Over 15 lakh people in Bangladesh are living like slaves with nearly half the population vulnerable to be exposed to it, a report of Australia-based Walk Free Foundation said today.
Global Slavery Index for 2016 placed Bangladesh 10th among 167 countries in prevalence ranking with an estimated 15.3 lakh people living like slaves with over 44 percent of the population at risk of being exposed to it.
Last reported in 2014, the index placed about 6.8 lakh Bangladeshis living in conditions of modern day slavery. Thus, in two years, the number of ‘modern day slaves’ nearly doubled.
The number accounts to nearly 1 percent of the total population of 16 crore in Bangladesh. Within the Asia region, Bangladesh is the 11th country most vulnerable to modern slavery.
Endemic poverty, natural disasters, and corruption contribute to the vulnerability factor, the report says. Conflict, such as inter-communal violence is another issue contributing to vulnerability factor.
In 2016, the Bangladesh government ranked fourth in region for the strength of its response to modern slavery, the report added saying “yet it must be borne in mind that the implementation of programs and policies to combat modern slavery in practice are not cohesively implemented in Bangladesh.”
In total, there are over 45.8 million people living like slaves in the world today with North Korea placed at the top with an estimated 1.1 million people (4.3 percent of its population) living like slaves.