Here is an interesting report from the BBC:
The government of Niger has cancelled at the last minute a special ceremony during which at least 7,000 slaves were to be granted their freedom.
Acting under pressure, Niger’s parliament banned the keeping or trading in slaves in May 2003.In a ceremony in December 2003, dozens of slaves were liberated, many of them shedding tears of joy as they were given certificates showing they were free.
There are thought to be 43,000 slaves in Niger. (Thanks to Powerline).