Global Slavery – Myanmar included in list of coutries
Myanmar is one of several Asian countries that stands in the red when it comes to modern-day slavery. This is revealed in the 2016 Global Slavery Index, an important research report published last week by the Walk Free Foundation.
Worldwide an estimated 45.8 million men, women and children are today trapped in modern slavery - 28% more than previously estimated. They are enslaved through human trafficking, forced labour, debt bondage, forced or servile marriage or commercial sexual exploitation. In terms of absolute numbers, Asian countries hold the top five positions for highest number of people trapped in slavery, accounting for almost 58% of the world’s enslaved, or 26.6 million people. India remains top of the list with an estimated 18.35 million enslaved people, followed by China (3.39m), Pakistan (2.13m), Bangladesh (1.53) and Uzbekistan (1.23m).
Myanmar is covered in the report with an estimated 515,100 people trapped in slavery, said to represent 0.956% of the country’s 53 million population.
In terms of “vulnerability to modern slavery,” it is marked as an at risk country, depicted in red on a map of Asia, alongside China and India.
North Korea is the country with the greatest prevalence of modern slavery, with 4.37% of its population estimated to be enslaved. It is also the country with the weakest government response in terms of actions taken to combat modern slavery. The next highest prevalence of slavery is found in Uzbekistan (3.97%), followed by Cambodia, which has a prevalence of 1.65% of their population trapped in slavery.
The 2016 Global Slavery Index estimates that 28% more people are enslaved than reported in the 2014 edition. This significant increase is due to enhanced data collection and research methodology. Survey research for the 2016 Global Slavery Index included over 42,000 interviews conducted in 53 languages across 25 countries, including 15 state-level surveys in India. These representative surveys cover 44% of the global population. Government response The Global Slavery Index also tracks government actions and responses to modern slavery. Of the 161 assessed2, 124 countries have criminalised human trafficking in line with the UN Trafficking Protocol and 96 have developed national action plans to coordinate government response. The governments leading the charge against modern slavery are The Netherlands, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, Belgium and Norway.
Some significant progress has been made by many governments since the publication of the 2014 report. In 2015, of the 25 countries within the Asia-Pacific region, 24 have laws that criminalise some forms of modern slavery. North Korea remains the only nation in Asia – and the world – that has not explicitly criminalised any form of modern slavery. Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines have