Shattering Chains When the Sovereign Will Not: Responsibility to Protect and the Use of Military Intervention to Stop Slavery
Forthcoming with the Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law
38 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2017
Date Written: March 14, 2017
The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is an emerging international norm that recognizes genocide as sufficient ground for circumventing the fundamental principle of sovereignty that generally forbids humanitarian intervention.
This paper argues that under R2P, a sovereign state practicing, tolerating, or failing to eliminate slavery that is publicly and openly practiced, should and does allow for the legal use of military intervention by the international community. As recommended by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), just cause proven by absolute evidence, the same legal standard for military humanitarian intervention in cases of genocide, should serve as the basis for intervention. Intervention under these terms against a legally-institutionalized form of slavery is not only fully compatible with the present obligations of UN member states, including the permanent members of the UN Security Council, but demanded under the UN Charter Article 1, the Slavery Convention of 1926, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other sources of obligation.
R2P necessitates a response that fully resolves the manifest failure of the sovereign. Such a response would be a multilateral, Security Council-authorized response centered on reacting in force to free slaves and to dismantle the infrastructure of that extraordinarily peculiar institution, followed immediately by reconstructing the territory, and preventing crimes against humanity.
Keywords: Human Rights, slavery, humanitarian, intervention, R2P, Security Council, human trafficking, Responsibility to Protect, Syria, ISIS
JEL Classification: N40, F5, F53, F54, F55
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation