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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

North Korea Found to Have the Most Modern-Day Slaves Worldwide

  • Lauren Sanchez
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2018 Jul 20
  • Comments

In a study published by The Global Slavery Index, in 2018, North Korea stands to have the most modern-day slaves, a total estimate of 2.6 million in the country. Types of slavery included in the study are “human trafficking, forced marriage, and the exploitation of children, along with slavery,” The Blaze reports. Not included is organ trafficking and child soldier recruitment:

“Unfortunately, due to the limits of existing data, it was not possible for the Global Estimates of Modern Slavery to measure and include the scale of trafficking for organ removal or the recruitment child soldiers,” The Global Slavery Index concludes.

The Global Slavery Index defines modern slavery this way: “Essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power. For example, their passport might be taken away if they are in a foreign country, they might experience or be threatened with violence, or their family might be threatened.”

In North Korea, modern-day slavery is so common that citizens believe it’s their duty. The Blaze reports, “One panellist for the Global Slavery Index, Dr Jang Jin-sung, used to be a member of the North Korean elite class, but that did not exempt him from forced labor. Dr. Jang said that many North Koreans don’t even realize that they were being enslaved. “I didn’t know it when I was in the country, but looking back it was,” Jang told The Telegraph. “As a child I had to do farm work in the summer. I didn’t think of it as forced labour but as a righteous duty to the state.”

The Blaze reports that children in North Korea who are forced into labor are threatened with expulsion from school or other punishment if they refuse to cooperate. They are also not paid for their work.

Including North Korea, the study found other countries to have a high number of modern-day slaves. Among these are Afghanistan, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Mauritania, and South Sudan.

Publication Date: July 20. 2018

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