statistical analysis

Modern slavery in India: 5,616 enslaved every day over last two years

The number of people living in modern slavery in India rose by 4.1 million in the last two years, showed the Global Slavery Index, 2016.

“No one can imagine such a painful life. There is much torture on me and I am punished even for my minor mistakes like a child. My family is always living under threats. There is also physical violence against me and my family members.”

This is a statement made by a respondent of the surveys conducted in India as part of the Global Slavery Index, 2016.

As many as 18.3 million Indians live in conditions listed as “modern slavery” in 2016, equivalent to the population of Netherlands, a rise of 4.1 million since 2014, according to a new global report. In other words, 5,616 Indians were enslaved every day over these two years.

On an average, 51 out of every 100 people in India are vulnerable to modern slavery – bonded labour, forced begging, forced marriage, domestic services and commercial sex work – according to the Global Slavery Index 2016 compiled by the Walk Free Foundation, an Australian advocacy.

India has the fourth-highest proportion of people living under enslaved conditions, after North Korea, Uzbekistan and Cambodia. India was at fifth position in 2014, where Qatar is at present, the report said.

“The term modern slavery refers to situations where one person has taken away another person’s freedom – to control their body, their freedom to choose, to refuse certain work or to stop working – so that they can be exploited. Freedom is taken away by threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power and deception,” the Global Slavery Index 2016 report said.

The Asia-Pacific region has the highest number of people living under conditions of modern slavery; almost 46% of human trafficking is reported from this region. While 83% victims are male, around 17% are female.

Forced- and child-marriage are high in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Indonesia. A sex-ratio imbalance, resulting in absence of brides in India, has fuelled the trafficking of women and forced marriage.

Sexual slavery has risen in concert with economic prosperity in India, IndiaSpend reported in April 2016.

The informal nature of the Indian economy has an effect on vulnerability, and accounts, in large part, for modern slavery, which is related to economic, gender and caste inequalities, as this May 2016 Economic Times report said.

In states hit by Maoist violence, such as Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha, boys and girls between the ages of six and 12 were recruited in children’s units, the ET report said.

The following kinds of modern-day slavery are prevalent in India, according to the Global Slavery Index 2016.

  • Bonded labour: This practice persists in India, mainly because of debt, and the entire family is exposed to the risks of physical violence. People are forced to work under unhealthy conditions, and physical violence is meted out, if they refuse to work. More than 300,000 people were identified as bonded labour, with the largest – official – number in Uttar Pradesh (896,301), followed by Maharashtra (496,916), according to this answer given to the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) in December 2015.
  • Domestic services: As many as 4.2 million people, including men, women and children, work as gardeners, cleaners, drivers, cooks and caregivers across the entire country. This kind of human slavery is prone to overtime working hours, withholding wages, insufficient remuneration and sometimes even physical and sexual violence, according to 2004 data published by a non-profit, Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising.
  • Forced begging: Many Indian beggars are under criminal pressure. Primary survey conducted by Walk Free Foundation suggests that beggars are deprived of basic needs of survival and continuously threatened by their employers. The leading source of income for children living on streets is rag-picking, practiced by 16% of homeless children, according to a five-city study by Save the Children, an international advocacy group. Begging is a leading occupation for 8% boys and 14% girls, but most girls are also involved in taking care of their siblings and other household work, IndiaSpend reported in April 2016.
  • Commercial sexual exploitation: Women are forced to work under threat of violence and their families are threatened with legal action if they do not capitulate once enslaved by prostitution. The estimated number of sex workers in India is three million, of whom 1.2 million are below 18 years of age, according to this 2013 report by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Forced marriage: About half of Indian women are forced to marry before the legal age of 18 and then made to work as unpaid labourers. More than 9,000 married women were bought from the states of Assam and West Bengal to Haryana, according to this May 2013 study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The study – involving more than 10,000 households said people who buy brides usually deny having done so, IndiaSpend reported in December 2014.

Human trafficking cases up 92% in six years

About 5,500 cases were registered across India under existing human slavery laws in 2014, according to National Crime Records Bureau data. Human trafficking rose 92% over six years to 2014, IndiaSpend reported in August 2015.

Source: National Crime Records Bureau, 2014
Source: National Crime Records Bureau, 2014

Over the past five years, 23% of human trafficking cases led to a conviction. As many as 45,375 people were arrested and 10,134 persons were convicted. Punishments range from fines to imprisonment. Over the past five years, Andhra Pradesh reported the most arrests (7,450), followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

Government measures

The government has drafted a National Policy for Domestic Workers which is currently awaiting Cabinet approval.

If enacted, the policy would ensure a minimum salary of Rs 9,000 to skilled domestic help, paid and maternity leaves, social security, and the right to bargain collectively. It will also include provisions against sexual harassment and bonded labour for domestic workers.

More than 20,000 police personnel have been trained in victim identification, implementation of the new legal framework and victim-centred investigations.

This article first appeared on IndiaSpend, a data-driven and public-interest journalism non-profit.
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Ten awesome TV shows to get over your post-GoT blues

With those withdrawal symptoms kicking in, all you need is a good rebound show.

Hangovers tend to have a debilitating effect on various human faculties, but a timely cure can ease that hollow feeling generally felt in the pit of the stomach. The Game of Thrones Season 7 finale has left us with that similar empty feeling, worsened by an official statement on the 16-month-long wait to witness The Great War. That indeed is a long time away from our friends Dany, Jon, Queen C and even sweet, sweet Podrick. While nothing can quite replace the frosty thrill of Game of Thrones, here’s a list of awesome shows, several having won multiple Emmy awards, that are sure to vanquish those nasty withdrawal symptoms:

1. Billions

There is no better setting for high stakes white collar crime than the Big Apple. And featuring a suited-up Paul Giamatti going head-to-head with the rich and ruthless Damien Lewis in New York, what’s not to like? Only two seasons young, this ShowTime original series promises a wolf-of-wall-street style showcase of power, corruption and untold riches. Billions is a great high-octane drama option if you want to keep the momentum going post GoT.

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2. Westworld

What do you get when the makers of the Dark Knight Trilogy and the studio behind Game of Thrones collaborate to remake a Michael Crichton classic? Westworld brings together two worlds: an imagined future and the old American West, with cowboys, gun slingers - the works. This sci-fi series manages to hold on to a dark secret by wrapping it with the excitement and adventure of the wild west. Once the plot is unwrapped, the secret reveals itself as a genius interpretation of human nature and what it means to be human. Regardless of what headspace you’re in, this Emmy-nominated series will absorb you in its expansive and futuristic world. If you don’t find all of the above compelling enough, you may want to watch Westworld simply because George RR Martin himself recommends it! Westworld will return for season 2 in the spring of 2018.

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3. Big Little Lies

It’s a distinct possibility that your first impressions of this show, whether you form those from the trailer or opening sequence, will make you think this is just another sun-kissed and glossy Californian drama. Until, the dark theme of BLL descends like an eerie mist, that is. With the serious acting chops of Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman as leads, this murder mystery is one of a kind. Adapted from author Liane Moriarty’s book, this female-led show has received accolades for shattering the one-dimensional portrayal of women on TV. Despite the stellar star cast, this Emmy-nominated show wasn’t easy to make. You should watch Big Little Lies if only for Reese Witherspoon’s long struggle to get it off the ground.

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4. The Night of

The Night Of is one of the few crime dramas featuring South Asians without resorting to tired stereotypes. It’s the kind of show that will keep you in its grip with its mysterious plotline, have you rooting for its characters and leave you devastated and furious. While the narrative revolves around a murder and the mystery that surrounds it, its undertones raises questions on racial, class and courtroom politics. If you’re a fan of True Detective or Law & Order and are looking for something serious and thoughtful, look no further than this series of critical acclaim.

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5. American Horror Story

As the name suggests, AHS is a horror anthology for those who can stomach some gore and more. In its 6 seasons, the show has covered a wide range of horror settings like a murder house, freak shows, asylums etc. and the latest season is set to explore cults. Fans of Sarah Paulson and Jessica Lange are in for a treat, as are Lady Gaga’s fans. If you pride yourself on not being weak of the heart, give American Horror Story a try.

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6. Empire

At its heart, Empire is a simple show about a family business. It just so happens that this family business is a bit different from the sort you are probably accustomed to, because this business entails running a record label, managing artistes and when push comes to shove, dealing with rivals in a permanent sort of manner. Empire treads some unique ground as a fairly violent show that also happens to be a musical. Lead actors Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard certainly make it worth your while to visit this universe, but it’s the constantly evolving interpersonal relations and bevy of cameo appearances that’ll make you stay. If you’re a fan of hip hop, you’ll enjoy a peek into the world that makes it happen. Hey, even if you aren’t one, you might just grow fond of rap and hip hop.

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7. Modern Family

When everything else fails, it’s comforting to know that the family will always be there to lift your spirits and keep you chuckling. And by the family we mean the Dunphys, Pritchetts and Tuckers, obviously. Modern Family portrays the hues of familial bonds with an honesty that most family shows would gloss over. Eight seasons in, the show’s characters like Gloria and Phil Dunphy have taken on legendary proportions in their fans’ minds as they navigate their relationships with relentless bumbling humour. If you’re tired of irritating one-liners or shows that try too hard, a Modern Family marathon is in order. This multiple-Emmy-winning sitcom is worth revisiting, especially since the brand new season 9 premiers on 28th September 2017.

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8. The Deuce

Headlined by James Franco and Maggi Gyllenhaal, The Deuce is not just about the dazzle of the 1970s, with the hippest New York crowd dancing to disco in gloriously flamboyant outfits. What it IS about is the city’s nooks and crannies that contain its underbelly thriving on a drug epidemic. The series portrays the harsh reality of New York city in the 70s following the legalisation of the porn industry intertwined with the turbulence caused by mob violence. You’ll be hooked if you are a fan of The Wire and American Hustle, but keep in mind it’s grimmer and grittier. The Deuce offers a turbulent ride which will leave you wanting more.

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9. Dexter

In case you’re feeling vengeful, you can always get the spite out of your system vicariously by watching Dexter, our favourite serial killer. This vigilante killer doesn’t hide behind a mask or a costume, but sneaks around like a criminal, targeting the bad guys that have slipped through the justice system. From its premier in 2006 to its series finale in 2013, the Emmy-nominated Michael C Hall, as Dexter, has kept fans in awe of the scientific precision in which he conducts his kills. For those who haven’t seen the show, the opening credits give an accurate glimpse of how captivating the next 45 minutes will be. If it’s been a while since you watched in awe as the opening credits rolled, maybe you should revisit the world’s most loved psychopath for nostalgia’s sake.

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10. Rome

If you’re still craving an epic drama with extensive settings and a grandiose plot and sub-plots, Rome, co-produced by HBO and BBC, is where your search stops. Rome is a historical drama that takes you through an overwhelming journey of Ancient Rome’s transition from a republic to an empire. And when it comes to tastes, this series provides the similar full-bodied flavour that you’ve grown to love about Game of Thrones. There’s a lot to take away for those who grew up quoting Julius Caesar, and for those looking for a realistic depiction of the legendary gladiators. If you’re a history buff, give this Emmy-winning show a try.

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For your next obsession, Hotstar Premium has you covered with its wide collection of the most watched shows in the world. Apart from the ones we’ve recommended, Indian viewers can now easily watch other universally loved shows such as Silicon Valley and Prison Break, and movies including all titles from the Marvel and Disney universe. So take control of your life again post the Game of Thrones gloom and sign up for the Hotstar Premium membership here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Hotstar and not by the Scroll editorial team.