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Enslaved Peoples as Prisoners of War

The struggle to abolish the slave trade and protect labor rights has been a catastrophic infringement of humanitarian rights upon people worldwide. The slave trade was first condemned by treaty in the Additional Articles to the Paris Peace Treaty of 1814 between France and Britain (Vega & Weisbrodt 2007). In 1885, the General Act of the Berlin Conference on Central Africa declared that “trading in slaves is forbidden in conformity with the principles of international law” (Vega & Weisbrodt 2007). In spite of the fact of slavery being forbidden, it would be strategically replaced with racial capitalism or economic slavery that would produce the largest atrocity of genocide known to mankind. However, the enslavement of beings from the Atlantic and Indian slave trade is rarely identified as a genocide nor is the residual effect of the war on civilians.

The Atlantic and Indian slave trade was an egregious war between the sovereignty of peoples and governments, companies, and international systems that supported institutionalized global exploitation. Although, the international legal documents have ideal principles, standards, and treaties they have wholeheartedly been breached by its creators, thus, it has not been applied to all states and its people. It is evident of the hypocrisy and contradictions that exists in international law which deliberately ostracizes groups of people to ensure justice is not obtainable. Article 1 of the 1907 Hague III Convention of the Opening of Hostilities asserts that:

“Hostilities between [contracting parties] must not commence without previous and explicit warning, in the form either of a declaration of war, giving reasons, or of an ultimatum with conditional declaration of war” (Orackhelashvili, 2019).

However, it is crucial to take notice of their being an absence of an explicit warning when it came to the deliberate genocide of people that became casualties (prisoners of war) of the Atlantic and Indian slave trade. This genocide would dismantle the infrastructures of various nation-states across continents for generations causing an ongoing mass confusion of the current state of war against citizens worldwide. Enslaved peoples and the generations that followed after, are prisoners of war from a system that is insidious in regard to their efforts to rewrite history, construct deceptive laws, and continuously breach of the inherent rights of mankind.

Paragraph 10 of General Assembly Resolution 2105, passed on December 1965 by seventy-four to six with twenty-seven abstentions: