Almost 36 million people are living as slaves across the globe, according to a human rights group, and an index released on Monday lists Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Haiti, Qatar and India as the nations where modern-day slavery is most prevalent, with India having the largest number overall and Mauritania the highest percentage of its population (4 percent). The Walk Free Foundation, a human rights group based in Australia, examined 167 countries and found that India had an estimated 14.3 million people who were victims of slavery.
The index defines slavery as the control or possession of people in such a way as to deprive them of their freedom with the intention of exploiting them for profit or sex, usually through violence or coercion. The definition includes forced labor, forced marriage and debt bondage. After India, China has the most with 3.2 million, then Pakistan (2.1 million), Uzbekistan (1.2 million) and Russia (1 million), according to the Walk Free index. About 60,100 people are exploited as forced laborers in the United States, the report says. Other groups offer different global estimates. The International Labor Organization said that about 21 million people were victims of forced labor in 2012.