On September 25, 1926, the Slavery Convention was signed in Geneva and entered into force on March 9, 1927 to ensure the complete abolition of slavery in all its forms and the slave trade on land and at sea.
The agreement was the result of efforts that preceded it with the signing of the General Instrument in Berlin in 1885, the General Instrument and Declaration issued in Brussels in 1890, and then the “Saint-Germain-en-Lay” Agreement in 1919, before the report of the Provisional Slavery Committee appointed by the Council of the League of Nations on 12 June 1924.
The history of slavery goes back to antiquity, but the Declaration on the Elimination of its Trade in the World did not see the light of day until 1815 as the first international instrument condemning slavery.
A movement against the transatlantic slave trade and the liberation of slaves began in the colonies of European countries and in the United States of America.
Over the course of two and a half centuries, more than 3,000 enslavement expeditions went from France to transport more than 1.4 million Africans as slaves, making this "triangular trade" a huge fortune for the country's main ports and thousands of shipowners and farmers.
Between 1815 and 1957 about 300 international agreements were reached to prohibit slavery, but none of them were fully effective, and the League of Nations, the former organization of the United Nations, had a remarkable activity in seeking to eliminate slavery and related practices during the period of the First World Wars (1914-1918) and the second (1939-1945).
Since 1991, the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery has awarded more than $4 million to 450 organizations in 95 different countries.
However, the fund requires $2 million in donations annually to successfully meet its obligations to only a small number of the estimated 40 million victims.
Based on recent research in this regard, a quarter of survivors who have escaped contemporary slavery are children, and nearly 3 quarters of them are both women and girls.
According to the seventh item of the eighth goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, all countries promised to “take immediate and effective measures to eliminate forced labor and end contemporary slavery and human trafficking to ensure the prohibition and eradication of the worst forms of child labor” before 2030.
Slavery Convention September 25, 1926
Articles of the agreement:
It is agreed that the following definitions shall be used in this Agreement:
Slavery is the condition or condition of a person over whom all or part of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised.
The slave trade includes all acts involved in capturing, acquiring, or giving up a person to others with the intent to turn him into a slave, all acts involved in acquiring a slave with a view to selling or exchanging him, and all acts of giving away, by sale or exchange of a slave acquired with the intention of selling or exchanging him. his exchange, as well as, in general, any trafficking of slaves or their transfer.
The High Contracting Parties, each with respect to territories under its sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, dominion or trusteeship, undertake, to the extent that it has not yet taken the necessary measures:
(a) To prevent and punish the slave trade.
(b) to work, gradually and as quickly as possible, for the total abolition of slavery in all its forms.
Each of the High Contracting Parties undertakes to take all appropriate measures to prevent and suppress the loading, landing and transport of slaves in its territorial waters and on all ships flying its flag.
The High Contracting Parties undertake to negotiate, as soon as possible, a general agreement on the slave trade which would give them rights and impose upon them duties of a nature similar to those provided for in the Convention of 17 June 1925 relating to the International Trade in Arms (Articles 12, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and paras. 3 and 4 and 5 of Section II of Annex II) as appropriately adapted, it is understood that this General Agreement will not place ships of any of the High Contracting Parties (even of small tonnage) in a position different from that of ships of other High Contracting Parties.
It is also understood that the High Contracting Parties shall, before or after the entry into force of the said general agreement, remain free to conclude special agreements among themselves, subject to not deviating from the principles set forth in the preceding paragraph, what it might seem to them to be, on account of in their own case, to facilitate as soon as possible the final abolition of the slave trade.
The High Contracting Parties shall give to each other every possible assistance the attainment of the goal of the abolition of slavery and the slave trade.
The High Contracting Parties recognize that recourse to forced or bonded labor may lead to dangerous consequences, and they undertake, each with respect to territories under its sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, dominion or trust, to take all necessary measures to prevent forced labor or the employment of Forced labor to conditions similar to slavery.
It was agreed as follows:
1 Subject to the transitional provisions set forth in paragraph (2) below, forced labor or forced labor may only be imposed for public purposes.
2 In the territories in which forced labor or forced labor still exists for purposes other than public purposes, the High Contracting Parties shall endeavor to put an end to this practice gradually and as quickly as possible, and not to resort to the system of forced or compulsory labor, as long as it exists, except on an exceptional basis in all cases. and always for an adequate wage and without forcing the workers to leave their usual place of residence.
3- The competent central authorities of the province concerned shall, in all cases, remain responsible for resorting to forced or forced labor.
Those High Contracting Parties whose legislation has hitherto been insufficient for the purposes of punishing violators of laws and regulations enacted in order to give effect to the purposes of this Convention undertake to take the necessary measures to enable the imposition of severe penalties for such violations.
The High Contracting Parties undertake to exchange the texts of any laws or regulations they enact in order to give effect to the provisions of this Convention, and to transmit the said texts to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations.
The High Contracting Parties agree to refer to the Permanent Court of International Justice any disputes that may arise between them as to the interpretation or application of this Agreement if they cannot be settled by direct negotiations.
If one or both of the States parties to the dispute are not party to the Protocol of December 16, 1920 relating to the Permanent Court of International Justice, the dispute shall be referred, by their choice and in accordance with the constitutional rules of each of them, either to the Permanent Court of International Justice or to an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Convention 18 October 1907 Concerning the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes, or to any other arbitral tribunal.
Any of the High Contracting Parties, when signing, ratifying or acceding to this Agreement, declare that its acceptance of this Agreement does not obligate some or all of the territories under its sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, authority or tutelage to apply all or part of the provisions of this Agreement, and may It shall subsequently join, separately, in the name of any one of those territories or in connection with any provision to which any of the said territories is not a party.
If any of the High Contracting Parties intends to withdraw from this Agreement, such withdrawal shall be communicated by written notice to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, who shall immediately transmit a certified true copy of such notice to all the other High Contracting Parties, informing them of the date on which it was received .
Such denunciation shall take effect only with respect to the State which has notified it, and only after one year has elapsed since the notification was received by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations.
The state may also withdraw separately in respect of any territory under its sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, dominion or trusteeship.
This Convention, which shall bear the date of this day, and of which the French and English texts are equally authentic, shall remain open for signature by the States Members of the League of Nations until the first day of April 1927.
As a consequence, the Secretary-General of the League of Nations draws the attention of the States that have not signed it, including those who are not members of the League of Nations, to this Convention, and invites them to accede to it.
Powers wishing to accede to the Convention shall notify the Secretary-General of the League of Nations in writing, and send to him the instrument of accession, which shall be deposited in the archives of the League.
The Secretary-General shall immediately transmit a certified true copy of the notification and the instrument of accession to the other High Contracting Parties, informing them of the date on which they were received.
This Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Office of the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, who shall inform all High Contracting Parties of this deposit.
This Convention shall enter into force with respect to each country from the date of deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession.
In witness whereof, the Plenipotentiaries have appended this Agreement with their signatures.
Done at Geneva on 25 September 1926, in a single original which is deposited in the archives of the League of Nations.
A certified copy of this original is sent to each signatory country.
This Convention was amended by the Protocol drawn up at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on December 7, 1953. The amended Convention entered into force on July 7, 1955.
Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery 1955
The States Parties to this Convention, When they consider that freedom is a right of every human being, which he acquires at birth, and when they realize that the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their belief in the dignity and worth of the human person, and Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Officially proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations as a common ideal to be communicated by all peoples and all nations, stating that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude, and that slavery and the slave trade in all their forms shall be prohibited.
Being aware that further progress has been made in the abolition of slavery and the slave trade since the time of the conclusion of the Slavery Convention, signed at Geneva on September 25, 1926, to this end;
Bearing in mind the Forced Labor Convention of 1930 and the measures that the International Labor Organization has continued to do in relation to forced or forced labor after it, and being aware, however, that the abolition of slavery, the slave trade and institutions and practices similar to slavery have not yet been achieved in all parts of the world .
I have decided accordingly that it is now necessary to add to the Convention of 1926, which is still in force, a supplementary agreement aimed at intensifying efforts, both national and international, with a view to abolishing slavery, the slave trade and slavery-like customs and practices.
Have agreed as follows:
Section One: Customs and Practices Similar to Slavery
Each of the States Parties to this Convention shall take all practicable and necessary legislative and other measures to bring about progressively and as soon as possible the abolition or abandonment of the following institutions and practices, wherever they continue to exist, and whether or not covered by the definition of “slavery” contained in Article 1 of the Slavery Convention. Signed at Geneva on 25 September 1926:
(A) Debt bondage, which means the condition or situation resulting from a pledge by a debtor to provide his personal services or the services of a person affiliated with him as security for a debt on him, if the equitable value of these services is not used to liquidate this debt or the duration or nature of these services is not specified.
(b) serfdom, meaning the condition or status of any person who is, by custom, law, or agreement, bound to live and work on the land of another person and to render certain services to that person, for or without compensation, and without being free to change his status.
(c) any of the norms or practices that allow:
(i) A promise to marry a woman, or to actually marry her, without the right to refuse, and in return for a financial or in-kind consideration paid to her parents, guardian, family, or any other person or group of persons.
(ii) Granting the husband, his family or his tribe the right to give up his wife to another person, in return for a price or other consideration.
(iii) The possibility of a woman, upon the death of her husband, making an inheritance that is transferred to another person.
(D) Any institution or practice that permits one or both parents, or a guardian, to hand over a child or adolescent under the age of 18 to another person, for consideration or not, with the intent to exploit the child or adolescent or to exploit his labour.
With a view to putting an end to the customs and practices mentioned in Article 1, paragraph (c) of this Convention, the States Parties undertake to impose, when necessary, appropriate minimum ages for marriage and to encourage recourse to procedures allowing each of the prospective spouses to freely express their consent to marriage In the presence of a competent civil or religious authority, and encouraging the registration of marriage contracts.
Section Two: The Slave Trade
The transfer of slaves from one country to another by any means, or the attempt or participation in such transfer, constitutes a criminal offense in the eyes of the laws of the States party to this Convention, and persons convicted of this offense shall be subject to very severe penalties.
(a) States Parties shall take all effective measures to prevent ships and aircraft flying their flags from transporting slaves, and to punish persons guilty of such acts or of using the national flag for this purpose.
(b) States Parties shall take all effective measures to ensure that their ports, airports and coasts are not used for the transport of slaves.
The States Parties to this Convention shall exchange information with a view to ensuring the practical coordination of their measures taken against the slave trade, and each of them shall inform the other of any case of slave trade and of any attempt to commit such an offense that comes to its knowledge.
Any slave who has recourse to any ship of any State party to this Convention shall automatically be free.
Section III: Slavery and customs and practices similar to slavery
In any country in which the abolition or abandonment of slavery or the customs or practices mentioned in Article 1 of this Convention has not yet been completed, it constitutes the forgery, ironing, or ageing of a slave or a person of inferior rank, whether as a sign of his status or as a punishment or for any other reason, as Participation in this is a criminal offense in the eyes of the laws of the states party to this agreement, and those who are proven to have committed it deserve retribution.
The enslavement of another person, or his temptation to transform himself or another person from his dependents into a slave, constitutes a criminal offense in the eyes of the laws of the states party to this Convention, deserving punishment for those who are proven to have committed it.
The same applies in the case of attempting, interfering or participating in a conspiracy with this intent.
Subject to the provisions of the introductory paragraph of Article 1 of this Convention, the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article shall also apply in the case of a third party being tempted to relegate himself or another of his dependents to the disadvantaged position that results from any of the customs or practices mentioned in Article 1. The same applies in case of attempting, interfering, or participating in a conspiracy against this intent.
Section IV: Definitions
For the purposes of this Agreement:
(a) "Slavery" as defined in the Slavery Convention of 1926 means the condition or condition of any person over whom powers attaching to the right of property are exercised, and "slave" means any person in such condition or condition.
(b) the term “person of vulnerable status” means a person whose condition or situation is the result of any of the customs or practices mentioned in Article 1 of this Agreement.
(c) the term "slave trade" means and includes all acts involved in capturing, detaining or giving away a person with intent to turn him into a slave, all acts involved in the acquisition of a slave with a view to selling or exchanging him, and all acts of giving away, by sale or exchange; For a slave who was acquired with the intention of selling or exchanging him, as well as, in general, any trade in slaves or his transfer to them, whatever the means of transportation used.
Section V: Cooperation between the States Parties and the communication of information
The States Parties to this Convention undertake to cooperate with each other, and with the United Nations, in order to implement the above-mentioned provisions.
The Parties undertake to transmit to the Secretary-General of the United Nations copies of any law, regulation and any administrative measure taken or implemented by them in giving effect to the provisions of this Agreement.
The Secretary-General shall communicate the information he receives under paragraph 2 of this article to the other Parties, and to the Economic and Social Council, as part of documentation which is useful in any discussion which the Council may undertake with a view to making new recommendations for the abolition of slavery or the slave trade or the customs and practices which are the subject of this Convention .
Section Six: Final Provisions
No reservation is accepted on this Agreement.
Any dispute about the interpretation or application of this Convention arising between States parties to it and not settled by negotiation, shall be referred to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute, unless the parties concerned agree on another method of settlement.
This Agreement shall remain until July 1, 1957 for signature by any Member of the United Nations or of a specialized agency.
It is subject to the ratification of the States that have signed it.
Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall communicate this ratification to all signatory and acceding states.
After the first of July 1957, accession to this Convention shall be made available to any state that is a member of the United Nations or a specialized agency, or any other country which the General Assembly of the United Nations has invited to join.
Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an official instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall communicate this accession to all signatory and acceding States.
This Convention applies to all Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, Colonies and Other Non-Metropolitan Territories for the international relations of which any State Party is responsible, and, subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article, the Party concerned shall, when signing or ratifying this Convention, declare or accession thereto, the territory or non-metropolitan territories to which this Convention will automatically apply as a result of such signature, ratification or accession.
في أية حالة تتطلب فيها القوانين أو الممارسات الدستورية للطرف أو لإقليم ما غير متروبولي (أراضي الجمهورية الفرنسية غير الواقعة في أوروبا) القبول المسبق لهذا الإقليم غير المتروبولي، يبذل الطرف المعني جهده للحصول خلال مهلة 12 شهرا تلي تاريخ توقيع الدولة المتروبولية للاتفاقية، على قبول الإقليم غير المتروبولي المطلوب. وعلى الطرف، متى حصل على هذا القبول، أن يخطر الأمين العام بذلك. وإذ ذاك تنطبق هذه الاتفاقية على الإقليم أو الأقاليم المسماة في هذا الإخطار منذ التاريخ الذي تلقاه فيه الأمين العام.
على إثر انقضاء مهلة الأشهر الـ 12 المشار إليها في الفقرة السابقة، تقوم الدول الأطراف المعنية بإبلاغ الأمين العام بنتائج المشاورات مع الأقاليم غير المتروبولية التي تكون الأطراف المذكورة مسؤولة عن علاقاتها الدولية، والتي لا تكون قد قبلت تطبيق هذه الاتفاقية.
يبدأ نفاذ هذه الاتفاقية في التاريخ الذي تكون فيه اثنتان من الدول قد أصبحتا طرفين فيها.
وفيما بعد ذلك يبدأ نفاذها إزاء كل دولة أو إقليم في تاريخ إيداع صك انضمام أو تصديق الدولة المذكورة أو في تاريخ الإخطار بانطباقها على الإقليم المذكور.
يقسم تطبيق هذه الاتفاقية علي فترات متعاقبة كل منها 3 سنوات، وتبدأ الأولى منها في تاريخ بدء نفاذ الاتفاقية طبقا للفقرة 1 من المادة 13.
لكل دولة طرف أن تنسحب من هذه الاتفاقية، وذلك بإشعار توجهه إلى الأمين العام قبل 6 أشهر على الأقل من انقضاء فترة السنوات الثلاث الجارية. ويقوم الأمين العام بإعلام جميع الأطراف الأخرى بأي إشعار من هذا النوع وبالتاريخ الذي تم تلقيه فيه.
يسري مفعول الانسحابات لدى انقضاء فترة السنوات الثلاث الجارية.
في الحالات التي تكون فيها هذه الاتفاقية، وفقا لأحكام المادة 12، قد أصبحت منطبقة على إقليم غير متروبولي لطرف ما، يستطيع هذا الطرف، في أي حين بعد ذلك وبقبول الإقليم المعني، توجيه إشعار إلى الأمين العام بالانسحاب من الاتفاقية بصورة مستقلة في ما يخص ذلك الإقليم. ويبدأ نفاذ الانسحاب لدى مرور سنة على وصول الإشعار المذكور إلى الأمين العام، الذي يقوم بإعلام جميع الأطراف بأي إشعار من هذا النوع وبالتاريخ الذي تم تلقيه فيه.
تودع هذه الاتفاقية، التي تتساوى في الحجية نصوصها بالإسبانية والإنجليزية والروسية والصينية والفرنسية، في محفوظات أمانة الأمم المتحدة. ويعد الأمين العام صورة مصدقة منها طبق الأصل لإرسالها إلى الدول الأطراف في هذه الاتفاقية، وكذلك إلى جميع الدول الأخرى الأعضاء في الأمم المتحدة والأعضاء في الوكالات المتخصصة.
In witness whereof, the undersigned, duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments, have appended to this Agreement by signing them on the date that appears opposite their signature.
Done at the European Office of the United Nations, at Geneva, on 7 September 1956.