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Mapping Modern Slavery Risk

May 10th, 2022

Modern slavery impacts every country and virtually every industry in the world today. Over 50 million victims span our global supply chains, from cotton harvesting to fishing, garment manufacturing to electronics. When looking for where to source materials, where to invest money, and where to conduct business, incorporating modern slavery risk into the decision-making process can feel like an overwhelming task.


However, there are data sources out there that help us to understand where the risk lies. These resources break down the complex and widespread crime of modern slavery by country or industry and clarify how and where modern slavery exists within the world today.


When accessing this data, it is important to consider the limitations of such information. Modern slavery, by its very nature, is a clandestine crime that can be challenging to quantify. However, these sources do provide an initial insight and are updated on a regular basis with new research and intelligence to further our understanding and allow for more effective risk management.


Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

The Global Slavery Index


The Global Slavery Index provides a comprehensive overview of the modern slavery situation in almost every country in the world. A country-by-country breakdown allows you to dive into the data and understand the following key information about that location:

  • The number of people estimated to be living in modern slavery.
  • The prevalence of modern slavery related to the population.
  • How the prevalence of modern slavery compares to other countries, globally and within that particular region.
  • A vulnerability score determining how the local context may be creating modern slavery vulnerabilities.
  • Information on how the government is responding to the issue in that country.
  • Explanations of typical industries impacted by modern slavery, and patterns of exploitation.


US DOL List of Goods & Services


This data source from the US Department of Labour (DOL), lists goods and services that are known to carry a high risk of forced and/or child labour. This is updated on a regular basis to reflect changing trends and analysis in this space.

By searching the list of goods and services, you can see the modern slavery risks associated with them, as well as information on locations where risk is considered to be higher.

This data can be found online but is unavailable for access online in some countries. If that is the case for you, then the ‘Sweat & Toil’ smartphone app allows you to access the data by searching by good or service on your mobile phone. This free app is available on Android and Apple devices and provides an easy interface to access and search all of the insights from the DOL.


The State Department’s Annual Trafficking In Persons Report


This annual report analyses the modern slavery situation in almost every country in the world. It provides analysis on:

  • How each country is managing modern slavery prevention, detection, and mitigation through allocating a ‘Tier’ to each location.
  • Analysis of common trends and typologies of modern slavery in that location.
  • Recommendations for improvements in anti-slavery responses, as well as examples of best practice.
  • Analysis on how the modern slavery response has changed over time.
  • Additional ‘special reports’ on issues such as the impact of Covid-19 on modern slavery risk across the world.

Author – Phoebe Ewen


  • What are modern slavery risks?
  • What are the modern slavery trends now?
  • Is there any other free helpful modern slavery toolkit?
  • Where can I access resources on the Modern Slavery Act?
  • Does the Mekong Club provide modern-day slavery training?
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