1926 Slavery Convention

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1926 Slavery Convention
Signed 25 September 1926
Location Geneva
Effective 9 March 1927
Condition Fulfilled
Parties 99 as of 2013[1]
(Convention and subsequent Protocol)
Depositary Secretary-General of the League of Nations
Languages English and French

The 1926 Slavery Convention or the Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery was an international treaty created under the auspices of the League of Nations and first signed on 25 September 1926. It was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on 9 March 1927, the same day it went into effect.[2] The objective of the Convention was to confirm and advance the suppression of slavery and the slave trade.


In the Brussels Conference Act of 1890 the signatories "declared that they were equally animated by the firm intention of putting an end to the traffic in African slaves." The Brussels Act was supplemented and revised by the Convention of Saint-Germain-en-Laye signed by the Allied Powers of the First World War on 10 September 1919,[3] in which the signatories undertook to "endeavour to secure the complete suppression of slavery in all its forms and of the slave trade by land and sea." (Art.11)

A Temporary Slavery Commission was appointed by the Council of the League of Nations in June 1924. The commission was mixed in composition including former colonial governors, as well as a Haitian and a representative from the International Labour Organisation Frederick Lugard was the British representative on the commission.


The 1926 Slavery Convention established concrete rules and articles to advance the suppression of slavery and the slave trade.

Slavery was defined (Art.1) as:

the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised

and the slave trade was defined as including:

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.

Contents (summarised)

Article 2

The parties agreed to prevent and suppress the slave trade and to progressively bring about the complete elimination of slavery in all its forms.

Article 6

The parties undertook to promulgate severe penalties for slave trading, slaveholding, and enslavement.


As of 2013, 99 countries have signed, acceded to, ratified, succeeded to or otherwise committed to participation in the Convention (as amended) and its subsequent Protocol. The countries and the year of their first commitment to participation (bracketed) are:

Afghanistan (1954), Albania (1957), Algeria (1963), Australia (1953), Austria (1954), Azerbaijan (1996), Bahamas (1976), Bahrain (1990), Bangladesh (1985), Barbados (1976), Belarus (1956, as the Byelorussian SSR), Belgium (1962), Bolivia (1983), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1993), Brazil (1966), Cameroon (1984), Canada (1953), Chile (1995), China (1955), Croatia (1992), Cuba (1954), Cyprus (1986), Denmark (1954), Dominica (1994), Ecuador (1955), Egypt (1954), Ethiopia (1969), Fiji (1972), Finland (1954), France (1963), Germany (1973), Greece (1955), Guatemala (1983), Guinea (1963), Hungary (1958), India (1954), Iraq (1955), Ireland (1961), Israel (1955), Italy (1954), Jamaica (1964), Jordan (1959), Kazakhstan (2008), Kuwait (1963), Kyrgyzstan (1997), Lesotho (1974), Liberia (1953), Libya (1957), Madagascar (1964), Malawi (1965), Mali (1973), Malta (1966), Mauritania (1986), Mauritius (1969), Mexico (1954), Monaco (1954), Mongolia (1968), Montenegro (2006), Morocco (1959), Myanmar (1957), Nepal (1963), Netherlands (1955), New Zealand (1953), Nicaragua (1986), Niger (1964), Nigeria (1961), Norway (1957), Pakistan (1955), Paraguay (2007), Papua New Guinea (1982), Philippines (1955), Romania (1957), Russia (1956, as the Soviet Union), St Lucia (1990), St Vincent and the Grenadines (1981), Saudi Arabia (1973), Serbia (2001, as Serbia and Montenegro), Sierra Leone (1962), Solomon Islands (1981), South Africa (1953), Spain (1927), Sri Lanka (1958), Sudan (1957), Sweden (1954), Switzerland (1953), Syria(1954), Tanzania (1962), Trinidad and Tobago (1966), Tunisia (1966), Turkey (1955), Turkmenistan (1997), Uganda (1964), Ukraine (1959, as the Ukrainian SSR), United Kingdom (1953), United States (1956), Uruguay (2001), Viet Nam (1956), Yemen (1987), Zambia (1973)


The Convention was amended by the Protocol entering into force on 7 July 1955.[4]

The definition of slavery was further refined and extended by a 1956 Supplementary Convention.

See also


  1. ^ Signatories and parties
  2. ^ League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 60, pp. 254–270.
  3. ^ United States of America - Convention revising the General Act of Berlin, 26 February 1885, and of the General Act and the Declaration of Brussels, 2 July 1890, signed at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 10 September 1919 (1922) LNTSer 19; 8 LNTS 27
  4. ^ Protocol amending the Slavery Convention signed at Geneva on 25 September 1926

External links

  • Text of the Convention at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Text of the 'Slavery, Servitude, Forced Labour and Similar Institutions and Practices Convention of 1926' at the UMN Human Rights Library
  • Signatories and parties
  • Abolishing Slavery and its Contemporary Forms Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
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