Slavery International is an international non-governmental
organization, registered charity and a lobby group, based in the
United Kingdom. Founded in 1839, it is the world's oldest
international human rights organization. It works exclusively against
slavery and related abuses.
It owes its origins to the radical element of an older Anti-Slavery
Society, known as the "Agency Committee of the Society for the
Mitigation and Gradual Abolition of
Slavery Throughout the British
Dominions", which had substantially achieved abolition of slavery in
the British Empire. A successor organisation, the British and Foreign
Slavery Society was then created to campaign against the
practice of slavery in other countries. In 1990 it was relaunched as
Slavery International", which works to combat slavery and
2 Modern-day slavery
3 Current projects
6 See also
9 External links
Buxton Memorial Fountain, celebrating the emancipation of slaves in
British Empire in 1834, in Victoria Tower Gardens, Millbank,
Founded in 1839, it is the world’s oldest international human rights
organisation and bases its work on the United Nations treaties against
It has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social
Council and observer status at the International Labour Organization.
It is a non-religious, non-political independent organisation.
Slavery International works closely with partner organisations
from around the world to tackle all forms of slavery.
Main article: Contemporary slavery
Human trafficking is the illegal transportation of kidnapped women,
children, and men across international borders in order to put them
into slavery at the destination. This form of modern slavery is one of
the most common and may affect the most people: it is estimated that
between 500,000 and 800,000 victims enter the trade each year.
Slavery International is currently[when?] working on the Victim
Protection Campaign better identify, protect and support the victims
of slavery in the UK, Cotton Crimes campaign to end forced labour in
Uzbekistan's cotton industry, and Home Alone campaign to end domestic
slavery in the UK and across the world.
The organisation currently[when?] runs four programmes:
South Asia Programme primarily focuses on bonded labour in India's
brick kilns, and bonded labour practices in Nepal's agriculture. It
also runs a project focusing on construction workers migrating to
Women and Girls Programme focuses on the gender aspect of
vulnerability to slavery and works mainly on projects focusing on
migrant domestic workers migrating from Nepal and Bangladesh to
Lebanon and within India. It also runs a project supporting child
domestic workers in Peru.
Africa Programme focuses on working against descent based slavery in
Mauritania and Niger, as well as forced child begging in Senegal.
Europe Programme focuses on advocating for better policies protecting
victims of slavery in the UK and the rest of Europe.
Increasingly the organisation focuses on slavery in global supply
chains, encouraging businesses to identify risks of slavery and
implement policies minimising the occurrence of slavery practices in
their supply chains.
A painting of the 1840 World's Anti-
Slavery Convention. Use a cursor
to see who is who.
The first Anti-
Slavery Society was founded in 1823 and was committed
to the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, which was
substantially achieved in 1838 under the terms of the Slavery
Abolition Act 1833. In 1839, English activist
Joseph Sturge formed a
successor organisation, British and Foreign Anti-
(today known as Anti-
Slavery International), which worked to outlaw
slavery in other countries.
In 1840, the World Anti-
Slavery Convention was organised in London
that attracted delegates from around the world (including from the
United States of America, in the South of which slavery was at times
referred to as "our peculiar institution") to the Freemasons' Hall,
London on 12 June 1840. Many delegates were notable abolitionists,
Thomas Clarkson the key speaker, and the image of the meeting was
captured in a remarkable painting that still hangs in the National
Portrait Gallery in London.
At the beginning of the 20th century Anti-
Slavery Society campaigned
against slavery practices perpetrated in the Congo Free State by King
Leopold II of Belgium. It was the first campaign in history that used
photography to document the abuses (photographs were taken by the
missionary Alice Seeley Harris). The campaign eventually helped bring
an end to Leopold's tyranny.
In the 1920s the Society helped end the indentured labour system in
the British colonies after campaigning against the use of Indian and
Chinese "coolies". In 1921 Played a pivotal role in ending the
activities of the Peruvian Amazon Company, which was using indigenous
slave labour in rubber production. The organisation also successfully
lobbied for the League of Nations inquiry into slavery, which resulted
in the 1926
Slavery Convention that obliged all ratifying states to
end slavery. It also heavily influenced the content
of the 1956 UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery.
During the 1990s Anti-Slavery, an original supporter of the End Child
Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking campaign (ECPAT), helped set
up the UK branch. it was one of the organisers of the 1998 Global
March against Child Labour, which helped lead to the adoption of a new
ILO Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 (No.
In the 21st century it worked with Nepalese NGO INSEC to secure
Government backing to abolish the Kamaiya form of bonded labour; in
2003 with local NGO Timidria conducted a survey that led to the
criminalisation of slavery in Niger, and lobbied the Brazilian
government to introduce a National Plan for the Eradication of
Slavery. Two years later ASI organised a major
campaign on child camel jockeys in the Gulf States, which influenced
the UAE's decision to rescue and repatriate up to 3,000 child camel
In the UK, it successfully lobbied to make trafficking of sexual and
labour exploitation a criminal offence in 2004.
In 2008 it was amongst groups that supported a former slave, Hadijatou
Mani, in obtaining the verdict of international ECOWAS court that
found the state of Niger guilty of failing to protect her from
slavery. The ruling set a legal precedent with respect to the
obligations of states to protect its citizens from slavery
In June 2010, following the campaign by Anti-
Slavery International and
Liberty the UK Parliament introduced a criminal offence of forced
labour in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. In 2010
the organisation also exposed the routine use of the forced labour of
girls and young women in the manufacture of garments in Southern India
for Western high streets, prompting, eventually, business and
international civil society efforts to end the practice.
Slavery lobbied the UK government to sign up to a EU
anti-trafficking law to protect the victims and secure justice for
people who have been trafficked (2011). It also played a big part in
International Labour Organization
International Labour Organization to adopt a Convention
on Decent Work for Domestic Workers in June 2011.
Part of a series on
Topics and practices
Atlantic slave trade
Arab slave trade
Field slaves in the United States
By country or region
Slavery on the Barbary Coast
Barbary slave trade
North and South America
Central, East, and South Asia
Human trafficking in Southeast Asia
Australia and Oceania
Blackbirding in Australia
Human trafficking in Australia
Slave raiding in Easter Island
Human trafficking in Papua New Guinea
Blackbirding in Polynesia
Europe and North Asia
Sex trafficking in Europe
Germany in World War II
North Africa and West Asia
Human trafficking in the Middle East
Opposition and resistance
Blockade of Africa
Slave Trade Acts
13th Amendment to the
United States Constitution
Great Dismal Swamp maroons
List of slaves
Slave Route Project
Treatment in U.S.
Slavery International instituted the Anti-
Slavery Award in 1991
to draw attention to the continuing problem of slavery in the world
today and to provide recognition for long-term, courageous campaigning
by organisations or individuals in the countries most affected.
Bonded Labour Liberation Front (India)
1992: Ricardo Rezende
1993: End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism (ECPAT)
1994: Edwin Paraison
1995: Harry Wu
1996: Regional Indigenous Organisation of Atalaya (OIRA)
1997: Pureza Lopes Loiola
1998: Cheïkh Saad Bouh Kamara
1999: Vivek and Vidyullata Pandit
2000: George Omona
2001: Association for Community Development (ACD)
Backward Society Education
Backward Society Education (BASE)
2003: Vera Lesko
2005: Cecilia Flores-Oebanda, (Visayan Forum Foundation)
2006: James Aguer Figueira
Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
2009: SOS Esclaves
2010: Justice 4 Domestic Workers
Free the Slaves
Migrant domestic workers
Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery
Whittaker, Alan (1990). Anti-slavery: The Reporter and Aborigines
Hay Hewison, Hope; Whittaker, Alan (1991). Children in Bondage: Slaves
of the Subcontinent. Anti-
Sharman, Anne-Marie (1993). Forced Prostitution in Turkey: Women in
the Genelevs : a Report. Anti-
Anderson, Bridget (1993). Britain's Secret Slaves: An Investigation
Into the Plight of Overseas Domestic Workers in the United Kingdom.
Slavery International, Kalayaan, Migrant Domestic Workers.
Sutton, Alison (1994).
Slavery in Brazil: A Link in the Chain of
Modernisation : the Case of Amazonia. Anti-
'This Menace of Bonded Labour': Debt Bondage in Pakistan. Anti-Slavery
International. 1997. ISBN 0-900918-35-7.
Verney, Peter (1997).
Slavery in Sudan. Sudan Update, Anti-Slavery
International. ISBN 0-900918-39-X.
Enslaved Peoples in the 1990s: Indigenous Peoples, Debt Bondage and
Human Rights. Anti-
Slavery International, International Work Group for
Indigenous Affairs. 1997. ISBN 0-900918-40-3.
Bindman, Jo; Doezema, Jo (1997). Redefining Prostitution as Sex Work
on the International Agenda. Anti-
Anti-slavery Reporter. Anti-
Slavery International and The Society.
Slavery Around the World. Anti-
Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. 1999.
Pearson, Elaine (2002). Human Traffic, Human Rights: Redefining Victim
Slavery International. ISBN 0-900918-55-1.
Brown, Pins (2002). International Action Against Child Labour: Guide
to Monitoring and Complaints Procedures. Anti-Slavery
The Cocoa Industry in West Africa: A History of Exploration.
Slavery International. 2004.
Kaye, Mike (2005). Over 200 Years of Campaigning Against Slavery.
Slavery International. ISBN 0-900918-61-6.
^ Charity Commission. Anti-
Slavery International, registered charity
UNESCO DEAD LINK.
^ Sharman, Anne-Marie, ed. (1993). "Anti-
Slavery Reporter". 13 (8).
Slavery Society Convention, 1840, National Portrait Gallery,
^ "The Anti-
Slavery Society Convention, 1840". London: National
Portrait Gallery. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
^ Walker, Peter; agencies (2008-10-27). "Niger guilty in landmark
slavery case". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved
^ "Awards winners". antislavery.org. Anti-
Archived from the original on 25 February 2009.
Slavery International. Anti-
Slavery International and Adam
Matthew Publications. 2001.
Slavery International articles at WashingtonPost.com
Observatoire de l'action humanitaire
Photo-story on modern-day slavery in Brazil by photographer Eduardo
Coordinates: 51°28′6.17″N 0°7′3.09″W / 51.4683806°N
0.1175250°W / 51.4