Map Options

Color Scheme:
map placeholder
Year Slavery Abolished










Click on a country for details.

Last Country to Abolish Slavery 2024

Slavery has played a role in just about every country across the world, regardless of whether it was codified into the legal system or not. There are still countries that are in the process of abolishing slavery, and some of them might not necessarily have any slaves left; however, they did not actually make slavery illegal in the legal system. One country to have recently abolished slavery was Mauritania. They did not abolish slavery until 1981, more than 115 years after the United States did so. It might come as a surprise to some people that there are still countries in the world that have slaves.

Where Is Slavery Still Active?

Even in the twenty-first century, there are countries in the world that still have slaves. Even if these countries do not necessarily explicitly acknowledge the fact they have slaves, there are people in the country who do not have any rights and are treated as property. For example, India is believed to have more than eight million slaves living within its borders. China also has close to four million slaves, and they are constantly fending off accusations of human rights violations. North Korea is a very cloistered country where people do not have a lot of rights, and it is widely believed that there are a few million slaves living in North Korea as well.

When Did the United States Abolish Slavery?

The United States was not the first or the last country to abolish slavery. Beginning in the 19th century, certain states in the United States began to abolish slavery, but slavery itself was not abolished until the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. At the time, the United States was dealing with a civil war, so many states in the Confederacy did not acknowledge the Emancipation Proclamation. Eventually, the Union would win the Civil War, and the states that made up the Confederacy would be absorbed back into the United States. Before these states could rejoin the United States, they were forced to outlaw slavery. Unfortunately, many of the southern states would go on to enact laws that would restrict the rights of people who used to be slaves.

Was the Civil War Fought Over Slavery?

The Civil War was certainly about slavery, but it was also about a variety of other issues. Slavery was the reason why the states in the south began to secede. They could feel that they did not have as much power as they liked in the federal government, and they wanted to create a system where states would have more power than the federal government. That is why they formed the Confederacy, which abided by a much looser structure than the United States. Even though the war was fought over the idea of States’ Rights, the biggest right in question was the right to own slaves. When the Civil War ended in 1865, slavery was outlawed throughout the entire country.

Download Table Data

Enter your email below, and you'll receive this table's data in your inbox momentarily.

showing: 82 rows

What was the last country to abolish slavery?

Mauritania, which lies in the western region of the continent of Africa, was the last country to abolish slavery.

Frequently Asked Questions