Slavery is a system under which people are treatedas property to be bought and sold, and are forced towork. Slaves can be held against their will from the timeof their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of theright to leave, to refuse to work, or to demandcompensation. Historically, slavery was institutionallyrecognized by many societies; in more recent timesslavery has been outlawed in most societies butcontinues through the practices of debt bondage,indentured servitude, serfdom, domestic servants kept incaptivity, certain adoptions in which children are forcedto work as slaves, child soldiers, and forced marriage.Slavery is illegal in every country in the world, but thereare still an estimated 27 million slaves worldwide; someopponents are hopeful that slavery can be eradicated by2042.
Slavery predates written records and has existed inmany cultures. The number of slaves today remains ashigh as 12 million to 27 million. Most are debt slaves,largely in South Asia, who are under debt bondageincurred by lenders, sometimes even for generations.Human trafficking is primarily used for forcingwomen and children into sex industries.In pre-industrial societies, slaves and their labourwere economically extremely important to those whobenefitted from them. Slaves and serfs made uparound three-quarters of the worlds population at thebeginning of the 19th century.In modern mechanised societies, there is less need forsheer massive manpower; Norbert Wiener wrote that"mechanical labor has most of the economic propertiesof slave labor, though. it does not involve the directdemoralizing effects of human cruelty.
While many politicians and historians are nowtroubled about celebrating the French Revolutionbecause of the violence of 1793 and 1794,Robespierres Constitution of the Year III attemptedto guarantee men and women the right to work, theright to eat and the right to public assistance if theycould not work or eat. Robespierres governmentreaffirmed the right of Protestants and Jews tocitizenship in France and abolished slavery in 1794.Though obviously in response to a slave revolt in SaintDomingue, led by Toussaint LOuverture (1743-1803),the decision to abolish slavery was notuncontroversial. Many colonial interests opposedending slavery, and Napoleons armies lost many livestrying to reestablish it in the 1800s.
Evidence of slavery predates written records, and hasexisted in many cultures. Prehistoric graves from about8000 BC in Lower Egypt suggest that a Libyan peopleenslaved a San-like tribe. Slavery is rare among hunter-gatherer populations. Mass slavery also requireseconomic surpluses and a high population density to beviable. Due to these factors, the practice of slaverywould have only proliferated after the invention ofagriculture during the Neolithic Revolution about11,000 years ago.In the earliest known records slavery is treated as anestablished institution. The Code of Hammurabi (ca.1760 BC), for example, prescribed death for anyone whohelped a slave to escape or who sheltered a fugitive. TheHebrew Bible refers uncritically to slavery as anestablished institution.
1. Chattel slavery.2. Bonded labor.3. Forced labor.Chattel slavery :Chattel slavery, so named because people aretreated as the personal property, chattels, of an ownerand are bought and sold as if commodities, is the originalform of slavery. When taking these chattels acrossnational borders it is referred to as human traffickingespecially when these slaves provide sexual services. Bonded labor :Debt bondage or bonded labor occurs when aperson pledges himself or herself against a loan. Theservices required to repay the debt, and their duration,may be undefined. Debt bondage can be passed on fromgeneration to generation, with children required to payoff their parents debt. It is the most widespread formof slavery today.
Forced labor :Forced labor occurs when an individual is forcedto work against his or her will, under threat ofviolence or other punishment, with restrictionson their freedom. It is also used to describe alltypes of slavery and may also include institutionsnot commonly classified as slavery, such asserfdom, conscription and penal labor.