Published: Sun, July 22, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Report says 40.3 million suffering under slavery

Report says 40.3 million suffering under slavery

Modern slavery estimates for the US, Australia, Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands were also higher than previously thought, but these countries were taking the most action to tackle slavery, the report noted.

The Global Slavery Index defines modern slavery this way: "Essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person can not refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power".

Another defector Jang Jin-Sung said North Koreans do not consider themselves slaves.

Government involvement in forced labor both inside North Korea and in other countries, where Pyongyang sends North Korean workers to earn foreign currency for the regime, mainly drives the practice in the one-party communist country, says the report, the 2018 Global Slavery Index.

Eritrea and the Central African nation of Burundi were also found to have a high prevalence of slavery.

With North Korea closed to interviews, report researchers spoke to 50 North Korean defectors now living in South Korea, all but one of whom described working in conditions meeting the global legal definition of forced labor.

Last year, it joined with the UN-affiliated International Labour Office (ILO) to release a report that estimated 40.3 million people were in some form of modern slavery around the world on any given day last year.

"These people simply were born in the wrong place, and that's why they're being punished for-their birthplace", said Park, who has founded a group help North Korean trafficking victims.

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"People in the area say they will continue to live poorly even in the case of unification", the source said.

The Global Slavery Index, published on Thursday by the Walk Free Foundation, describes modern slavery as a complex and often hidden crime that crosses borders, sectors and jurisdictions. "We are the consumers". The Index revealed that today, more than 400,000 people are working as modern slaves in the United States.

"For example, we know that criminals involved in these types of exploitation are going into online spaces to enable their criminality", the NCA's deputy director added in a statement.

These countries - particularly the UK, Netherlands and the United States - are doing the most to tackle slavery at home, says the report, through initiatives such as the UK's Modern Slavery Act.

A third, or 15 million, of victims of modern slavery enter through forced marriage, an issue that disproportionately affects women and girls, The Guardian reports.

The report cites coal, cocoa, cotton, timber and fish as among the products that may be tainted by modern slavery.

The group recommends making forced marriage illegal, creating a minimum marriage age of 18, a national database of trafficking and forced labour cases, and working to improve supply-chain transparency to help bring the United States numbers down.

"Most people would understandably associate modern slavery ... with victims being worked extremely hard over very long hours", said Ian Waterfield of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) - Britain's anti-slavery body.

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