Zaporizhian Sich was a pirate republic in Europe from the 16th through to the 18th century. Situated in Cossack territory in the remote steppe of Eastern Europe , it was populated with Ukrainian peasants that had run away from their feudal masters, outlaws, destitute gentry, run-away slaves from Turkish galleys , etc. The remoteness of the place and the rapids at the Dnepr river effectively guarded the place from invasions of vengeful powers. The main target of the inhabitants of Zaporizhian Sich who called themselves "Cossacks" were rich settlements at the Black Sea shores of Ottoman Empire and Crimean Khanate . [ citation needed ] By 1615 and 1625, Zaporozhian Cossacks had even managed to raze townships on the outskirts of Istanbul , forcing the Ottoman Sultan to flee his palace. [ citation needed ] Don Cossacks under Stenka Razin even ravaged the Persian coasts.  [ unreliable source? ]
In Mauritania , the last country to abolish slavery (in 1981),  it is estimated that up to 600,000 men, women and children, or 20% of the population, are enslaved with many used as bonded labour .    Slavery in Mauritania was criminalized in August 2007.  (although slavery as a practice was legally banned in 1981, it was not a crime to own a slave until 2007).  Although many slaves have escaped or have been freed since 2007, as of 2012 [update] , only one slave-owner had been sentenced to serve time in prison.