African countries top the list of countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery, a report says.
According to the inaugural Global Slavery Index, Mauritania has the highest prevalence of modern slavery in the world with 14 other African countries being among the Top 20 worst performers.
The West African country, with its deeply entrenched system of hereditary slavery, is thought to have an estimated 150,000 slaves in a population of only 3.8 million. Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia and Gabon follow Mauritania in the top ten of the Index.
Kenya is ranked number 102 with the estimated number of slaves being 36,000 to 37,000 which comes as a result of Kenya being a host to thousands of displaced people from neighbouring countries including Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia. These migrants,according to the report, often can be subjected to slavery like conditions.
Also, Kenyans are known to have been exploited in countries overseas. Children in Kenya are trafficked for forced labour in domestic work, agriculture, fishing, cattle herding, street vending, begging and the sale of illicit brews is also another significant modern slavery issue.
The research makes recommendations to Kenya to significantly increase efforts to identify, investigate, prosecute and punish law enforcement and government officials complicit in modern slavery as well as fast track the implementation of Anti-Trafficking legislation and accompanying enforcement powers and mechanisms to ensure that law enforcement has the capacity to deal with modern slavery and related offences.
The Index estimates that over 29 million people are living in conditions of modern slavery worldwide.