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Template:Infobox Organization

Anti-Slavery International is an international nongovernmental organization, charity and a lobby group, based in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1839, it is the world's oldest international human rights organization, and the only charity in the United Kingdom to work exclusively against slavery and related abuses [1].

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', and was initially named the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society[2] to campaign worldwide against the practice of slavery. In 1990 it was refounded as Anti-Slavery International works entirely combating Slavery and related abuse, drawing attention to the continuing problem of slavery worldwide and campaigning for its recognition, abolition and eradication in the countries most affected today. Free the Slaves in the USA is regarded a sister organisation of Anti-Slavery International but there are currently no formal links between the two organisations.


File:Anti-Slavery Society Commeration.jpg

A 1989 structure at Millbank Gardens, London, commemorating 150 years of Anti-Slavery

  • The organization lobbies governments of countries with slavery to act against it.
  • The organization lobbies governments and international agencies to increase the priority of combating slavery.
  • The organization aids research to find out the extent of slavery.
  • The organization works to increase awareness of slavery.
  • Anti-Slavery International informs the public that slavery is a real issue today. Their goal is a world without slaves.

Three teams work in Anti-Slavery-International, Programme, Communication and Information.

The team collects relevant information(in cooperation with partners) over central issues, the worst types of Child labour, Debt bondage, Forced labour, Forced marriage, human trafficking and traditional slavery. The team publishes the information and promotes legislation to protect victims.

The Communications Team produces material to educate and promote action including the magazine, ‘The Reporter’. The team lobby governments, the United Nations and the European Union urging them to help end all slavery. The reference library contains material from early in the abolitionist movement to the present day.

The Information Team deals with administration and fundraising among other issues. They publish an annual review and annual accounts.


File:The Anti-Slavery Society Convention, 1840 by Benjamin Robert Haydon.jpg

The 1840 Anti-Slavery convention

The organisation was founded in 1839. The following year a large international conference was organised that attracted delegates from around the world to the Freemasons' Hall, London on June 12, 1840. Many of the delegates were notable abolitionists and the image of the meeting was captured in a remarkable painting that still hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London.[3] Delegates included: George William Alexander (Treasurer), William Allen, Saxe Bannister (Australian), Rev. Thomas Binney, James G. Birney U.S. delegate, Samuel Bowly, Sir John Bowring, George Bradburn, Rev. William Brock, Sir Thomas Buxton, Anne Isabella Byron, Baroness Byron, Thomas Clarkson (key speaker), Josiah Conder, Daniel O'Connell (Irish), John Ellis, Josiah Forster, Robert Kaye Greville, William Forster, Elizabeth Fry, Samuel Gurney, John Howard Hinton, John Angell James, Rev. Joseph Ketley (Guyana), William Knibb, Dr. Stephen Lushington M.P., Dr. Richard Robert Madden, James Mott (American), Lucretia Mott (American), Amelia Opie, Wendell Phillips, Samuel J. Prescod (Barbados), John Scoble (Canada), Joseph Sturge (founder), George Thompson, and Sir John Eardley-Wilmot M.P..

Modern-day slavery

Though the legalized practice of human trafficking was deemed illegal in both the UK and in the US in the early 19th century, it took remaining slave trading countries years of legal battling to end the slave trade. However, the underground trade of humans is still prevalent today in the 21st century. Regions heavily involved in the trade are eastern Europe, West Africa, and South America. Modern day slavery comes in numerous forms including: bonded labour, early and forced marriage, forced labor, slavery by descent, and trafficking. Bonded labor leads into slavery by descent. The basic premise mimics circumstances of indentured servitude, where for the cost of medicine, travel, or some other debt, labor for a specific time period is rendered. The work is constant, usually seven days per week and for up to 365 days consecutively. Often the loan is not paid in full by death and the debt is then passed down to a family member, creating slavery by descent.

Early and forced marriage involves women and girls who are forced into marriages where they are subject to harsh labor conditions and suffer physical violence.

File:Cicatrices de flagellation sur un esclave.jpg

19th century slave, with wounds from flagellation

Forced labor in the days prior to 18th and 19th century abolitionist movements, consisted of African slaves working on small or very large plantations and forced to work for the duration of life. Modern Day forced labor is a little different. Forced labor slaves are found by governments, powerful individuals, or political parties and forced to work by threat of violence or by threatening the safety of their loved ones.

Human trafficking is the illegal transportation of kidnapped women, children, and men across international borders for the intention of putting them into slave conditions. This form of modern day slavery is one of the most numerous forms and affects the most victims: anywhere between 5-800,000 new victims in the trade per year.

Current campaigns

Anti-Slavery International is working on a campaign in the Philippines concerning the forced labor and exploitation of domestic workers. In the Philippines the Domestic Workers Bill or Batas Kasambahay, was passed in 1995 to ensure the safety and just treatment of domestic workers. The bill if properly enforced would help to regulate and monitor the treatment of domestic workers. Anti-Slavery International is supporting the government in the Philippines to pass the bill into law and is pushing the government to prioritize this legislation for the safety of its people.

Anti-Slavery Award

Anti-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.

  • 1991: 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)
  • 2002: Backward Society Education (BASE)
  • 2003: Vera Lesko
  • 2004: Timidria
  • 2005: Cecilia Flores-Oebanda, (Visayan Forum Foundation)
  • 2006: James Aguer Figueira
  • 2007: Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) [4]

Significant cases in recent history

On November 19, 2008 Nujood Mohammed Ali was honored for her campaigns against forced early marriage in Yemen. Glamour Magazine named Nujood 'Woman of the Year' for her efforts, shortly after she divorced her own husband of more than 3 years. Nujood herself was the victim of an arranged and forced marriage. Though in Yemen the legal age to marry is 15, the economic conditions prove it more economically convenient to have one less mouth to feed and marry them off as girls. Nujood was married off from her economically struggling family at age nine. The agreement between her father and a local motorcycle courier was that Nujood would marry him with the stipulation that he would not consummate the marriage until she had reached puberty. But like most forced early marriages, Nujood was raped and often beaten. Nujood somehow escaped and proceeded to get the marriage annulled. Her victory in receiving the divorce from her abuse helped to draw attention to the brutality and cruelty children face. Nujood has now returned to school and wants to one day become a lawyer to protect the rights of children.


  • Anti-slavery: The Reporter and Aborigines Friend, by Alan Whittaker, Anti-Slavery International. Published by Anti-Slavery International, 1990.
  • Children in Bondage: Slaves of the Subcontinent, by Anti-Slavery International, Hope Hay Hewison, Alan Whittaker. Published by Anti-Slavery International, 1991. ISBN 0900918276.
  • Forced Prostitution in Turkey: Women in the Genelevs : a Report, by Anti-Slavery International, Anne-Marie Sharman. Contributor Anti-Slavery International Staff. Published by Anti-Slavery International, 1993. ISBN 0900918306.
  • Britain's Secret Slaves: An Investigation Into the Plight of Overseas Domestic Workers in the United Kingdom, by Bridget Anderson, Anti-Slavery International, Kalayaan (Organisation), Migrant Domestic Workers (Organisation). Published by Anti-Slavery International, 1993. ISBN 0900918292.
  • Slavery in Brazil: A Link in the Chain of Modernisation : the Case of Amazonia, by Alison Sutton, Anti-Slavery International. Published by Anti-Slavery International, 1994. ISBN 0900918322.
  • This Menace of Bonded Labour': Debt Bondage in Pakistan, by Anti-Slavery International. Published by Anti-Slavery International, 1997. ISBN 0900918357.
  • Slavery in Sudan, by Peter Verney, Anti-Slavery International, Sudan Update. Published by Sudan Update, Anti-Slavery International, 1997. ISBN 090091839X.
  • Enslaved Peoples in the 1990s: Indigenous Peoples, Debt Bondage and Human Rights, by Anti-Slavery International, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs. Published by IWGIA, 1997. ISBN 0900918403.
  • Redefining Prostitution as Sex Work on the International Agenda, by Jo Bindman, Jo Doezema, Anti-Slavery International, Published by Anti-Slavery International, 1997.
  • Anti-slavery Reporter, by Anti-Slavery International. Published by The Society, 1998.
  • Debt Bondage: Slavery Around the World, by Anti-Slavery International, Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. Published by Anti-Slavery International ; Development and Peace, 1999. ISBN 292193602X.
  • Human Traffic, Human Rights: Redefining Victim Protection, by Elaine Pearson, Anti-Slavery International. Published by Anti-Slavery International, 2002. ISBN 0900918551.
  • International Action Against Child Labour: Guide to Monitoring and Complaints Procedures, by Pins Brown, Anti-Slavery International, Published by Anti-Slavery International, 2002.
  • The Cocoa Industry in West Africa: A History of Exploration, by Anti-Slavery International. Published by Anti-Slavery International, 2004.
  • Over 200 Years of Campaigning Against Slavery, by Mike Kaye, Anti-Slavery International. Published by Anti-Slavery International, 2005. ISBN 0900918616.


  1. Anti-Slavery International UNESCO.
  2. Sharman, Anne-Marie (1993), ed., Anti-Slavery Reporter vol 13 no 8, London:Anti-Slavery International
  3. National Portrait Gallery
  4. Awards winners
  • Anti-Slavery International, by Anti-Slavery International, Published by Adam Matthew Publications, 2001.
  • "Anti- Slavery: Today's fight for Tomorrow's Freedom." Anti-Slavery International. 09 Sep 2008. Anti-Slavery International. 11 Nov 2008 <>.
  • "Join The Fight For Freedom 1807-2007." Anti-Slavery International. 01 Aug 2008. Anti-Slavery International. 11 Nov 2008 <>.

External links


de:Anti-Slavery International fr:Anti-Slavery International nl:Anti-Slavery International

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