[JURIST] Approximately 36 million people in the world live in a form of modern slavery, the Global Slavery Index (GSI) [advocacy website] reported [text, PDF] Monday. For the purposes of the study, GSI defines modern slavery as involving “one person possessing or controlling another person in such as a way as to significantly deprive that person of their individual liberty, with the intention of exploiting that person through their use, management, profit, transfer or disposal.” The data found within the 2014 report is based on random sampling surveys which GSI claims uses an improved methodology to uncover statistics of modern slavery that have been previously unknown. The data is organized by countries and regions with the modern slavery numbers computed by percentages and estimated totals from population levels. The report also provides an analysis of how governments are working to eliminate acts of modern slavery within their countries and which nations are vulnerable to continued human rights violations. GSI has found that countries with government instability and high levels of prejudice have the highest levels of modern slavery and are the most vulnerable. The report notes that most countries have national laws criminalizing forms of modern slavery but urges for countries to do more to cure the inhuman acts and oppression of individuals.
One of the most controversial topics of modern slavery in the international community has been human trafficking. Last October Human rights experts from the UN, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe [official websites] jointly called for global cooperation [JURIST report] in the fight against the transnational trafficking of persons. This joint statement follows a report filed by UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, Joy Ezeilo [official profile], last June urging [JURIST report] the international community to focus on the human rights of trafficked individuals when criminalizing and prosecuting human trafficking as well as a statement by the European Commission regarding its plans to end human trafficking in Europe [JURIST report]. Human trafficking [UN News Centre report], “a multi-billion dollar industry which has trapped some 21 million men, women and children in forced labor,” occurs across the globe but is most prevalent [JURIST backgrounder] in regions of conflict. The European Commission identified key risk factors as poverty, gender inequality and social unrest.