Contemporary slavery, also known as modern slavery, refers to the institutions of slavery that continue to exist in the present day. Estimates of the number of slaves today range from around 21 million to 29 million.
Modern slavery is a multi-billion dollar industry with estimates of up to $35 billion generated annually. The United Nations estimates that roughly 27 to 30 million individuals are currently caught in the slave trade industry.
The Global Slavery Index 2013 states that 10 nations account for 76 percent of the world’s enslaved. India has the most slaves of any country, at 14 million (over 1% of the population).
China has the second-largest number with 2.9 million slaves, followed by Pakistan with 2.1 million, Nigeria with 701,000, Ethiopia with 651,000, Russia with 516,000, Thailand with 473,000, Congo with 462,000, Myanmar with 384,000, and Bangladesh with 343,000.
Mauritania was the last nation to officially abolish slavery, doing so in 2007; yet 4.3% of the population still remains enslaved.
Despite being illegal in every nation, slavery is still prevalent in many forms today.
Slavery also exists on a smaller scale in advanced democratic nations, for example the UKwhere Home Office estimates suggest 10,000 to 13,000 victims. This includes, forced workof various kinds, such as forced prostitution.
The UK has recently made an attempt to combat modern slavery via the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Large commercial organisations are now required to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement in regard to their supply chains for each financial year