Discuss the slavery & slavery Convention

Discuss the slavery & slavery Convention

Discuss the slavery

What is slavery?

Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work.[1] Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation. Slavery refers to a condition in which individuals are owned by others, who control where they live and at what they work. Slavery had previously existed throughout history, in many times and places. The ancient grkees, the Romans, Incas and Aztecs all had slaves.

Nowhere is slavery legal in the sense that no legal system recognizes title or property in a living human being. This means that no court will enforce a contract to buy and sell slaves or enforce the right of a master to the labor of his or her slave.

However, although slavery, as a form of property recognized by the state, has been abolished, millions of people are still enslaved.

‘The Society uses the definition of slavery enunciated in 1880 by the High Court of Allahabad in India, which, in substance, is that a person is treated as a slave or is reduced to a condition of slavery if another exercises power or control over that person:

(1) to restrain their personal liberty; and

(2) to dispose of their labor against their will —

without lawful authority.

Slavery is sometimes confused with other forms of servitude, such as forced labor, bonded labor, pawn age and servile concubine.

The expression “forced labor”, in international law, refers to those forms of labor obligations or penal labor imposed by a state or an agency or agent of the government or state and which are described in the Forced Labor Convention 1930 and the Abolition of Forced Labor Convention 1957.’[1]

Slavery and its consequences:

The life as a slave was very difficult. Here are some things that were in a slave’s life.


Every year, slaves usually received two linen shirts, two pairs of trousers , one jacket, one pair of socks, one pair of shoes, an overcoat, and a wool hat.


Slaves usually received cornmeal salt herrings and eight pounds of pork or fish each month for food.


Slaves houses were usually wooden shacks with dirt floors, but sometimes houses were made of boards nailed up with cracks stuffed with rags. The beds were collected pieces of straw or grass, and old rags, and only one blanket for a covering. A single room could have up to a dozen people-men, women, and children.


When a slave was only 12 months old his/her mother could be sold far away. When a slave was four, they sometimes worked as a babysitter. When a slave was around the age of five, they would run errands and carry water to the field slaves. Around the age of eight, children would be expected to work on the plantation.


Over 32% of marriages were canceled by masters as a result of slaves being sold away from the family home. A slave husband could be parted from his wife, and children from their mothers.


Slaves could be killed for murder, burglary, arson, and assault upon a white person. Plantation owners believed that this severe discipline would make the slaves too scared to rebel.

Some other punishments were getting beaten with a chair, broom, tongs, shovel, shears, knife handles, the heavy end of a woman’s shoe, and an oak club.


On of the main reasons masters didn’t want their slaves to become Christians involved the Bible. This was one reason why most plantation owners did what they could to stop their slaves from learning to read. In the South, black people were not usually allowed to attend church services. Black people in the North were more likely to attend church services. Drums, which were used in traditional religious ceremonies, where banned because overseers worried that they would be used to send messages

So we can say that slaves used to lead a very hard life where they had to work and implement others they didn’t have their own vows and will. They led the most miserable life and we call it a blot on human life.

Slavery Convention 1926

Whereas the signatories of the General Act of the Brussels Conference of 1889-90 declared that they were equally animated by the firm intention of putting an end to the traffic in African slaves,

Whereas the signatories of the Convention of Saint-Germaine-en-Laye of 1919, to revise the General Act of Berlin of 1885 and the General Act and Declaration of Brussels of 1890, affirmed their intention of securing the complete suppression of slavery in all its forrns and of the slave trade by land and sea,

Taking into consideration the report of the Temporary Slavery Commission appointed by the Council of the League of Nations on June 12th, 1924,

Desiring to complete and extend the work accomplished under the Brussels Act and to find a means of giving practical effect throughout the world to such intentions as were expressed in regard to slave trade and slavery by the signatories of the Convention of Saint-Germaine-en-Layer, and recognizing that it is necessary to conclude to that end more detailed arrangements than are contained in that Convention,

Considering, moreover, that it is necessary to prevent forced labor from developing into conditions analogous to slavery, have decided to conclude a Convention and have accordingly appointed as their Plenipotentiaries [names omitted] … have agreed as follows:

Article 1

For the purpose of the present Convention, the following definitions are agreed upon:

(1) Slavery is the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised.

(2) The slave trade includes all acts involved in the capture, acquisition or disposal of a person with intent to reduce him to slavery; all acts involved in the acquisition of a slave with a view to selling or exchanging him; all acts of disposal by sale or exchange of a slave acquired with a view to being sold or exchanged, and, in general, every act of trade or transport in slaves.

Article 2

The High Contracting Parties undertake, each in respect of the territories placed under its sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, suzerainty or tutelage, so far as they have not already taken the necessary steps:

(a) To prevent and suppress the slave trade;

(b) To bring about, progressively and as soon as possible, the complete abolition of slavery in all its forms.

Article 3

The High Contracting Parties undertake to adopt all appropriate measures with a view to preventing and suppressing the embarkation, disembarkation and transport of slaves in their territorial waters and upon all vessels flying their respective flags.

The High Contracting Parties undertake to negotiate as soon as possible a general Convention with regard to the slave trade which will give them rights and impose upon them duties of the same nature as those provided for in the Convention of June 17th, 1925, relative to the International Trade in Arms (Articles 12, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of Section II of Annex II), with the necessary adaptations, it being understood that this general Convention will not place the ships (even of small tonnage) of any High Contracting Parties in a position different from that of the other High Contracting Parties.

It is also understood that, before or after the coming into force of this general Convention, the High Contracting Parties are entirely free to conclude between themselves, without, however, derogating from the principles laid down in the preceding paragraph, such special agreements as, by reason of their peculiar situation, might appear to be suitable in order to bring about as soon as possible the complete disappearance of the slave trade.

Article 4

The High Contracting Parties shall give to one another assistance with the object of securing the abolition of slavery and the slave trade.

Article 5

The High Contracting Parties recognize that recourse to compulsory or forced labour may have grave consequences and undertake, each in respect of the territories placed under its sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, suzerainty or tutelage, to take all necessary measures to prevent compulsory or forced labour from developing into conditions analogous to slavery.

It is agreed that:

(1) Subject to the transitional provisions laid down in paragraph (2) below, compulsory or forced labour may only be exacted for public purposes.

(2) In territories in which compulsory or forced labour for other than public purposes still survives, the High Contracting Parties shall endeavour progressively and as soon as possible to put an end to the practice. So long as such forced or compulsory labour exists, this labour shall invariably be of an exceptional character, shall always receive adequate remuneration, and shall not involve the removal of the labourers from their usual place of residence.

(3) In all cases, the responsibility for any recourse to compulsory or forced labour shall rest with the competent central authorities of the territory concerned.

Article 6

Those of the High Contracting Parties whose laws do not at present make adequate provision for the punishment of infractions of laws and regulations enacted with a view to giving effect to the purposes of the present Convention undertake to adopt the necessary measures in order that severe penalties may be imposed in respect of such infractions.

Article 7

The High Contracting Parties undertake to communicate to each other and to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations any laws and regulations which they may enact with a view to the application of the provisions of the present Convention.

Article 8

The High Contracting Parties agree that disputes arising between them relating to the interpretation or application of this Convention shall, if they cannot be settled by direct negotiation, be referred for decision to the Permanent Court of International Justice. In case either or both of the States Parties to such a dispute should not be Parties to the Protocol of December 16th, 1920, relating to the Permanent Court of International Justice, the dispute shall be referred, at the choice of the Parties and in accordance with the constitutional procedure of each State, either to the Permanent Court of International Justice or to a court of arbitration constituted in accordance with the Convention of October 18th, 1907, for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, or to some other court of arbitration.

Article 9

At the time of signature or of ratification or of accession, any High Contracting Party may declare that its acceptance of the present Convention does not bind some or all of the territories placed under its sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, suzerainty or tutelage in respect of all or any provisions of the Convention; it may subsequently accede separately on behalf of any one of them or in respect of any provision to which any one of them is not a Party.

Article 10

In the event of a High Contracting Party wishing to denounce the present Convention, the denunciation shall be notified in writing to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, who will at once communicate a certified true copy of the notification to all the other High Contracting Parties, informing them of the date on which it was received.

The denunciation shall only have effect in regard to the notifying State, and one year after the notification has reached the Secretary-General of the League of Nations.

Denunciation may also be made separately in respect of any territory placed under its sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, suzerainty or tutelage.

Article 11

The present Convention, which will bear this day’s date and of which the French and English texts are both authentic, will remain open for signature by the States Members of the League of Nations until April 1st, 1927.

The Secretary-General of the League of Nations will subsequently bring the present Convention to the notice of States which have not signed it, including States which are not Members of the League of Nations, and invite them to accede thereto.

A State desiring to accede to the Convention shall notify its intention in writing to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations and transmit to him the instrument of accession, which shall be deposited in the archives of the League.

The Secretary-General shall immediately transmit to all the other High Contracting Parties a certified true copy of the notification and of the instrument of accession, informing them of the date on which he received them.

Article 12

The present Convention will be ratified and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited in the office of the Secretary-General of the League of Nations. The Secretary-General will inform all the High Contracting Parties of such deposit.

The Convention will come into operation for each State on the date of the deposit of its ratification or of its accession.

IN FAITH WHEREOF the Plenipotentiaries signed the present Convention, DONE at Geneva the twenty-fifth day of September, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-six, in one copy, which will be deposited in the archives of the League of Nations. A certified copy shall be forwarded to each signatory State.

The first six is basically the slavery convention and the next six is the supplements convention on eliminating slavery.

Conclusion: from the first six convention it was treated that people can’t be counted as an asset to other people jus because the bought them with money. The trade of people was declared illegal with the help of these conventions. Later in 1956 the supplements a convention was made to support the actual convention. It enrolled the chances of trading people to end elimination



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[1] .Retrived from http://www.hrea.org/index.php?doc_id=430 on 14th March 2013