The Five Countries with the Most Slaves

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
30 Mar 2015

Slavery may seem like a relic of the past, but millions throughout the world remain enslaved. And the Walk Free Foundation is trying to end the injustice.

Founded in 2012 by Australian billionare Andrew Forrest, the group works with academia, government, and business to disseminate information and put pressure on those who allow slavery to continue.

It is impossible to know exactly how many people are enslaved today. But in a study released late last year, Walk Free estimated that more than 35 million people still live in slavery.

People are often held against their will because of human trafficking, forced marriages, debt, and irresponsible governments, according to the report.

There are two ways to measure the prevalence of slavery. By percentage of population, Mauritania is the worst offender.

Four percent of its population is enslaved. Just under four percent of Uzbeks are. In Haiti, 2.3 percent are slaves. Qatar and India follow with 1.4 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

1. Mauritania (4.0 %)
2. Uzbekistan (3.9 %)
3. Haiti (2.3 %)
4. Qatar (1.4%)
5. India (1.1 %)

And by total number of enslaved people, India leads the list with 14 million people. China has 3.2 million; Pakistan has 2.1 million. There are 1.2 million in Uzbekistan and one million in Russia.

1. India - 14 million
2. China - 3.2 million
3. Pakistan - 2.1 million
4. Ukbekistan - 1.2 million
5. Russia - 1.0 million

The Walk Free Foundation also measures how effective or cooperative governments are in combatting the scourge of slavery.