New research indicates that 29 million people are enslaved worldwide:
The [Global Slavery Index], published by the Walk Free Foundation on Thursday, ranks 162 countries and identifies risk factors for enslavement and the government responses. The research found that around 10 countries hold about 70 percent of the world’s slaves. India has the highest number of people enslaved in absolute terms, approximately 14 million, almost half the total worldwide.
Amar Toor adds that “India’s problems [are based] on an inefficient legal system and a tradition of ‘servile marriage’.” Getting an accurate picture of the problem can be very difficult:
Dark figures are calculated on the basis of random sample surveys such as the British crime survey. By asking a sample of the population if they have experienced a list of crimes in the last year, the crimes the public reports can be compared to the official records of crimes known to the police. … The frightening fact is how many slavery crimes we are failing to detect: over 90 percent in most countries.
(Chart from The Economist)