The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“UDHR”) proclaims, “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.” Though not legally binding, the document denotes international principles of fundamental human rights. The United States Constitution fails to enshrine the UDHR’s categorical denunciation of slavery and servitude, with the Thirteenth Amendment reading: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
This post was originally published on the Cardozo International & Comparative Law Review on February 28, 2022. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Osterweil-Artson, Sydney, "Punishment Clauses: Amending United States Constitutions to Pursue “Complete Abolition”" (2022). CICLR Online. 43.