SLAVERY AND THE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
SLAVERY AND SLAVE TRADING
Slavery has existed for at least 6,000 years and has been practised by numerous societies, across all continents. In slavery for domestic purposes, the slave is used as a servant or concubine, whilst in « commercial » slavery he or she becomes a production resource creating wealth on behalf of others. These two forms of slavery can be practised simultaneously within the same society.
Slave trading is the capture and sale of black Africans, followed by the deportation of these men, women and children to destinations where they are reduced to the status of slaves.
THREE TYPES OF SLAVE TRADING
– the African internal trade: through the ages, this trade, fed by raids and wars between states, has supplied domestic servants, porters and agricultural workers. The absence of written evidence makes it impossible to judge the number of victims, but there are a great many (several tens of millions).
– the Arab slave trade, from the 7th to the 20th centuries: eastern slave trade towards the Arabian peninsula and trans-Saharan slave trade into North Africa and the Middle East. Victims numbered 8 to 12 millions.
– the Atlantic slave trade, organised by Europeans between the 16th and 19th centuries, to the West Indies, the Americas and islands in the Indian Ocean. Victims numbered more than 12 millions.