Global slavery index, 2016

Distressing scenario


According  to the 2016 Global  Slavery  Index released by Australia-based human rights  group Walk Free Foundation, India has the highest number of people  in the  world  trapped   in modern slavery.  India  has  the highest  absolute  numbers  of people  trapped  in slavery  with 18.35 million  slaves among  its 1.3  billion  population in which  more  than 1.8 crore Indian’s are victims of forced labour; forced labour includes  prostitution   and begging. An estimated  45.8 million  people,  including  women  and  children,  are subject to some form of modern slavery  in the world  which  has increased  considerably   as compared  to 35.8 million in 2014. Followed  by India is China with 3.39 million, Pakistan with  2.13 million,  Bangladesh  with  1.53 million  and  Uzbekistan   with  1.23 million.  As per the index  these  five countries  together  constitute  for almost  58 per cent of the world’s   enslaved  (26.6 million)  people  and  all these  nations  are Asian.  The survey  was conducted  in 167 countries  in which  modern day slavery was  found  in all the  countries.   The research included   over  42,000 interviews conducted in 53 languages across 25 countries,  including  15 state-level  surveys in India.  This representative    survey  covered  around 44 per  cent  of the  global population. The countries  with the highest  estimated  prevalence of modern slavery by the proportion of their population are North Korea,  Uzbekistan,  Cambodia,  Cambodia,  India,  and  Qatar.

What  is Modern  Slavery?  Modern  slavery  basically  refers  to a situation  of exploitations  in which  a person  cannot  leave because  of threats,  violence, coercion and  abuse  of power  or deception  and  the person  is totally  subdued at physical and  mental  level and  even reduced  to the level of instrumentum  vocale. How  to tackle  it? Out  of the 161 countries   assessed,   124 nations   including   India  had criminalised   human  trafficking  in line with  the UN trafficking  Protocol  and  96 nations  had developed  national  action plans to coordinate  government  response. Is our Indian  government   doing enough  to eradicate  this demon?  India has more people  enslaved  than  any other  country  and  it has made  significant  progress  in introducing   measures  to tackle the problem.

Our nation has criminalised  trafficking,  slavery, forced  labour,  child prostitution and forced marriages  in addition  to this government  is also tightening legislation  against human  trafficking  with  tough  punishment and will offer victims protection  and recovery support.  But, are we successful  in tackling  the  problem?  Well,  the  answer   lies within  these  statistics;  according  to the report  in the  year  2014, in India  there  were nearly  14.3   million  people  who  were  enslaved  and  as per the latest  report  this figure has increased  to 18.35  million.  Despite of stringent  measures  and taught  ruling we are bound  to ask, why  is this  problem   increasing  in our nation?  The answer  is poverty,  regional  disparity,   poor  execution  of law  and  far prolonged   judgments. Also business  community   have  a great contribution to human  slavery  by making the poor  work  hard  for entire  day and  pay them  menial  wages  in return. Ever since we have  achieved  our independence   we are tagged  as a developing nation  with humongous   potential.  At one hand  we are the world’s  fastest growing  economy  and  simultaneously we  topping the  modern slavery  index. The fastest  growing  cities and urban  dwellings  are accompanied with lagging ruler counterparts who are many  times forced into such practices of modern slavery. Government having  enough  laws  are failing  to tackle the situation  because  for them  it is just one more  of a series of pressing  problems.  But this is not a problem to ignore.  It is a plague  a disease  from which  we have  to get rid as soon as possible.

Almost  all the nations  have  slavery  in some form  or the other  but we have  to learn  from  the  countries   like Luxembourg,   Ireland,  Norway,  Denmark,  Switzerland, Austria, Sweden and Belgium,  the  United  States  and Canada,  and Australia  and  New Zealand  which  are having  lowest  estimation  of modern slavery  by the proportion of their  population. We have to learn  to keep Human  Rights of our citizens  at the  highest  order  and  this will not happen  by just making  rules, policies and  punishments on  papers but also implementing them in day to day practice.  Jotting  down  mindlessly in the book of rules  will  yield  no results  but  facing  the  reality  will.  And the reality  is no fairy-tale.  It is written with the handicap and helplessness  of our  poor  and  week.  The  Indian  government  is trying  to maintain  the balance between the economic growth and the  social  reforms programmes. The government has introduced    programmes like  providing  150 days  of work  to unskilled  labourers  under  the MGNREGA act, tightening the forced work and child labour law, opening up the bank  account of each family of the country, offering subsidy in food grains  to the  people listed  in the  below poverty line category and many more. But still Indian is facing the state of modern day slavery innumerous forms. In nutshell, Uniform economic growth,  implementation of law and speedy justice, harsh punishment and spreading the knowledge about the modern slavery  has become  mandatory  to  solve  this  problem  or  else  enslaved  people  will remain  in their current condition of inhuman slavery and the country’s economic growth  will not be enjoyed by the entire nation but only a restricted  group.

In 2015

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