September 23, 2023
On September 25, 1926, the Slavery Convention 1926 was signed at the Palais Wilson in Geneva.
The High Contracting Parties undertook to take measures to prevent and suppress the slave trade and to bring about, progressively and as soon as possible, the complete abolition of slavery in all its forms.
The Convention was based on a report of the Temporary Slavery Commission appointed by the Council of the League of Nations on June 12, 1924.
It was more comprehensive than the three earlier conventions: the General Act of Berlin of 1885 (which dealt with suppressing slavery, and especially the slave trade), the General Act of the Brussels Conference of 1889-90 (which aimed at securing the complete suppression of slavery in all its forms and of the slave trade by land and sea,) and the Convention of Saint-Germain-en-Laye 1919, which aimed at putting an end to the traffic in African slaves.
It was a landmark convention at a time when slavery was still legal in a number of foreign states, such as Persia and in parts of Arabia. Hence, the reference to “bring about, progressively and as soon as possible, the complete abolition of slavery in all its forms.”
A mission to West Africa by the Society in 1995 revealed that traditional slavery still existed in Ghana, Togo and Benin.