Modern slavery figures up by a third to 45.8 million

More than 45 million people around the world are trapped in modern slavery, according to a new report.

The figures by the Global Slavery Index are a third higher than previously thought.

According to figures, every corner of the globe is affected by slavery, but in Asia it is most prominent.

People are being trafficked to work as prostitutes, domestic servants or enslaved in debt bondage and compelled to work away in factories or on farms.

North Korea had the highest prevalence with 4.37% of its population enslaved, followed by Uzbekistan at 3.97% and Cambodia with 1.65%.

India has the highest number of modern slaves with an estimated 18.35 million followed by China with 3.39 million and Pakistan with 2.13 million.

4.37% of North Korea's population is in modern slavery, a report says Credit: Reuters

The report also praised the UK as having "led the world" in its anti-slavery strategy, singling out the 2015 Modern Slavery Act which toughened up laws and increased sentences for the worst offenders to life imprisonment.

Andrew Forrest, founder of the Walk Free Foundation, said the world would be a "much safer place" if other countries followed a similar lead.

The report found that 45.8 million men, women and children are modern slaves - 10 million more than the last survey in 2014.

"It isn't necessarily that fact that slavery has increased, we can't prove that, what we can prove is that the metrics of visibility, the hard data, is better", said Mr Forrest.

"Although my gut feeling is that it is actually increasing still and it will be a year or two before it turns around.

"But it is going to turn around, the way the world is waking up to it".

According to Home Office estimates, around 13,000 people are in modern slavery in Britain.

Out of these people, the largest proportion is from Albania followed by Nigeria and Vietnam, but many are British nationals, often teenage girls groomed and then forced into sex work.

Around 13,000 people are in modern slavery in Britain, the Home Office believes Credit: PA