Where can I find information about slavery?

Junior Secondary

(Years 7-10)

Colour photo of iron slave shackles. It has two loops connected with a chain. One of the loops has an iron tube with a locking system. 

Image: Slave shackles by [unknown]. Collection: National Museum of American History Smithsonian Institution.

Entry last updated: 28/02/23


A slave is a person who is owned by others and forced to work hard for little or no money. Slavery has taken place throughout history with the ancient Romans, Greeks, Aztecs and Incas all having slaves. Modern slavery takes place in many countries today, in forms such as bonded labour, forced labour, sex slavery and child slavery. The websites below have information about the history of slavery and information from organisations that are fighting against modern slavery.

History of slavery

These websites have information about the history of slavery in America, the African slave trade and more.

Note: Some of the information on these sites may be upsetting, so we suggest you look at them with an adult you trust.

Understanding Slavery Initiative (USI)

The Understanding Slavery Initiative is a learning project which uses museum and heritage collections across the UK, to support the teaching and learning of transatlantic slavery and its legacies.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on this website. This can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Britannica School

This is one of the EPIC resources, a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It is put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg slavery. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.

World History (Gale In Context)

Another useful EPIC database. This database provides global historical information on many topics including slavery.

  • Enter 'slavery' into the search bar.

  • Choose from reference, articles, primary sources, images, videos and more.

Tips: Look at the symbol next to the entry title to find out the 'level' of the item. The more dots there are the harder it is to read.

Modern slavery

Did you know there are at least 28 million slaves worldwide? That is roughly the population of New Zealand and Australia combined! Modern slavery can include things like human trafficking or forced labour. You can find other information similar to this, on the following websites.

Free the Slaves

Free the Slaves is one of many organisations that are working to remove all forms of slavery in the world. This site has information about slavery in history and slavery today.

  • Go to Slavery Today to read about the different types of slavery and the rise of modern slavery.

  • This tab also has links to Slavery in History and a video library on modern slavery.

  • Explore the tabs Our Work and Take Action to know which countries they work in, and what's being planned and done to end slavery.

Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.

Anti-Slavery International

Anti-Slavery International is the oldest international human rights organisation in the world. This site contains information about the different forms of modern slavery which take place throughout the world, such as human trafficking and forced labour.

  • Go to the Slavery Today tab at the top of the page to read about the meaning of modern slavery and find links to different forms including child and domestic slavery.

  • Use the Our impact tab to read their success stories, and the What we do tab to explore the work of this organisation.

Slavery in Aotearoa New Zealand

This section has websites that have information about blackbirding and the history of slavery in New Zealand, and what the government is doing to fight modern day slavery.


NZHistory is a great website for information about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we go all the way down the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

The Prow

The Prow is a website that covers the history and cultural stories from the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough regions.


This New Zealand news website features national news, world news, business, opinion, sports entertainment etc.

New Zealand Foreign Affairs & Trade | Manatū Aotere

The work of this Ministry is to form relationships and improve trade between Aotearoa New Zealand and countries around the world.


There are many books and stories that have been written about slavery — check out your local public or school library to see what they have.

Here are some recommended titles:

SCIS no: 1860963

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