Mexico Imports $9.2 Billion in Goods Produced under Slavery

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Not only does Mexico rank among the top Latin American nations in terms of forced labor, but it also is one of the biggest importers of products manufactured by enslaved workers, amounting to $9.2 billion modern-slavery goods in 2022.

According to the 2023 Global Slavery Index (GSI), prepared by the human rights watchdog Walk Free, last year Mexico imported electronics and other products from China manufactured in forced-labor sweatshops worth $5.5 billion.

Mexico also imported about $1.5 billion in Chinese garments manufactured with forced labor, including child labor in 2022.

According to the GSI, Mexico ranked 13th among the countries in the Americas with the highest rate of forced labor, with nearly 850,000 people, roughly .6 percent of the total Mexican population, living in conditions of modern slavery.

Earlier this year, Mexico passed legislation to restrict the importation of products made with forced labor, but so far no action has been taken to enforce the new rules.

“The United States is the country that has taken the most measures to confront slavery in the Americas, followed by Canada, Argentina and Uruguay,” the GSI report said, “while Cuba, Suriname and Venezuela have taken the least action.”

Currently, the GSI report said, 50 million people globally live in modern slavery, 10 million more than five years ago.

The Global Slavery Index reveals that the 10 countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery are North Korea, Eritrea, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Tajikistan, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

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