NAMIBIA has about 16 000 slaves and has been ranked number 46 out of 162 countries on The Global Slavery Index for 2013 released early this month.
The index was compiled by The Walk Free Foundation whose mission is to end modern day slavery by mobilising a global movement and generating the highest quality of research.
Modern day slavery, according to The Walk Free Foundation refers to slavery, forced labour or human trafficking.
Slavery is when another person is treated like a piece of property while forced labour refers to work taken without consent, by threats or coercion.
Human trafficking is the process through which people are brought, through deception, threats or coercion, into slavery, forced labour or other forms of severe exploitation.
According to the index, which provides insight into the estimated numbers of people living in modern slavery, there are 15 729 slaves in Namibia as part of the 29, 8 million people enslaved worldwide.
Lesotho is placed 44 with 14 560 slaves and Zimbabwe is on number 45 with 93 749 slaves. Other countries in the region with high numbers of slaves are Uganda at 25 with 254 541; Tanzania placed 29th with 329 503; Malawi is 33rd with 110 391; Mozambique is 35th with 173 493; at 39 is Botswana with 14 298 and 40th is Zambia with 96 175 slaves.
Nick Grono, The Walk Free Foundation chief executive officer said that it would be comforting to think that slavery is a relict of history, but it remains a scar on humanity on every continent.
Grono further said that although this is the first slavery index, it can shape national and global efforts to root out modern slavery across the world.
"We now know that just 10 countries are home to over three quarters of those trapped in modern slavery. These nations must be the focus of global efforts," said Grono.
The index lead researcher, Professor Kevin Bales, said that most governments don't dig deeply into slavery for a lot of bad reasons among them the reluctance to know "about people who can't vote, who are hidden away, and are likely to be illegal anyway".
"The laws are in place, but the tools and resources and the political will are lacking. And since hidden slaves can't be counted it is easy to pretend they don't exist. The Index aims to change that," Bales said.
The index points out that modern slavery will not be eradicated until business leaders ensure their supply chains are slave-free.