Slave Trade Prohibition during Qajar Period as Stated by Documents (From 1257/1841 until 1300/1882)

Document Type : Research Article



The campaign against slave trade in Iran began in mid 13th /19th century. In 1264/1847, Muḥammad Shāh Qājār prohibited delivery of black slaves to Iran by sea. In 1268/1851, Iran and Britain signed a treaty, according to which the British ships were allowed to inspect Iranian ships in search of slaves. According to article 13 of the peace treaty between Iran and Britain dated 1274/1857, the privilege to inspect the ships was renewed until 1290/1873. However, this treaty was not much influential in the rate of slave trade and only after a more rigorous marine inspection in 1287/1870 this rate somehow slowed down. According to a new treaty signed in 1300/1882, British authority was expanded. Iran also participated in Brussels Conference on the Abolition of Slavery. Consequently, in 1308/1890, Iran banned slave trade and import both by sea or land. In this respect, the process of slave trade prohibition in Qajar period is critically reviewed as per the extant documents.
Keywords: slave trade, Qajar Dynasty, Persian Gulf, Britons.