Global Slavery Index-World Scenario, India's Position

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Global Slavery Index - World Scenario, India’S Position

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  • Modern Slavery - destructive, personal crime, abuse of human rights

  • Government action

  • 2016 - 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery (70% are women & girls – under threat and forced marriage)

  • 2018 - trade flows and data on state imposed forced labour in North Korea, risk factors in the fishing industry, and the prevalence of forced labour in the cocoa sector.

  • 2018 Global Slavery Index uses predictive modelling, based on data from nationally representative surveys and the Walk Free Foundation Vulnerability Model, to estimate the prevalence of modern slavery country by country

  • Together with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Walk Free Foundation developed the joint Global Estimates of Modern Slavery.

  • The Walk Free Foundation provides the Secretariat for the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime

GSI – Factors

  • GSI


N. Korea – most prevalence (1 in 10) followed by Eritrea (have state-imposed forced labour)

  • The 10 countries with highest prevalence of modern slavery globally, along with North Korea and Eritrea, are Burundi, the Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Mauritania, South Sudan, Pakistan, Cambodia, and Iran. Most of these countries are marked by conflict, with breakdowns in rule of law, displacement and a lack of physical security

  • Three of the 10 countries with the highest prevalence stand out as having state-imposed forced labour (North Korea, Eritrea and Burundi).

  • Citizens of most G20 countries enjoy relatively low levels of vulnerability to the crime of modern slavery within their borders

  • Australia has announced it will introduce supply chain transparency laws in the second half of 2018.

  • In 2018, 36 countries are taking steps to address forced labour in business or public supply chains, compared to only four countries in 2016.

  • G20


5 Slavery

5 Slavery

Government Slavery

Government Slavery

It is important to note that the governments in several of these countries – the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Norway, Portugal, and Montenegro – are also taking the most action to respond to modern slavery.

  • The ‘top 5’ at risk products in terms of dollar value, G20 countries collectively import US$354 billion worth of products at risk of being produced by modern slavery per annum.

  • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) were the first international reference framework on human rights in the context of business. Adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, the UNGPs placed on the international agenda the issue of identifying potential adverse impacts on human rights by business activity

Forced labour

Forced Labour

  • List of products with identified risk of forced labour by source countries

  • The three countries with the highest-value garment imports from India are the US (US$3.9 billion), UK (US$1.9 billion) and Germany (US$1.4 billion).

  • The garment and textile industry in India, particularly in Southern India states such as Tamil Nadu, is also grappling with extensive labour exploitation

  • India’s Employment (Amendment) Rules 2009 states that recruitment agents can charge fees to the employee but that they must be limited to 45 days’ wages or a maximum of 20,000 Indian Rupees (US$31299). Overcharging and abuses within this system are, however, common and well documented. Ministry of External Affairs launched an emigrate online foreign worker recruitment system in 2015 in an effort to make the system “safer, more orderly and humane.” through ensuring foreign employers and recruiters comply with relevant regulations. However, widespread abuses confirm that compliance remains an issue

  • Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are the world’s two largest cocoa producers, with their combined production contributing 60 percent of the world’s annual supply of cocoa

GSI – Recommendations

  • prioritize human rights in decision making when engaging with repressive regimes

  • proactively anticipate and respond to modern slavery in conflict situations

  • improve modern slavery responses at home.

  • prioritize responses to violations against women and girls.

  • address modern slavery in supply chains.

  • ethical recruitment of migrant workers

  • End abuse and exploitation of children.Facilitate safe, orderly and responsible migration.

  • Ensure labour laws protect all workers, including migrant workers, temporary and casual workers, and all people working in the informal economy.Ensure all victims can access services, support and justice

  • Priorities international cooperation to investigate and prosecute perpetrators

GSI – India

Illustration 1 for GSI – Recommendations

Illustration 1 for GSI – Recommendations

  • India in Response B (40-49.9) – Scale ranges from A to D

  • The black market organ trade has been documented in countries as diverse as India, Pakistan, Kosovo, and the Philippines

  • In some parts of India, poor people use their kidneys as collateral for money lenders. Researchers have documented instances of Kidneys sourced from the “kidney belt” region of southern India are sold to clients in Sri Lanka, the Gulf States, the UK, and the US

  • Collectively, these 10 countries – India, China, Pakistan, North Korea, Nigeria, Iran, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Russia, and the Philippines – account for 60 percent of people living in modern slavery and over half the world’s population.

  • On any given day in 2016 there were nearly 8 million people living in modern slavery in India. In terms of prevalence of modern slavery in India, there were 6.1 victims for every thousand people.

  • In the 2016 Global Slavery Index, we reported there were 18.3 million people in modern slavery in India.

  • Spinning Mills: A 2016 report found that in the state of Tamil Nadu, 351 of 743 spinning mills use bonded labour schemes, otherwise known as Sumangali schemes. They work 60 hours per week year-round and cannot refuse overtime.

  • Granite quarries: Wage advances and loans with an interest ranging from 24 percent to 36 percent are used to bond workers to the quarry. According to a study on bonded labour practices in sandstone quarries in Rajasthan, workers become caught in lifelong debt bondage

  • Brick Kiln Workers: Odisha due to reduced agriculture

  • 6 million Indian migrants living in the six Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Oman - cases of contract violations and exploitation

  • Forced Sexual Exploitation – Assam

  • Indian women trafficked overseas for marriage

  • Organ trade

  • Children in Armed Conflict- Bal Dasta units which train children in front-line operations (Maoists in West Bengal)

  • Influx of labor migrants from Nepal and Bangladesh

  • India has criminalized most forms of modern slavery, including trafficking, slavery, forced labour, and child sexual exploitation, in its Penal Code. However, under section 366 of the Penal Code, forced marriage is only criminalized when kidnapping is present. There is currently no legislation criminalizing the use of children in armed conflict. Ujjawala scheme is specifically for female victims of trafficking whereas the Swadhar program provides support services for victims of domestic violence, homeless women, and women in distress, who are in need of shelter.

  • India does not currently have any laws requiring business to report on the actions they are taking to respond to modern slavery risk in their supply chains. The 2013 Companies Act requires mid and large companies to spend two percent of their three-year annual average net profit on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.

India Efforts


  • Ratify and implement the ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189).

  • Pass the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill and provide adequate financial resources towards implementation. When passed, develop training materials for police, judges and prosecutors on how to investigate and prosecute cases.

  • Pass the National Domestic Workers Regulation of Work and Social Security Bill 2016 and provide adequate financial resources towards implementation. When passed, set up a taskforce to ensure the new domestic workers bill is implemented effectively, including training for officials and police on how to handle cases of exploitation of domestic workers.


  • Allocate adequate financial and human resources to local governments to set up units that assist internal migrant workers to access new identification documents, social security benefits, and housing assistance.


  • Implement a National Action Plan for all victims of modern slavery that recognizes the different contexts of cross-border and localized forms of slavery.

  • Strengthen the role of the National Human Rights Committee (NHCR) as an independent government body to oversee and coordinate India’s response to all forms of modern slavery.


  • Publicly encourage formal, regulated, and safe channels to assist labour migrants.

  • Set up awareness initiatives at local and national borders that provide migrants with contacts of local support organisation.


  • Encourage companies to fund local initiatives and NGOs which are combatting modern slavery and providing victim services, as part of the fulfilment of the CSR requirements under the 2013 Companies Act.

  • Conduct mandatory labour inspections in high-risk industries within the informal sector, such as brick kilns, textile, and granite/stone/mineral industries.

  • Mandate all industries and businesses to create credible grievance mechanisms that are accessible to vulnerable workers.

  • Pass legislation mandating large companies to annually report on steps taken to eliminate modern slavery in their supply chains.

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