According to a Walk Free Foundation report in 2016, there were 46 million people enslaved worldwide in 2016. There were 18.3 million people in India living in the forms of modern slavery (about 39% of global slaves). Modern Slavery includes bonded labour, child labour, forced marriage, human trafficking, forced begging etc.
The term modern slavery is not defined under any law. It is a general term used to describe situations of exploitative nature in which the person cannot refuse or leave due to threats, violence, deception, and abuse of power. Modern slavery includes exploitative acts such as forced labour and debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking.
Bonded labour is defined in the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act of 1976 as a system of forced or partly forced labour in which a debtor gets an advance of cash or kind in return for his labour or service to the creditor. Forced labour and debt bondage are common practice across all the economic sectors in India. It is mainly found in certain industries such as brick kilns, carpet weaving, textile and garment manufacturing, embroidery, manual scavenging and agriculture.
The most affected people of debt bondage are the members of marginalised castes, tribes, religious minorities, refugees and migrant workers. There are also instances of Nepali and Bangladeshi migrants being subjected to forced labour in India through debt bondage and recruitment fraud.
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