Hong Kong has been named one of the worst places on the planet for the way it deals with “modern slavery”. A new report says there are 45.8 million slaves worldwide – two-thirds of them in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Walk Free Foundation’s Global Slavery Index 2016 ranks Hong Kong alongside North Korea, Iran and Eritrea for its “weak” response to modern-day slavery. This includes human trafficking, forced labour, people forced to pay off debt at high cost, forced marriage, and people forced into sex work.
The report ranks more than 160 countries worldwide and carried out almost 42,000 interviews across 25 countries. Just four places above North Korea – at 157th out of 161 countries in terms of taking action – is Hong Kong.
The index says the government is one of the few in the world that “has a limited response to modern slavery”. Hong Kong does not have good support systems for victims, and is also not good enough at punishing wrongdoers.