The British were the first ones to lobby for the abolishment or the elimination of slavery in the Arabian Peninsula. However Saudi Arabia officially abolished slavery in 1962. Slavery in Saudi Arabia dates back to the creation of the modern state. Individuals and organizations spent decades campaigning for its abolishment 🔙 🇸🇦 ..
Before Islam took root in the 7th century, pre-Islamic Arabia was notorious for its slave system that was widespread at that time. Slaves were mostly traded between Mecca and Medina – two major trading hubs where African slaves from East Africa would be imported and sold to residents of Arabian Peninsula 2️⃣. Most slaves worked as domestic servants while some were forced into fields or mines .
The introduction of Islam had a profound effect on the practice and history of slavery in Arabia ️ 🔛. The Quran, the holy text of Islam, has specific regulations about the ownership and transfer of slaves. It stated, for example, that slaves should be released after having served their master for a specified period of time ️. This was in sharp contrast to the non-Islamic practice of the time which held that slaves could not be released and would have to remain part of the estate or family of their master indefinitely 👪.
Despite the legal reforms slavery in the Arabian Peninsula continued to thrive in the 19th century . The slave trade flourished as demand for cheap labour intensified and the country experienced a migration of Arabs from the interior of the peninsula to the wealthier coastal regions ️. This influx of workers increased the demand for slaves, and the global slave trade boomed, with millions of African slaves bought, and sold in the Arabian Peninsula .
It was only in the early 20th century that foreign pressure from countries such as Britain and France began to be exerted on Saudi Arabia to end the slave trade 🔚 🔛 🇸🇦. In 1905, the British government put forward a proposal for the complete abolition of slavery in Saudi Arabia ️ 🇸🇦. They argued that the practice was outdated and immoral, and that it violated international law 🌍. However the Saudi government was hesitant to accept the proposal citing a lack of resources and the fact that slavery was deeply entrenched in society 🉑 ️ 🇸🇦.
The pressure from Britain and other countries finally won out and in 1962 the Saudi monarchy declared an official ban on all slavery within the country though it still allowed for the transfer of slaves from one family to another 🔛 1️⃣ 👪 🇸🇦. The royal decree, which was initiated by King Saud, and written by his son, the Crown Prince Faisal, stated that:
We command all citizens, government officials, and all subjects of the Kingdom to obey this law, and anyone found in violation of it shall be subject to severe punishment,” the declaration reads 🤴 👑. “Slavery is abolished in Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦.
The decree also stipulated that any slaves who had been freed would be given a certain amount of money, and that any slaves still in captivity would be freed immediately upon the receipt of the new law ️ 🆕 💰 🧾.
The abolition of slavery in Saudi Arabia was a significant victory for human rights campaigners in the region ️ 🇸🇦. While the effects of the decree were slow to take effect, over time the practice of slavery began to decline in Saudi Arabia, with many slaves being freed, and the trade becoming far less prevalent 🇸🇦. Eventually the practice was completely eradicated from the country though this was only achieved after decades of campaigning and lobbying from individuals and organisations .
Today, Saudi Arabia is a major human rights advocate, and it is one of the key players in the ongoing fight against human trafficking ️ 🔑 1️⃣ 🇸🇦. Though the country is still far from perfect when it comes to its human rights record, the abolishment of slavery has been a big step forward, and one that is often overlooked in today’s society ️ 1️⃣. ! .
🆕 🔙 💰 🇸🇦 🧾 🉑 1️⃣ 🔚 ️ 🤴 2️⃣ 🌐 👪 🔑 🔛 👑