Modern day slavery still exists, and it's happening at an alarming rate. The Global Slavery Index released a shocking report last week, estimating that almost 30 million people worldwide are living as slaves. The index, compiled by Australian-based rights organization Walk Free Foundation, defines modern day slavery as debt bondage, human trafficking and forced marriage.
The country with the highest proportion of slaves is Mauritania, in West Africa. The report explains that Mauritania has such a high percentage of slaves because people inherit slave status from their ancestors. “It would be comforting to think that slavery is a relic of history, but it remains a scar on humanity on every continent," Walk Free CEO Nick Grono said in a statement provided to The Huffington Post.
Check out the infographic below to see the stats in perspective...
Infographic by Alissa Scheller for the Huffington Post
This story appears in Issue 83 of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, available Friday, Jan. 10 in the iTunes App store.
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Men and women of all ages are forced into various forms of modern slavery in <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/gabon/" target="_blank">Gabon</a>. (PATRICK FORT/AFP/Getty Images)
In <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/the-gambia/" target="_blank">Gambia</a>, there are many instances of forced begging and domestic servitude. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Enslaved women and children in <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/cote-divoire/" target="_blank">Côte d’Ivoire</a> are often subjected to forced labor and sex work. Eleven trafficked children were arrested by the police at the border between Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. They were going to be exploited in cocoa plantations in the south of Ivory Coast. (Photo by Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images)
In the West African country of <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/benin/" target="_blank">Benin</a>, trafficked women and children are the main victims of modern slavery. This photo, taken on Sept. 26, 2003, shows dozens of slave children ridding in the back of a police vehicle after their apprehension at the Seme border as they were being transported to the Republic of Benin.
According to the index, <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/moldova/" target="_blank">Moldova</a> is primarily a source country. Moldovan emigrants are enslaved in other nearby countries. A woman walks under the Triumph Arch next to Moldovan flag on Stefan Cel Mare street in Chisinau city October 8, 2013. (DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)
In <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/nepal/" target="_blank">Nepal</a>, modern slavery practices include forced labor and sex work. A grandmother holds up pictures of her lost granddaughter, who she believed was forced into prostitution as a sex slave. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images
Though <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/india/" target="_blank">India</a> ranks fourth on this list, it's also the country with the highest number of people enslaved in the world. Fatima, a Bangladeshi migrant working as a low-paid prostitute in a central Calcutta brothel, was sold into the profession by her husband in collusion with a prostitute at the brothel where she now works. (Photo by: Majority World/UIG via Getty Images)
Modern slavery in <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/pakistan/" target="_blank">Pakistan</a> is primarily characterized as bonded labor. Pakistani brick makers gather freshly moulded bricks ready for firing at a brick kiln in the outskirts of Lahore. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/GettyImages)
Child slavery is a widespread problem in the Caribbean nation of <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/haiti/" target="_blank">Haiti</a>. Arthemise Jean, a 12-year-old "restavek," carries water back to her "host" family's home in Port-au-Prince. One of seven children from an extremely poor family, she lives with a distant relative she calls "aunt" and works as a domestic laborer in the home. (Photo by Shaul Schwarz/Getty Images)
In the West African nation of <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/mauritania/" target="_blank">Mauritania</a>, up to 20 percent of the population is enslaved. A Mauritanian girl stands outside her family's shack, which is made of corrugated iron and wood, in a shanty town in Nouakchott's El-Mina quarter, mainly inhabited by the descendants of ancient slaves. (GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)