The Walk Free Foundation has released its new Global Slavery Index. In this anti-rating, Belarus occupies the 20th place among 167 countries. According to rights defenders, 103,000 people, or 1% of the country’s population, are in servitude. This data is published by the tut.by.
The authors treat forced labour, human trafficking, as well as practices that are associated with or similar to slavery (for example, marriage without consent) as modern forms of slavery. This notion also covers the situations, when an exploited person cannot refuse to work or leave a job because of threats, violence, coercion, deception or abuse of power.
Compared with previous years, the number of people in “modern slavery” in our country has more than doubled. In 2016, rights defenders claimed 44,600 “slaves” in Belarus; in 2013-2014 – about 11-12 thousand.
In total, according to the Foundation, 40.3 million people are in slavery in the world; 71% of them are women; 15.4 million people were affected by forced marriages; and 24.9 million are at work against their will.
The authorities of the Netherlands, USA, Great Britain, Sweden and Belgium are most active in combating this phenomenon. The opposite pole is represented by North Korea, Libya, Eritrea, the Central-African Republic and Iran. The largest number of “slaves” in Europe live in Russia, Turkey and Ukraine; the anti-leaders in the number of people in “modern slavery” are Turkmenistan, Belarus and Macedonia.
The authors of the report note that counting the number of victims of “modern slavery” is not easy, since such crimes are hidden. The rating is based on 24 variables that define the risk of enslavement. The variables include political rights and security, financial and medical guarantees, protection of the most vulnerable population groups, and the conflicts underway in the countries. The anti-slavery measures taken by governments are an important parameter.
Since 2016, the rating takes into account the compulsion to work by state bodies. This implies a threat of any punishment for non-performance of work, to which the population, or a part thereof, did not voluntarily consent. The report says that such forced labour is practiced in some African countries, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, China, North Korea, Vietnam, Russia and Belarus.
The Walk Free Foundation is an Australian NGO engaged in compiling the annual Global Slavery Index of. The polls in the countries included in the rating are carried out by the Gallup Research Company.