The publication is divided into five chapters:
- defining slavery in all its forms;
- presenting data on the scale of slavery, slave trading and other forms of human bondage;
- examining differences and similarities between historical and contemporary practices;
- identifying, via case studies in the United States, Saint Domingue/Haiti, Great Britain and Portugal, the main paths through which abolition of slavery has historically occurred; and,
- through a further series of case studies, exploring the key limitations of the legal abolition of slavery.
Slavery may have been legally abolished around the world, but it remains “a widespread and deeply rooted component on contemporary life” concludes the first-ever comparative analysis of historical slave systems and modern forms of human bondage, published online today by UNESCO.