Practice Related to Rule 94. Slavery and Slave Trade
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands restates the prohibition of slavery and the slave trade as found in Article 4 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states that “[n]o derogation is possible from the [prohibition] of … slavery”.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
It is expressly prohibited to carry out the following acts against the civilian population or individual civilians, wounded, sick or prisoners:
- slavery, slave trading or dangerous or degrading forced labour;
- threatening anyone with the above-mentioned acts or treatment.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states:
Section 2 - Applicability of human rights
1211. Human rights should be respected … However, “in time of war or in case of any other general state of emergency which threatens the existence of the country,” certain human rights may be curtailed as long as the situation strictly necessitates such measures. But the right to life, the prohibition of torture, slavery and forced labour, and the legal principle “no punishment without prior legal provision” cannot be waived.
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, “enslavement” committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack, is a crime against humanity. Enslavement is defined as “the exercise of any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership over a person, including the exercise of such power in the course of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children”.