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date: 29 May 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the history of the emergence in the nineteenth century of non-governmental organizations, focusing on those organized around slavery and women’s rights and suffrage. It explains that like the modern human rights movements, the movement for the abolition of slavery and the slave trade involved transborder activism by privately organized individuals and included the strengthening of international treaty regimes concerning the slave trade as one of its goals. It suggests that one key similarity between these historical antecedents and modern human rights activism is the importance of transnational ties to successful mobilization.

Keywords: non-governmental organizations, slavery, women’s rights, women’s suffrage, human rights movements, slave trade, international treaty, transborder activism

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