A charity aimed at rescuing children from forced labor says that while India tops a recent global slavery index, the situation is improving in the South Asian nation.

The Walk Free Foundation counted some 18.35 million modern slaves in India in its index released Tuesday. That includes children and adults forced into labor, often unpaid or to pay off a debt.

The index showed China with the second highest number, 3.39 million, and Pakistan next with 2.13 million. North Korea was found to have the highest per capita rate of modern slavery, with 4.37 percent of its population affected.

Ramesh Senge from Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi's charity says that while slavery in India is a problem, the situation is improving with more awareness, legal reforms and rescue campaigns.