary slavery,” where “people in slavery may be bought and sold, rented out and given away as gifts.”
Benin, Gambia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Haiti and Nepal are among other countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery, the report said.
The WFF index ranked 162 countries on the number of people living in slavery, the risk of enslavement, and the strength of government action to counter the illegal activity.
Figures indicate human trafficking along with arms dealing is the second largest industry in the world after drug dealing.