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India houses the world’s largest number of modern slaves, says report

Slavery had no place in the modern world, until the Islamist State thugs took over Syria and Iraq, and took women and children, bound in chains, to be used as slaves. While the world gasped in horror at this medieval barbaric practice, the ISIS continued using young girls as sexual slaves.

ISIS female slaves
While the world gasped in horror at the medieval barbaric practice of slavery, the ISIS continued using young girls as sexual slaves.

But slavery is not limited to the ISIS. A recent survey revealed that one of the world’s biggest democracies, India, has the highest number of slaves in the world. The report says, India is home to 18.4 million modern slaves. The 2016 global slavery index, funded by Forrest’s Walk Free Foundation, says 45.8 million people are trapped in some form of slavery.

The survey ranks different incidences of slavery in 167 nations, with India having the highest number of slaves, and North Korea having the highest percentage of slaves per capita. The report also claims that over half of the 45.8 million people living in modern slavery are in five countries: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.

Modern slavery comprises the gargantuan illegal industry, and is considered the third most profitable criminal industry after drug and arms trafficking by the UN. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says that 21 million people are trapped in forced labour and other forms of modern slavery. Modern slavery has become a million-dollar business today. According to the ILO 2014 report, forced labour in the private economy generates $150 billion in illegal profits per year.

While many of us would scoff at the report, for maligning India by naming India as the topper of such an embarrassing survey, the truth remains that we exploit people, based on their economic or social status. Quite often, sordid tales tumble out of the closets of ‘respectable’ families, where domestic slaves are stripped, raped, beaten and starved for not following ‘orders’ properly.

Child marriages happen, and quite often, the bride just ends up as a glorified maid in the household.

Child marriages too, are a big blot. No matter how much social awareness and government help is promised, child marriages happen, and quite often, the bride just ends up as a glorified maid in the household. There are also generations of bonded labourers, who die a slow death in the farms, because their grandfathers had loaned money, and no matter how much they work, the interest seem to only rise.

Child labour too is a crime in India. But the sight of little helping hands in households and roadside eateries, laying bricks on the road are so common, that the society has assimilated them as an integral cheap work force.

Child labour is a crime in India, but we hardly treat it as an evil
Child labour is a crime in India, but we hardly treat it as an evil

The irony is although we treat most of these social practices as illegal; we hardly term them as ‘modern slavery’. We would shake our heads in denial, and vehemently oppose to the use of such a harsh term. Ignorance is not always bliss, especially when our nation houses the highest number of modern slaves. Apart from the government and the social activists, it’s necessary that we learn to treat our fellow countrymen with equality.

About the author

Abhishek Dinman

Abhishek Dinman

Writing and reporting on national security issues may arguably be one of the most difficult beats for a journalist, and my transition from a sports journalist to being TVON’s editor was definitely not without effort. I designed content for ESPN STAR Sports and extensively covered tournaments nationally and internationally. I was also an investigative journalist for ZEE’s India’s Most Wanted’. But I have been deeply impacted by rising threats to India’s national security, resulting in loss of numerous lives. This has both saddened me and helped in reshaping my thought process. I’m acutely aware of the changing geopolitical dynamics today and never afraid to speak my mind. My interface with policy makers and national security experts gives me perspective and insight, helping me provide context and statistics to stories about terrorism and national security policy.
On the side, I spend time with recovering addicts and help them heal.

He focuses on social affairs and the dynamics and theory of how people receive and react to different forms of information on a variety of subjects.

He loves exploring hidden beaches in South East Asia, counseling and spending time with recovering addicts. He spends most of his TV time on watching National Geographic and old episodes of ‘Friends’.

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