into force 9 March 1927, in accordance with article
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,
signatories of the Convention of Saint-Germain-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,
consideration the report of the Temporary Slavery Commission appointed
by the Council of the League of Nations on June 12th, 1924,
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 Con ven tion of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and
recognising 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
labour from developing into conditions analogous to slavery, have
decided to conclude a Convention and have accordingly appointed as their
Plenipotentiaries [names omitted]
agreed as follows:
For the purpose of the present Convention, the following
definitions are agreed upon:
is the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the
powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised.
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.
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:
prevent and suppress the slave trade;
bring about, progressively and as soon as possible, the complete
abolition of slavery in all its forrns.
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.
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
The High Contracting Parties shall give to one another every
assistance with the object of securing the abolition of slavery and the
The High Contracting Parties recognise 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.
to the transitional provisions laid down in paragraph(2) below,
compulsory or forced labour may only be exacted for public
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
Those of the High Contracting Parties whose laws do not at
present make adquate 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
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.
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.
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.
the event of a High Contracting Party wishing to denounce the present
Convention, the denunciation shall be notified in writing to the
SecretaryGeneral 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Convention will come into operation for each State on the date of the
deposit of its ratification or of its accession.
WHEREOF the Plenipotentiaries signed the present Convention.
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