Measuring Government Responses to Modern Slavery: Vietnam Case Study



Bodean Hedwards
PhD candidate, Former Researcher, Southeast Asia, Walk Free Foundation

Katharine Bryant, M.A.
Research Manager, Walk Free Foundation


In 2014, the Walk Free Foundation released the second edition of the Global Slavery Index (the Index). The annual report estimated the number of people in modern slavery in 167 countries, assessed government responses to this issue, and examined the factors that contribute to risk of enslavement. This paper will provide an overview of the evolution of the government response component for the 2014 edition of the Index, explore the challenges involved in quantifying a government response to modern slavery through an examination of the situation in Vietnam, and highlight how the conceptual framework attempts to capture the various social, political and cultural intricacies involved in responding to modern slavery. Finally, the paper will discuss some of the limitations of applying a comprehensive framework to varied socio-political contexts, and identify potential ways forward as the Walk Free Foundation strives to address the gaps in research on responses to modern slavery.