Slavery is any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property. A slave is unable to withdraw unilaterally from such an arrangement and works without remuneration. Many scholars now use the term chattel slavery to refer to this specific sense of legalised, de jure slavery. In a broader sense, however, the word slavery may also refer to any situation in which an individual is de facto forced to work against their own will. Scholars also use the more generic terms such as unfree labour or forced labour to refer to such situations. However, and especially under slavery in broader senses of the word, slaves may have some rights and protections according to laws or customs. Slavery began to exist before written history, in many cultures. A person could become enslaved from the time of their birth, capture, or purchase. While slavery was institutionally recognized by most societies, it has now been outlawed in all recognized countries, the last being Mauritania in 2007. Nevertheless, there are an estimated 45.8 million people subject to some form of modern slavery worldwide.
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