A report says more than 35 million people around the world are trapped in modern forms of slavery, including forced labor, forced marriages, human trafficking, debt bondage, and commercial sexual exploitation.
The report published on November 17 by the Walk Free Foundation, an Australia-based non-governmental organization, covers 167 countries.
It says five countries – India, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Russia – accounted for 61 percent of slavery.
Mauritania had the highest proportion of its population in modern slavery, at 4 percent, followed by Uzbekistan with 3.97 percent.
The report links the rise in Uzbekistan's ranking to government-imposed forced labor.
It estimates that more than 1.2 million people in Uzbekistan, with a population of 30.2 million, are subjected to modern slavery during the annual cotton harvest.
More than 2 million people in Pakistan and more than 1 million in Russia live in modern slavery, the report claimed.