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The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1838–1956A History$
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James Heartfield

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190491673

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190491673.001.0001

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Anti-Slavery in the Era of World Wars

Anti-Slavery in the Era of World Wars

Chapter:
(p.405) 18 Anti-Slavery in the Era of World Wars
Source:
The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1838–1956
Author(s):

James Heartfield

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190491673.003.0021

In the First and Second World Wars the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society was found again to be defending the use of forced labor. Forced labor, in porterage and in raising crops, was extensive under the special conditions of war. At the end of the First War, and then again at the end of the Second, the prospect of international cooperation to fight for the rights of colonial peoples opened up. The Society played a key role in the League of Nations preparing a Convention on Slavery. But its champion, Lady Kathleen Simon, damaged the Society’s reputation by making the case for Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia, to “stamp out slavery”. After the Second War, the Society again sought influence, now in the United Nations, but Britain’s influence was less, and the Society proved a poor example of a champion of native peoples when put next to the national liberation movements of that time.

Keywords:   League of Nations, United Nations, Convention on Slavery, Abyssinia, Forced labor, Anti-colonialism

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