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Volume 2 Issue 3 Paper 1

Legal history of slavery ban – An analysis of contexts and outcomes

Nuwayyir Mutlack Alsubie
University of Hafer Al Batin, Saudi Arabia


The aim of this paper is to review the history of the various pathways to slavery abolition in the context of different countries.

Secondary research yielded 23 usable papers dealing with the topics of this paper. Slavery and its abolition have a very old history dating back to 6th century BC. Slavery was revived in the early 15th century, when European countries found it convenient to engage captured people in farm and home jobs. These slaves were treated very cruelly and violently and were not provided reasonable life quality. Antislavery movement and slavery supporting movements grew almost in parallel resulting in instant or slow abolition of slavery in the entire country or in parts or only benefitting certain sections of slaves. Often slave owners were financially compensated for the loss of their assets. But nothing was done to compensate the freed slaves or to ensure that they lead independent life with a reasonable standard of living. This forced many of them to return to slavery. In many countries, spread of antislavery movements forced the governments to abolish slavery. In many other countries, socio-economic contexts were against the practice of slavery; so it was legally abolished. Yet, slavery continued in many parts of the world for distorted reasons and their legal response to abolish slavery was due to strong international pressures and reluctantly. In such countries, there are many supporters of slavery even today.

Modern slavery has many forms. The effect of forced labour on supply chains has been studied well. The criminality of forced labour makes both suppliers and buyers responsible. Laws for more transparent actions have been enacted recently in a few countries; but their effectiveness is suspect and will need to be evaluated. Female sex trafficking, as a part of human trafficking, has failed to find solutions due to melodramatic presentation of victim’s experiences rather than finding solutions. Feminists have been largely active in expressing concern over this issue. Although there are enough legislations in various countries against female sex trafficking, implementation is poor due to many reasons.

Keywords: Slavery, Abolish, History, Slaves

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