Contemporary Slavery


Contemporary slavery, also known as modern slavery, refers to the institutions of slavery that continue to exist in the present day.

Slavery is a legal or economic system in which principles of property law are applied to humans allowing them to be classified as property, to be owned, bought and sold accordingly, and they cannot withdraw unilaterally from the arrangement.

Britain's Modern Slave Trade on Al Jazeera by Al Jazeera English


Estimates of the number of slaves today range from around 21 million-29 million to 46 million.

Britain's Modern Slave Trade - Explainer - Al Jazeera Investigates by Al Jazeera English


Modern slavery is a multibillion-dollar industry with estimates of up to $35 billion generated annually.


The United Nations estimates that roughly 27 to 30 million individuals are currently caught in the slave trade industry.

The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation.


India has the most slaves of any country, at roughly 18.4 million.


China is second with 3.4 million slaves, followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan.

Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a federal parliamentary republic in South Asia.

Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan, is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia.

China, officially the People's Republic of China, is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia.


By percentages of the population living in slavery Uzbekistan tops with 4% of its population living under slavery followed by Cambodia, India, and Qatar.

Qatar, officially the State of Qatar, is a sovereign country located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

Cambodia, officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia.


Mauritania was the last nation to officially abolish slavery, doing so in 2007; yet 4.3% of the population still remains enslaved.

Mauritania, officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is an Arab country in the Maghreb region of western Africa.


Despite being illegal in every nation, slavery is still present in several forms today.


Slavery also exists in advanced democratic nations, for example the UK where Home Office estimates suggested 10,000 to 13,000 victims in December 2015.

The Home Office is a ministerial department of Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom, responsible for immigration, security and law and order.


This includes, forced work of various kinds, such as forced prostitution.

Forced prostitution, also known as involuntary prostitution, is prostitution or sexual slavery that takes place as a result of coercion by a third party.


The UK has recently made an attempt to combat modern slavery via the Modern Slavery Act 2015.


Large commercial organisations are now required to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement in regard to their supply chains for each financial year.

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