The right to freedom from slavery was the first human right to be protected by international treaty1. It is recognised as a peremptory norm of customary international law (jus cogens)2, a status which is reflected in the pledges enshrined in the League of Nations Slavery Convention (in which contracting parties undertook, each in respect of the territories placed under its sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, suzerainty or tutelage, so far as they had not already taken the necessary steps, to prevent and suppress the slave trade and to bring about, progressively and as soon as possible, the complete abolition of slavery
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