India is home to the largest number of enslaved human beings on the planet. An estimated 10 million are in forced labour today in the nation of 1.2 billion – many of whom are children. Slavery is everywhere in India. You can find it at brick kilns, rice mills, carpet factories, quarries, on the street in the form of begging or selling wares, in agriculture and in red light districts. It’s in roadside brothels and private homes.
Debt bondage: individuals are forced to work to pay off real or imaginary debts, often under deplorable working conditions and with no autonomy or mobility.
Human trafficking: the illegal trade of human beings through force, coercion, abduction, or deception in which individuals are forced into exploitative labour against their will, under threat of destitution, detention, violence and death.
There are many forms of exploitative labour including but not limited to: commercial sex work, pornography, military labour and child soldiers, agriculture, fishing and factory work, mining, indentured servitude, bridal and reproductive slavery, organ trade and prison labour. Forced labour affects men, women, boys and girls worldwide. Check out Al Jazeera’s series, Slavery: a 21st Century Evil.
Learn more about India’s growing bridal and reproductive market.