BD ranks 10th in Global Slavery Index 2016

Dhaka,  Mon,  21 August 2017
Published : 11 Aug 2017, 00:54:28
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BD ranks 10th in Global Slavery Index 2016

BD ranks 10th in Global Slavery Index 2016
FE Report


Bangladesh has ranked 10th among 167 countries with over 1.5 million people or 0.95 per cent of the population living in absolute modern day slavery, according to Global Slavery Index 2016.

As per the index, which ranks 167 countries, 58 per cent of 45.8 million slaves live in five countries -- India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.

This estimate reflects data from a random sample, nationally representative survey conducted by Walk Free Foundation in partnership with Gallup in 2015.

Survey results found that forced labour (80 per cent) was more prevalent than forced marriage (20 per cent) in Bangladesh. Furthermore, forced labour was particularly prevalent in manual labour (24 per cent), construction (22 per cent), drug production (13 per cent) and farming (11 per cent).

According to the survey, forced labour largely affected men (85 per cent men as compared to 15 per cent women) while forced marriage disproportionately affected women (88 per cent women as compared to 12 per cent men).

This reflects the wider trend for forced marriage, wherein 29 per cent of girls under the age of 15 are likely to be married in Bangladesh, the highest figure for child marriage worldwide, and 2.0 per cent of girls are married before the age of 11.

Although the 2015 survey was unable to breakdown sectors of forced labour by gender, pre-existing literature on labour exploitation with a particular focus upon the garment sector indicates that of the four million Bangladeshis employed in the sector, 85 per cent are estimated to be women.

Survey data on forced marriage reflects wider trends in literature, wherein 29 per cent of girls under the age of 15 are likely to be married in Bangladesh, the highest figure for child marriage worldwide, and 2.0 per cent of girls are married before the age of 11.

Pre-existing research suggests that modern slavery in Bangladesh primarily affects the manufacturing of garments, shrimp and dry fish farming and production, commercial sexual exploitation, child marriage and drug production.

Survey data suggests that while forced prostitution is a problem affecting nearly 390,000 people, or 3.0 per cent of the population enslaved, information about the age of victims subject to forced prostitution is not available.

However, it was found in 2015 that many girls as young as 9-10 years old were trafficked for the purposes of forced prostitution within Daulatdia, the largest brothel in Bangladesh where over 1,500 women and girls work.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that children are also at risk of organ trafficking in Bangladesh. In 2014, 15 children were killed and harvested for their organs in the town of Herun. This is an issue that was not covered in the 2015 survey.

India, however, has the highest number of people in the world trapped in modern slavery with 18.35 million victims among its 1.3 billion population.

India is followed by China (3.38 million), Pakistan (2.13 million) and Bangladesh (1.53 million).

Asia accounted for two-thirds of the victims. Modern forms of slavery can include debt bondage, forced marriage, child slavery, commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour, where victims are made to work through violence and intimidation.

North Korea remains the only nation in Asia and the world that has not explicitly criminalised any form of modern slavery. The country has the highest per capita level of modern slavery at 4.37 per cent of the population.

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