Inside Story

Why does slavery persist?

The Global Slavery Index says millions are trapped in modern slavery worldwide, with Asian countries topping the list.

More than 45 million people around the world are trapped in modern slavery and that is just an estimate – the true total could be many more.

Workers enslaved to pay off debts, and women are trafficked into prostitution or forced to become domestic servants.

The Global Slavery Index says modern-day slavery is thriving and is very profitable for some.

The index is published by the Walk Free Foundation, an Australian group campaigning to stamp out the slave trade.

Judging by their latest study of 167 countries, there is a long way to go.

Slavery is sanctioned by some governments, including North Korea, where an estimated one in every 20 people is enslaved.

With so many millions around the world forced to work against their will, is there any hope of ending their bondage?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Andrew Forrest – founder of the Global Slavery Index

Aidan McQuade – director of Anti-Slavery International

Kevin Bales – professor of Contemporary Slavery at the University of Hull