Multiple forms of slavery and servitude have existed throughout Africa during history and were shaped by indigenous practices of slavery as well as the Roman institution of slavery (and the later Christian views on slavery), the Islamic institutions of slavery, and eventually the Atlantic slave trade.
Ibn Battuta, who visited the ancient kingdom of Mali in the mid-14th century, recounts that the local inhabitants vied with each other in the number of slaves and servants they had, and was himself given a slave boy as a "hospitality gift." "The slaves in Africa, I suppose, are nearly in the proportion of three to one to the freemen.
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In most African societies where slavery was prevalent, the enslaved people were not treated as chattel slaves and were given certain rights in a system similar to indentured servitude elsewhere in the world.
When the Arab slave trade and Atlantic slave trade began, many of the local slave systems changed and began supplying captives for slave markets outside of Africa.
She knows what will happen next: She will be tortured—whipped with metal cables, locked in a cage, shocked with a loose electrical wire—and then gang raped. When she was 7 years old—an age when most girls are going to slumber parties—she was sold to a brothel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital city, to work as a sex slave. For years, pimps forced Sreypov to have sex with as many as 20 men a day. Today, she's ready to tell her story, talking openly about her enslavement and escape, and about coming to terms with her dark past. More than 12 million people are now victims of forced prostitution and labor across the world.