When individuals are kept in a condition where they no longer control their basic freedom as a result of another, then that is slavery. While this is becoming less frequent in the world today, in ancient times it was very common. The ancient Aztecs, the Romans, the Greeks and many more all kept slaves to keep their economy moving.

A key feature is that people are viewed as property and as such, they are subjected to a dehumanishing life.

This conversation question sheet is to help stimulate a discussion with your students.

Useful vocabulary

Human Rights

Slavery conversation questions printable worksheet

Did you know?

  • By the 1690s around 30,00 slaves from Africa were taken to American each year.
  • US slaves were more generations removed from Africa than those from the Caribbean.
  • US slaves were almost equal in gender so that their population could naturally grow through reproduction.


“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” – Abraham Lincoln

“If we are going to abolish modern-day slavery, then we have to put the traffickers out of business. That’s going to demand, unfortunately, the cooperation of the victims.” – Wade Hom


  • Can you define slavery? What forms of slavery are you familiar with?
  • What countries were involved in the slave trade? Was there slavery in your country?
  • What do you know about modern day slavery? What forms of slavery exist today?
  • How do you feel about forced and bonded/debt labour?
  • What are some of the worst forms of child slave labour?
  •  Do you believe the exploitation and low wages paid to migrant and visiting
  • immigrant workers amounts to slavery?
  • How do you feel about descent-based slavery (being born into it) where people face a lifetime of exploitation and abuse?
  • Share what you know about human trafficking. Who are the most likely
  • victims? Why are people involved in human trafficking? Are women just as likely to be traffickers as men?
  • Do you believe governments, law enforcement and local police departments are doing enough to combat human trafficking?
  • Do you believed that forced and early marriage is a form of slavery?
  • According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) around 21 million men, women and children around the world are in a form of slavery. Do you think that estimate is low or high?
  • Do you believe Globalization has reduced or increased the chances of slavery and human trafficking?


Create a role play of a slave owner and slave. Build a detailed dialogue arguing each person should or should not be a slave.

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