Aceh province, Indonesia, August 2019. Fishermen collect their catch. Fishing is a high-risk industry for forced labour. Migrant workers are particularly at risk of exploitation in the Indonesian fishing industry. Photo Credit: Chaideer Mahyuddin / AFP. Getty Images.
Global Slavery Index / Regional Findings

modern slavery in Asia and the Pacific

Regional Highlights



Asia and the Pacific is home to 56 per cent of the world’s population, including the two most populous countries, India and China, and experienced the greatest increase in international migrants from 2000 to 2020.1 The region hosts the largest number of people in modern slavery, with an estimated 15 million people in forced labour. This includes debt bondage among migrants exploited within the region, hereditary forms of bonded labour in South Asia, and state-imposed forced labour in China, North Korea, and other countries. The prevalence of forced marriage in Asia and the Pacific is second highest in the world, after the Arab States, impacting an estimated 4.5 females and 2.1 males per every thousand people.

Although the region is highly diverse in terms of geography, ethnicity, culture, religion, and wealth, modern slavery occurs in every country. Discrimination on the basis of gender, race, caste, and ethnicity drives vulnerability to modern slavery. This vulnerability is compounded by conflict, as seen with the mass displacement of the Rohingya population in Myanmar, political instability, as shown by the seizure of power by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and economic insecurity, as illustrated by the economic crisis and humanitarian emergency in Sri Lanka. To varying extents, the effects of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated vulnerability across the region — driving increased unemployment, poverty, and gender inequality.

Australia took the most action to combat modern slavery in the region, followed by the Philippines and Thailand, while North Korea and Iran took the least. Across most countries, governments should address significant gaps including raising the age of marriage to 18 for girls and boys with no exemptions and ensuring that labour rights are extended to all workers, including migrants.

What is the extent and nature of modern slavery in the region?

On any given day in 2021, an estimated 29.3 million people were living in modern slavery in Asia and the Pacific. This accounts for 59 per cent of the global total. When population size is taken into account, Asia and the Pacific had the third highest prevalence of modern slavery in the world with 6.8 per thousand people in the region forced to work or marry. Among the five regions, Asia and the Pacific had the second highest prevalence of forced marriage (3.3 per thousand) and the third highest prevalence of forced labour (3.5 per thousand).2

The country with by far the highest prevalence in Asia and the Pacific, and, indeed, the world, is North Korea, where the population is forced to work by the state or risk being penalised with hard labour in prison camps.3 In North Korea, an estimated one in every 10 people are in situations of modern slavery.

Following North Korea, Afghanistan, and Myanmar had the second and third highest prevalence of modern slavery in the region. India, China, and North Korea had the highest number — and together accounting for two-thirds of all people in modern slavery in the region. Instability continues to shape experiences of modern slavery across high prevalence countries in Asia and the Pacific. For example, the worsening humanitarian situation caused by the political and economic turmoil drives modern slavery practices in Afghanistan and Myanmar.4 In these contexts, families may resort to negative coping mechanisms, such as marrying their young daughters, to deal with economic stress.5 In other countries with a high prevalence of modern slavery, such as Pakistan and India, economic insecurity drives workers to take on risky jobs or loans from unscrupulous employers. Employers then exploit these workers by forcing them into labour-intensive jobs to repay their debts.6

Although these regional figures of modern slavery are the most reliable to date, they are conservative estimates given the gaps and limitations of data in key regions and subregions. For example, difficulties in conducting surveys in countries that are experiencing conflict means that our estimates for these countries likely understate the problem, despite our efforts to address data gaps. These estimates also do not include the recruitment of child soldiers or organ trafficking, which other sources note occur in parts of the region.7 The true number of people living in situations of modern slavery in Asia and the Pacific is likely much higher.

Table 1: Estimated prevalence and number of people in modern slavery, by country
Regional rank  Country Est. prevalence of modern slavery (per 1,000 population)  Est. number of people in modern slavery Population 
1 North Korea 104.6 2,696,000 25,779,000
2 Afghanistan 13.0 505,000 38,928,000
3 Myanmar 12.1 657,000 54,410,000
4 Pakistan 10.6 2,349,000 220,892,000
5 Papua New Guinea 10.3 93,000 8,947,000
6 India 8.0 11,050,000 1,380,004,000
7 Philippines 7.8 859,000 109,581,000
8 Iran 7.1 597,000 83,993,000
9 Bangladesh 7.1 1,162,000 164,689,000
10 Indonesia 6.7 1,833,000 273,524,000
11 Sri Lanka 6.5 139,000 21,413,000
12 Malaysia 6.3 202,000 32,366,000
13 Timor-Leste 6.1 8,000 1,318,000
14 Thailand 5.7 401,000 69,800,000
15 Lao PDR 5.2 38,000 7,276,000
16 Cambodia 5.0 83,000 16,719,000
17 Viet Nam 4.1 396,000 97,339,000
18 Mongolia 4.0 13,000 3,278,000
19 China 4.0 5,771,000 1,439,324,000
20 South Korea 3.5 180,000 51,269,000
21 Nepal 3.3 97,000 29,137,000
22 Hong Kong 2.8 21,000 7,497,000
23 Singapore 2.1 12,000 5,850,000
24 Taiwan 1.7 40,000 23,817,000
25 New Zealand 1.6 8,000 4,822,000
26 Australia 1.6 41,000 25,500,000
27 Japan 1.1 144,000 126,476,000

What drives vulnerability to modern slavery in the region?

Figure 1: Level of vulnerability to modern slavery, by dimension

Asia and the Pacific is the third most vulnerable region in the world to modern slavery. The drivers most influencing this risk include widespread discriminatory social norms, political inequality and instability, and economic insecurity. While conflict-induced displacement and disruption widened gaps in wealth and social capital in some countries, vulnerability was compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate-related disasters. Overall, Afghanistan had the highest levels of vulnerability (86 per cent) and Australia the lowest (7 per cent).

Discriminatory social norms that devalue marginalised groups on the basis of their migration status, race, ethnicity, and/or sexual orientation are the greatest driver of vulnerability in the region. In Myanmar, the Rohingya minority continue to face mass displacement, abductions, sexual violence, and murder,8 driving many to seek protection in Bangladesh. Once in Bangladesh, Rohingya refugees face increased risks of modern slavery as offenders prey on their extreme vulnerability,9 while families living in camps struggle to cope with food and economic insecurity,10 which, coupled with gender discrimination, has led to increased rates of child marriage.11 The persecution of religious and ethnic minorities occurs in China, including the use of state-imposed forced labour to control the Uyghur population and other Turkic and Muslim majority groups in the Uyghur region.12 The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of Uyghur and other predominately Muslim groups has been called a crime against humanity by the UN Human Rights Commissioner.13

Political inequality and instability pervade many countries in the region, driving vulnerability to modern slavery. Notably, Afghanistan is considered the least peaceful country in the world.14 In August 2021, after four decades of war, the Taliban seized control, triggering political, economic, and social shocks and worsening the humanitarian situation.15 The crisis has caused many civilians to turn to smugglers to flee the country, often to countries with measures in place to actively deter Afghan refugees,16 which compounds their vulnerability to exploitation. Afghan women and girls have reportedly been forced into marriages by their families to escape the country.17 In Iran, physical and sexual violence is perpetrated by security forces as a means to repress women’s rights and stifle political dissent, which has attracted coordinated sanctions from 30 countries in March 2023.18 Hundreds of activists have been unfairly imprisoned and subject to torture and sexual assault or killed since protests erupted in September 2022, following the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini — who was arrested for wearing her hijab incorrectly.19 Personal status laws that deny women equal rights in matters of marriage, divorce, inheritance, and children further entrench gender inequality and vulnerability to exploitation.20 

Economic instability and increasing poverty limit access to essential needs for survival such as shelter, food, and water, and increase vulnerability to all forms of modern slavery in Asia and the Pacific. This is underpinned by widening wealth gaps: in 2021, an additional 80 million people were forced into poverty due to pandemic-related disruptions in economic activity.21 This risk is compounded for disenfranchised groups who were already living in precarious conditions. In India, for example, a sudden lockdown in early 2020 left many migrant workers, who were largely employed as day labourers, stranded and without support from the government or their employers.22 Many had no alternative but to make the journey home on foot, often walking hundreds of kilometres,23 while others took out loans to meet their basic needs.24 After a devastating second wave of COVID-19 buckled the Indian health system in 202125 and caused many deaths from the disease,26 thousands of newly orphaned children were exposed to higher risks of abuse and trafficking.27

Climate change and climate-related disasters exacerbate risks to modern slavery by reducing access to essential needs and increasing existing disparities in wealth and social capital levels. These burdens were not evenly shared across the region. Many people in low-lying countries in the Pacific Islands expect to be displaced from their homes due to the effects of climate change,28 if they have not been already.29 Intensifying weather events and rising sea levels contribute to food and water insecurity through crop loss, loss of arable land, overcrowding, poor health and sanitation, and increased competition for limited jobs.30 These conditions create opportunities for traffickers to exploit vulnerable individuals,31 particularly where avenues for regular migration are not readily available.32 Risk of modern slavery also increases through reliance on negative coping mechanisms. For instance, in Bangladesh, one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change,33 extreme weather has been linked to child marriage to both minimise household expenses and protect daughters from the heightened risk of sexual violence.34

Table 2: Level of vulnerability to modern slavery, by country
Country  Total (%)
Afghanistan 86
Pakistan 80
Papua New Guinea 79
Iran 69
Myanmar 67
North Korea 67
Philippines 66
Bangladesh 58
Cambodia 58
India 56
Sri Lanka 56
Lao PDR 52
Timor-Leste 51
Mongolia 50
Indonesia 49
Thailand 47
Nepal 46
China 46
Viet Nam 44
Malaysia 37
South Korea 29
Hong Kong 28
Singapore 24
Taiwan 21
Japan 11
New Zealand 8
Australia 7

What are governments in the region doing to address modern slavery?

Walk Free assessed government responses to modern slavery across 32 countries in the region. Asia and the Pacific scored an average 40 per cent rating on government response, the second lowest score of the five regions. Overall, governments did not have sufficient measures to support survivors or the criminal justice process, coordinate the response, address underlying risk factors, or eradicate modern slavery from supply chains — though responses vary significantly across the region.

Within Asia and the Pacific, there are stark differences in GDP per capita PPP (current international $),35 meaning certain economies have far more resources available to dedicate to responding to modern slavery than others. However, on overall government response scores, countries with a higher level of wealth, particularly Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan are taking relatively little action to respond to modern slavery. In comparison, Bangladesh, Fiji, Lao PDR, the Philippines, and Thailand are all taking positive steps to respond to this issue relative to their level of wealth.

Australia took the most action to combat modern slavery in the Asia and the Pacific region, followed by the Philippines, Thailand, and New Zealand. For the first time, Australia allocated a budget to support implementation of its National Action Plan.36 In December 2021, the President of the Philippines signed Republic Act (R.A.) No. 11596 into law, which effectively criminalises child marriage, setting the minimum age of marriage at 18.37 The Philippines is only the eighth country in our assessment of the region to do so. However, the Philippines has not yet criminalised forced marriage, which remains a critical gap across the region, with only 10 countries having done so.38 Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh, and Malaysia recently joined Sri Lanka as the only countries in the region to have brought the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 into force.39

North Korea and Iran still demonstrate the weakest response to modern slavery, reflecting a lack of political will to address modern slavery and, in the case of North Korea, the active use of state-imposed forced labour. For many Pacific Island countries, the challenge of operating in resource constrained environments largely accounts for existing gaps in the response to modern slavery.40

Many countries in the region took further action to combat modern slavery since the last edition of the Global Slavery Index in 2018. For example, since then, Palau, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Nepal, and Pakistan41 acceded to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.42 Brunei Darussalam finalised a National Action Plan on human trafficking43 and established a National Committee on Trafficking in Persons.44 Palau, which was not included in the previous edition of the GSI, has also made significant strides in improving the modern slavery response over the last four years, during which it set up a coordinating body and adopted a National Action Plan,45 ratified the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182),46 and established a trafficking hotline.47

“Once they are rescued and back in their communities, the victims needed to be connected with services within their community. They need services so that there is no re-trafficking.” Female survivor of modern slavery, India, 2019

There are significant gaps in legislative frameworks to combat modern slavery across the region. Nine countries in Asia and the Pacific have stated in legislation that survivors are not to be treated as criminals for conduct that occurred while under the control of criminals. However, even where this protection exists, it is not always implemented in practice. A total of 19 countries in the region treated survivors of modern slavery as criminals. For example, in 2020, 81 returned migrant workers who had been exploited in Viet Nam were jailed in Bangladesh.48

This is not the only gap between policy and practice. While almost all countries have criminalised corruption, there were reports that official complicity in modern slavery cases were not investigated in 19 countries. In India, officials allegedly received bribes from traffickers in exchange for protection against prosecution, while in the state of Tamil Nadu, local politicians allegedly benefitted from the commercial sexual exploitation of children and forced begging rings.49 Further, despite National Action Plans in 28 countries, only 11 governments routinely reviewed their modern slavery response and just two countries monitored the government response to modern slavery through an independent entity, such as the Office of the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons in Nepal, which is tasked with monitoring human trafficking in the country and making recommendations to government.50 More recently, Australia announced funding to establish an Anti-Slavery Commissioner.51 Of 26 countries that have a legal framework that supports compensation or restitution for modern slavery crimes, only 15 awarded compensation or restitution to survivors in practice.

“If governments are not able to prevent trafficking, it is at least their responsibility to give compensation to victims. Every government is responsible to give compensation to victims of human trafficking.” Female survivor of modern slavery, India, 2019

Labour laws in 18 countries prevented certain groups, such as migrant workers or domestic workers, from exercising their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining, and only the Philippines has ratified the ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189).52 Despite significant levels of regular and irregular migration — largely intra-regional but also to destinations such as North America, Europe, and the Middle East53 — only six countries had ratified the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, 199054 and fewer than half have ratified the Protocol Against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.55 Further, recruitment agencies were registered and monitored by governments in only 13 countries, and even fewer countries in the region had laws or policies stating that recruitment fees — a known driver of risk among migrants — are to be paid by employers.

“Holding company owners directly liable for what happens in their business or supply chains.” Female survivor of modern slavery, India, 2019

Only six countries took any steps to eradicate modern slavery from supply chains. This includes Australia’s 2018 Modern Slavery Act, which requires businesses with an annual consolidated revenue of at least AU$100 million (approximately US$67 million) to report on their efforts to address modern slavery within their operations and supply chains.56 In 2022, New Zealand also proposed legislation to prevent modern slavery within business supply chains.57

Table 3: Government response score, by country and milestone
Country Survivors identified and supported (%) Criminal justice mechanisms (%) National and regional level coordination (%) Risk factors are addressed (%) Government and business supply chains (%) Total (%)
Australia 64 69 75 79 38 67
Philippines 59 73 75 50 13 59
Thailand 50 65 75 64 0 55
New Zealand 45 65 50 64 25 54
Indonesia 45 65 50 57 0 50
Bangladesh 41 69 50 50 0 49
Sri Lanka 45 65 50 50 0 49
Singapore 55 54 38 57 0 47
Taiwan 45 36 63 79 13 47
Viet Nam 64 46 75 36 0 47
Fiji 50 50 38 64 0 46
India 36 58 75 50 0 46
Lao PDR 59 50 50 43 0 46
Malaysia 41 58 50 50 0 45
Nepal 36 58 63 50 0 45
Japan 45 42 63 57 0 44
Cambodia 41 46 75 43 0 42
Myanmar 50 42 75 36 0 42
China 41 46 50 36 13 40
Mongolia 36 54 25 43 13 40
South Korea 41 46 50 36 0 38
Maldives 41 38 38 50 0 37
Pakistan 36 42 50 43 0 37
Brunei Darussalam 27 42 25 57 0 35
Timor-Leste 32 42 50 36 0 35
Hong Kong 27 35 38 50 0 32
Papua New Guinea 23 42 50 29 0 31
Solomon Islands 14 42 50 43 0 31
Palau 27 31 25 36 0 27
Vanuatu 9 38 50 29 0 26
Iran -5 19 25 0 8
North Korea -9 8 13 -21 0 -3

Recommendations for governments

  1. Ensure survivor support services, including shelters, crisis support centres, and community-based protection, cover all populations — including males, adults, and migrants — and make specialised support available for children.

  2. Strengthen legislation to protect survivors of exploitation by ensuring they are not treated as criminals for conduct that occurred while under the control of traffickers. Ensure legislation supports compensation and restitution for survivors of modern slavery and that this occurs in practice, including by setting up a compensation fund for survivors.

  3. Raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 for girls and boys with no exemptions.

  4. Extend labour laws to ensure that all groups are covered without exception and ensure that labour inspections are regularly conducted across all sectors, including the informal sector. Introduce and enforce laws to prohibit charging of recruitment fees to employees and register and monitor local recruitment agencies for deceptive practices, ensuring contracts are made available in a language migrants can understand.

  5. Introduce mandatory human rights due diligence to stop governments and businesses sourcing goods or services linked to modern slavery


1An increase of 74 per cent from 2000 to 2020. See International Organization for Migration 2022, World Migration Report. Available from: [1 March 2023].
2International Labour Organization, Walk Free & International Organization for Migration 2022, Global Estimates of Modern Slavery. Available from:
3Walk Free & Leiden Asia Centre 2018, Pervasive, Punitive, and Predetermined: Understanding Modern Slavery in North Korea. Available from: [13 January 2022].
4Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar 2022, Losing a generation: how the military junta is devastating Myanmars children and undermining Myanmars future A/HRC/50/CRP.1, United Nations Human Rights Council, pp. 27-34. Available from: [14 March 2023]; Fore, H 2021, ‘Girls increasingly at risk of child marriage in Afghanistan’, United Nations Childrens Fund, 12 November. Available from: [14 March 2023].
5Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar 2022, Losing a generation: how the military junta is devastating Myanmars children and undermining Myanmars future A/HRC/50/CRP.1, United Nations Human Rights Council, pp. 27-34. Available from: [14 March 2023]; Fore, H 2021, ‘Girls increasingly at risk of child marriage in Afghanistan’, United Nations Childrens Fund, 12 November. Available from: [14 March 2023].
6Murray, F, Theminimulle, S, Mustaq, N & Fazli, S 2019, Modern Slavery in Pakistan, pp. 8-12. Available from: [14 March 2022]; Pokharel, S & Page, T 2021, ‘Silk slaves: India’s bonded laborers are forced to work to pay off debts’, CNN, 13 March. Available from: [9 February 2022]; Anti-Slavery International n.d., India: debt bondage. Available from: [14 March 2023]; Nagaraj, A 2019, ‘This scheme is fighting slavery in India’, World Economic Forum, 30 August. Available from: [14 March 2023].
7United Nations General Assembly Security Council 2021, Children and armed conflict: Report of the Secretary-General A/75/873–S/2021/437, pp. 3, 17. Available from: [28 January 2022]; Evans, R 2017, ‘Pakistani police rescue 24 from organ trafficking gang’, BBC News, 24 January. Available from: [28 January 2022]; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime n.d., Nepal takes a step forward against human trafficking, United Nations. Available from: [28 January 2022].
8Amnesty International 2018, Briefing: Myanmar forces starve, abduct and rob Rohingya, as ethnic cleansing continues, pp. 1-2. Available from: [2 February 2022]; Reuters Staff 2020, ‘Myanmar casualties may amount to further war crimes, U.N. rights chief says’, Reuters, 14 September. Available from: [2 February 2022].
9Donovan, L 2019, Taking on traffickers at the worlds largest refugee site, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Available from: [31 January 2022].
10MacGregor, F 2017, ‘Rohingya girls as young as 12 compelled to marry just to get food’, The Guardian, 30 November. Available from: [31 January 2022]; Ahmed, K 2019, ‘Rohingya women, girls being trafficked to Malaysia for marriage’, Al Jazeera, 8 May. Available from: [31 January 2022].
11Guglielmi, S, Mitu, K & Seager, J 2021, ‘‘I Just Keep Quiet’: Addressing the Challenges of Married Rohingya Girls and Creating Opportunities for Change’, The European Journal of Development Research, vol. 33, pp. 1232-1251. Available from: [1 March 2023].
12Xu, VX, Cave, D, Leibold, J, Munro, K & Ruser, N 2020, Uyghurs for sale: Re-education, forced labour and surveillance beyond Xinjiang, Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Available from: [14 December 2021]; Uyghur Human Rights Project 2018, The Bingtuan: Chinas Paramilitary Colonizing Force in East Turkestan. Available from: [20 August 2020]; Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons 2021, Trafficking in Persons Report: China Country Narrative, United States Department of State, pp. 174-180. Available from: [14 December 2021].
13United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner 2022, OHCHR Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Peoples Republic of China, p. 44. Available from: [28 September 2022].
14Institute for Economics & Peace 2021, Global Peace Index 2021: Measuring Peace in a Complex World, p. 2. Available from: [1 February 2022].
15United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2022, Humanitarian Needs Overview Afghanistan, pp. 4-6. Available from: [1 February 2022].
16Wallis, E 2021, ‘‘What else can we do?’: Increasing numbers engage smugglers to flee Afghanistan’, Info Migrants, 9 November. Available from: [1 February 2022]; Ellis-Petersen, H, Baloch, SM & Lorenzo, T 2021, ‘Pathway to freedom: hostile journey awaits Afghans fleeing the Taliban’, The Guardian, 26 August. Available from: [1 February 2022].
17Alvarez, P & Hansler, J 2021, ‘Afghan women report forced marriages to flee country amid Taliban takeover, sources say’, CNN, 3 September. Available from: [1 February 2022].
18United States Institute of Peace 2023, ‘Sanctions on Iran for Abuse of Girls and Women’, 8 March. Available From: [21 April 2023].
19Human Rights Watch 2023, ‘Iran: Brute Force Used in Crackdown on Dissent’, 12 January. Available From: [21 April 2023]; Amnesty International 2023, Iran: Child detainees subjected to flogging, electric shocks and sexual violence in brutal protest crackdown. Available from: [21 April 2023]; Parent, D & Habibiazad, G 2023, ‘‘They used our hijabs to gag us’: Iran protesters tell of rapes, beatings and torture by police’, The Guardian, 6 February. Available From: [21 April 2023].
20Human Rights Watch 2023, ‘Iran: Brute Force Used in Crackdown on Dissent’, 12 January. Available From: [21 April 2023]; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2019, Gender, Institutions and Development Database (GID-DB). Available from: [21 April 2023].
21Asian Development Bank 2021, Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific, p. xi. Available from: [1 February 2022].
22Stranded Workers Action Network 2020, 21 Days and Counting: COVID-19 Lockdown, Migrant Workers, and the Inadequacy of Welfare Measures in India, pp. 6-9. Available from: [1 February 2022]; Kumara, S & Choudhury, S 2021, ‘Migrant workers and human rights: A critical study on India’s COVID-19 lockdown policy’, Social Sciences & Humanities Open, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1-8. DOI: [1 February 2022].
23Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 2020, COVID-19: UN human rights chief distressed over plight of Indias internal migrants, welcomes measures to limit impact, United Nations. Available from: [1 February 2022].
24Kumar, V 2020, ‘Why India’s migrant workers are returning to the cities they fled during the Covid-19 lockdown’,, 1 November. Available from: [1 February 2022].
25Ellis-Peterson, H 2021, ‘‘The system has collapsed’: India’s descent into Covid hell’, The Guardian, 21 April. Available from: [1 February 2022].
26Choudhary, AA 2021, ‘Covid left 3.6k kids orphaned, 26k lost one parent: NCPCR’, The Times of India, 8 June. Available from: [1 February 2022].
27Haque, Y 2021, ‘UNICEF India Representative Yasmin Haque’s remarks at a media briefing on the status of the COVID-19 crisis in India and South Asia’, United Nations Childrens Fund, 13 May. Available from: [1 February 2022]; Save the Children 2021, ‘India’s COVID-19 Crisis: Sharp Increase in Child Trafficking and Abuse Risks amid Social Media Pleas to Adopt COVID Orphans’, 7 May. Available from: [1 February 2022].
28Parker, R 2018, Unregulated population migration and other future drivers of instability in the Pacific, Lowy Institute. Available from: [18 September 2019].
29Worland, J 2019, ‘The Leaders of These Sinking Countries Are Fighting to Stop Climate Change. Here’s What the Rest of the World Can Learn’, TIME, 13 June. Available from: [22 December 2021].
30The World Bank 2017, Pacific Possible: Long-term Economic Opportunities and Challenges for Pacific Island Countries, World Bank Group, pp. 80-90. Available from: [18 September 2019].
31Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Vanuatu Human Rights Coalition, Homes of Hope Fiji & Pacificwin 2021, Submission to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for her analytical report on a comprehensive approach to promoting, protecting and respecting womens and girls full enjoyment of human rights in humanitarian situations, including good practices, challenges and lessons learned at the national, regional and international levels, pp. 1-4. Available from: [1 March 2023]; Kingi, P & Pakoa, A 2021, ‘Climate Change and Human Trafficking in the Pacific’, Commonwealth 8.7 Network, 1 July. Available from: [1 March 2023].
32Coelho, S, Martens, J, Cole, A & Lee, S 2016, The Climate Change-Human Trafficking Nexus, International Organization for Migration, p. 3. Available from: [9 November 2022]; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 2021, Displaced on the frontlines of the climate emergency. Available from: [13 January 2022].
33Eckstein, D, Künzel, V & Schäfer, L 2021, Global Climate Risk Index 2021: Who Suffers Most from Extreme Weather Events? Weather-Related Loss Events in 2019 and 2000-2019, GermanWatch, pp. 13-15. Available from: [2 February 2022].
34Ahmed, KJ 2019, ‘The nexus between extreme weather events, sexual violence, and early marriage: a study of vulnerable populations in Bangladesh’, Population and Environment, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 303-324. Available from: [18 December 2020].
35The World Bank 2022, GDP per capita, PPP (current international $) – Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong SAR, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Islamic Rep., Japan, Kiribati, Korea, Rep., Korea, Dem. Peoples Rep., Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Maldives. Available from: [1 February 2022].
36The Hon Jason Wood MP 2020, ‘Government announces $10.6 million to combat modern slavery’, Australian Government, 22 October. Available from: [31 January 2022].
37An Act Prohibiting the Practice of Child Marriage and Imposing Penalties for Violations Thereof, 2021 (Republic Act No. 11596) (The Philippines); Parrocha, A 2022, ‘Duterte signs law criminalizing child marriage’, Philippine News Agency, 6 January. Available from:,Republic%20Act%20(R.A.)&text=Under%20the%20law%2C%20the%20facilitation,%E2%80%9Cunlawful%20and%20prohibited%20acts.%E2%80%9D. [31 January 2022].
38The nine countries that have criminalised forced marriage are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, Vanuatu, and Viet Nam.
39International Labour Organization NORMLEX n.d., Ratifications of P029 – Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, International Labour Organization. Available from: [31 January 2022].
40Walk Free 2020, Murky Waters: A qualitative assessment of modern slavery in the Pacific region, Minderoo Foundation, pp. 20-32. Available from: [15 April 2020].
41Although outside the period of assessment for government responses reported in this publication, it must be noted that on 4 November 2022, Pakistan also acceded to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
42United Nations Treaty Collection n.d., 12. a Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Available from: [15 September 2021].
43Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons 2021, Trafficking in Persons Report: Brunei Country Narrative, United States Department of State, pp. 139-141. Available from: [13 June 2022].
44Hayat, H 2021, ‘Brunei stands firm against human trafficking’, Borneo Bulletin, 27 January. Available from: [13 June 2022].
45Republic of Palau 2021, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 5 of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21 – Palau A/HRC/WG.6/38/PLW/1, United Nations Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Thirty-eighth session, p. 12. Available from: [13 June 2022].
46International Labour Organization n.d., Ratifications of C182 – Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182), International Labour Organization NORMLEX. Available from: [9 June 2020].
47Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons 2019, Trafficking in Persons Report: Palau Country Narrative, United States Department of State, pp. 369-371. Available from: [13 June 2022].
48Palma, P & Islam, R 2020, ‘Trafficking Victims: Jail straightaway, not rehabilitation’, The Daily Star, 2 September. Available from: [20 November 2020]; Amnesty International 2020, ‘Urgent Action: 300 returning migrant workers arrested’, 7 September. Available from: [12 July 2022].
49Bureau of International Labor Affairs 2020, 2020 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, United States Department of Labor, p. 8. Available from: [13 July 2022].
50National Human Rights Commission Nepal 2019, National Report on Trafficking in Persons in Nepal, pp. 14-15. Available from: [7 July 2021].
51Attorney-General’s Department 2023, ‘Investing in a justice system that keeps Australians safe & advances integrity & accountability’, 9 May. Australian Government. Available from: [13 May 2023].
52NORMLEX n.d., Ratifications of C189 – Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189), International Labour Organization. Available from: [24 January 2022].
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54United Nations Treaty Collection n.d., 13. International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. Available from: [10 February 2022].
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