What is the difference between modern and historical slavery?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are a number of differences between modern slavery and historical slavery.  Let us look at a few of the more important differences.

First, slavery is no longer legal in any country.  What this means is that all slavery and all slave trading must be conducted in a clandestine manner.  This also means that slavery can only be common and open in countries where governments are corrupt enough to look the other way when laws are being broken.  This is a major change from historical times when slavery was legal and protected by governments.

Second, in contrast to the time of the Atlantic slave trade, slavery is no longer based on race.  There is no one race of people that is the source of most slaves.  Instead, many different groups are enslaved in different places in the world.

Finally, modern slavery is not based on the idea of hereditary chattel slavery.  This is in part because slavery is illegal.  There is no longer a system in which people are the legal property of their owners and in which their children will, in turn, be the property of the owners as well.  Slavery is more typically a transitory condition, not one that will last for the slave’s entire lifetime and definitely not a condition that will be passed on to their children.

Please follow the link below for a discussion of some other differences.

Sources:

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