This collection of papers, reports and letters, published in 1842, documents the official investigation into the export of South Asians effectively as slave labour to Mauritius and British Guiana in 1837, four years after the abolition of slavery in ...
all British colonies. The investigation revealed how the anti-slavery laws were evaded by the issue of nominal contracts for labourers, by which much of their wages were withheld to pay for their passage, and how enticement, trickery and sometimes kidnap were used in recruiting them. It highlights appalling conditions on overloaded ships, inadequate living conditions and a brutal working environment. Only rarely were workers released at the end of their 'contract'. The reports and correspondence show the struggle of Parliament and the Anti-Slavery Society to ascertain facts often distorted by corrupt officials, particularly on Mauritius. Readers will find chilling parallels to the human trafficking that still persists today.
Number of pages: 80
Date of publication: 17/02/2011
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