17 Oct 2013 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 17 OCT (NAMPA) Namibia is ranked 46th amongst 162 countries on the Global Slavery Index published by the Walk Free Foundation on Thursday.
Mauritania, the west-African nation with deeply entrenched hereditary slavery, is ranked number one, followed by Haiti and Pakistan.
Iceland, Ireland and the United Kingdom all took a ranking of 160 on the Index.
The countries with the highest numbers of enslaved people are India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Taken together, these countries account for 76 per cent of the total estimate of about 30 million people in modern slavery.
Whether it is called human trafficking, forced labour; slavery or slavery-like practices (a category that includes debt bondage, forced or servile marriage, sale or exploitation of children including in armed conflict), victims of modern slavery have their freedom denied and are used and controlled and exploited by another person for profit, sex, or the thrill of domination, stated the report.
First in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region is the Democratic Republic of Congo (23rd), Tanzania (29th) Malawi (33rd), Mozambique (35th), Botswana (39th), Zambia (40th), Lesotho (44th) and Zimbabwe (45rd).
Mauritius is 143rd, Swaziland (126th), Angola (116th), and South Africa (115th).
Today, some people are still being born into hereditary slavery - a staggering but harsh reality, particularly in parts of West Africa and South Asia.
Other victims of slavery are captured or kidnapped before being sold or kept for exploitation, whether through marriage, unpaid labour on fishing boats, or as domestic workers. Others are tricked and lured into situations they cannot escape, with false promises of a good job or an education.
Modern slavery can involve using children in the military, whether as combatants, porters, cooks or for other jobs.
According to the report, modern slavery is poorly understood, so it remains hidden within houses, communities and worksites.
While most forms of modern slavery are illegal all over the world, existing information suggests these laws are rarely used and enforced.
The 2013 US Trafficking in Persons Report notes that while 46 570 victims of human trafficking were officially identified in 2012, there were only 7 705 prosecutions and 4 750 convictions recorded globally.
The Global Slavery Index report is based on a combined measure of three factors: estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population, a measure of child marriage, and a measure of human trafficking in and out of a country; identified factors relevant to risk of slavery providing a standardised measure of these factors that allows comparison country by country; and examined strength of government responses to modern slavery for the 20 countries at the top and bottom of the Index ranking.