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Almost 8 out of 1,000 Filipinos are modern slaves –global index

Almost eight out of 1,000 Filipinos were “modern slaves,” according to international human rights group Walk Free Foundation's 2023 Global Slavery Index.

The global index, which measures the extent of modern slavery in 160 countries, reported that 7.8 per 1,000 Filipinos, or 859,000 people live in modern slavery.

It said that modern slavery refers to situations of “exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, or deception.”

Modern slavery also includes “forced labor, forced or servile marriage, debt bondage, forced commercial sexual exploitation, human trafficking, slavery-like practices, and the sale and exploitation of children,” it added.

The index also reported that the country scored 66 out of 100 in vulnerability to modern slavery, and 59% in government response to modern slavery.

The Philippine government was encouraged to criminalize forced labor and the commercial sexual exploitation of children in line with international conventions.

The index also said that the government should enact legislation or policies that require private recruitment fees to be paid by the employer.

GMA News Online sought comment from the Palace on the index's findings, but government representatives have yet to reply as of this posting.

Meanwhile, North Korea topped the list with a score of 104.6, the highest prevalence of modern slavery, which the index said “tend to be conflict-affected, have state-imposed forced labor, and have weak governance.”

It was followed by Eritrea (90.3), Mauritania (32), Saudi Arabia (21.3), Turkiye (15.6), Tajikistan (14), United Arab Emirates (13.4), and Russia, Afghanistan, and Kuwait (13).

Among countries with the lowest prevalence of modern slavery were Switzerland (0.5), Norway (0.5), Germany (0.6), Netherlands (0.6), Sweden (0.6), Denmark (0.6), Belgium (1), Ireland (1.1), Japan (1.1), and Finland (1.4).

The index said these countries have “strong governance and strong government responses to modern slavery.”

The Global Slavery Index said that these national estimates of the prevalence per thousand people and the number of people were calculated using individual and country-level risk factors of modern slavery.

It said that the analysis draws on thousands of interviews with survivors of modern slavery collected through nationally representative household surveys across 75 countries. — DVM, GMA Integrated News