A New Index Tracks Human Slavery Around The World
This isn't an historical document: The Global Slavery Index describes conditions happening today for nearly 30 million people who are being held illegally against their will.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Last week saw the launch of the first annual Global Slavery Index, a document that "details the risk and prevalence of slavery in 160 countries" and describes the conditions that are holding an estimated 29.8 million adults and children in bondage. Two of the worst offenders are India, which is home to nearly half of those held, and Mauritania, where one in 20 residents is owned by someone else. The number of victims in Australia has gone up significantly due to the inclusion of child brides, and in the US, nearly 60,000 people are being held against their will. In some countries, sex slavery has been driven up by Western demands for prostitutes.
What's the Big Idea?
The index was created by the Walk Free Foundation, whose founder, Australian iron tycoon Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest, has signed Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge, in which participants agree to donate more than half of their fortunes to philanthropy. The foundation seeks to eradicate slavery within a generation using various additional approaches including global activism. With regards to sex trafficking specifically, Forrest said at last week's launch, "[I]t's the customers that make it happen. Eliminate the customers and you'll eliminate the trade."
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