The Global Slavery Index of 2016 estimates that 45.8 million people are in form of Modern Slavery (MS) in 167 countries. The highest prevalence of MS being in North Korea (1.1 million), Uzbekistan (1.23 million), Cambodia (256,800), India (18.4 million) and Qatar (30,300). This ranking is in proportion to the countries’ populations. In Africa, the practice is more pronounced in the following five countries: Democratic Republic of Congo (0.8 million), Sudan (0.5 million), South Sudan (0.14 million), Somalia (0.12 million) and Libya (0.07 million). Closer home, the East African ranking is led by South Sudan, Rwanda (0.07), Burundi (0.07), Tanzania (0.3 million) Uganda (0.2 million) and Kenya (0.18 million).
Countries with the lowest prevalence of modern slavery include: Luxemburg, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. All these countries manifest strong economic wealth, low conflict levels and political stability with the willingness to combat modern slavery.
From the foregoing statistics, modern slavery is a growing global concern and the momentum is projected to be increasing in Eastern Africa from countries like Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Kenya. The trend is mainly disguised as a search for better job opportunities and quality of life. In Kenya for example, the latest trend of human trafficking is hinged on the high level of unemployment for all cadres of education and the deteriorating economic fortunes due to a myriad of factors, key among them being economic mismanagement and corruption.