Global increase in modern slavery
Nearly 46 million people around the world are thought to be trapped in modern slavery, according to the latest global slavery index
The research, conducted by Australian based group Walk Free Foundation, looked at the prevalence of modern slavery in 167 countries. It increased the global estimate to 45.8 million, up from 35.8 million in the last global survey.
India is the country with the greatest number of people forced to live in some form of slavery with an estimated 18.3million thought to be in slavery there. Meanwhile 58 per cent of those living in slavery across the globe are in five countries: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.
The global index also estimated 11,700 are trapped in slavery in the United Kingdom, which is 0.02 per cent of the UK population.
Britain was one of a number of countries who was commended in the survey for its response to modern slavery with particular praise reserved for the anti-trafficking laws now in place in the UK.
Last year, the Modern Slavery Act was passed by MPs, representing the first dedicated piece of anti-slavery legislation to be passed into law in the UK for nearly 200 years.
Responding to the findings, Louise Gleich, Human Trafficking expert at the charity CARE (Christian Action Education and Research) said: 'These figures show a shocking a number of people are still trapped in some form of modern slavery all across the globe. The equivalent of roughly two thirds of the entire UK population are being held in some form of slavery across the world, which is a global disgrace.
'This should serve as a serious wake-up call to people everywhere, highlighting that modern slavery exists and that it is rife.
'Even here in the UK, more than 11,000 people are currently thought to be trapped in slavery and I suspect many people will be staggered this is happening on our doorstep.
'In Britain, we have dedicated anti-trafficking legislation in all parts of the country and it is critical local authorities, the police and other agencies co-operate to ensure the new laws are properly implemented.
'All of us also have a responsibility to keep vigilant for signs of this vile trade happening on our doorsteps.
'Modern slavery is a horrible and malicious trade that thrives on secrecy and ignorance. We must work with our international partners to do all we can to end this dehumanising trade.'