A group of 60 children are waiting to reunite with their parents after police rescued them from human traffickers at Guiyang Welfare Center for Children in Guiyang, southwest China's Guizhou province on October 29, 2009.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Millions still live in slavery around the globe

Updated

Nearly 30 million people live in slavery around the world, according to the Global Slavery Index 2013 published Thursday. The inaugural report reveals the highest estimated number of modern slavery–defined by forced labor, human trafficking, and forced marriage–around the globe, and is the first global index about modern slavery to be compiled.

According to the report, India has the highest number of estimated slaves, with nearly 14 million people living in slavery. China has the second highest number of slaves with an estimated 3 million people living in slavery.

The Walk Free Foundation, which published the report, ranked 162 countries based on three factors: estimated prevalence of modern slavery in each country, a measure of the level of human trafficking to and from each country, and a measure of the level of child and earh marriage in each country. The West African nation of Mauritania came in first in the index, with one of every 25 persons enslaved. Haiti and Pakistan are ranked second and third; the U.S. came in at 134th, with nearly 60,000 estimated to be living in slavery.

Among the endorsers of the Walk Free Foundation’s work is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who urged world leaders in a video message to “view this Index as a call to action, and to stay focused on the work of responding to this crime, even if your country receives a positive rank.”

Millions still live in slavery around the globe

Updated