Slavery Never Died: India Leads in Number of Modern Day Slaves


NEW DELHI: Slavery never died. In fact, the evil is alive and kicking and prevalent at different levels in India. Reminiscent of African slave trade of the 17th and 18th century, when unsuspecting natives were tricked or forced into a life of slavery in distant lands, these acts of horror are being enacted with alarming regularity in 21st century India.


Human traffickers blend into unsuspecting villages in India especially in its central parts, use the powers of persuasion and the hope of dreams, luring teenage girls and boys with the promise of city jobs, nice clothes and fat salaries. Many of these teenagers are school drop outs and whenever the work in the fields taper off, the future in their tiny villages seem bleak and the chimera of city lights finally take-over their psyche  pulling them towards Delhi or Mumbai where they finally get lost in the huge under–belly of these metropolises, often never heard from again.


What seemed like a glamorous move to the big city often became a nightmare of abuse for the young people. Girls are sold off into unpaid prostitution; teenage boys are brought to factories where they work long hours for no money and only enough food to keep their bodies barely alive.


According to the recent Global Slavery Index (GSI), which provides a ranking of 162 countries surveyed, the highest number of slaves are found in India, followed by China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Taken together, these countries account for 76% of the total estimate of 29.8 million in modern slavery.


According to Walk Free, a Perth–based rights group, the largest estimated number of people in modern slavery is India, which is estimated to have between 13,300,000 and 14,700,000 people enslaved. The largest proportion of this problem is the exploitation of Indians citizens within India itself, particularly through debt bondage and bonded labor.


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Date added: 
Friday, October 18, 2013 - 2:30pm