The 27th of January 1416 will always be remembered in the chapters of Dubrovnik’s rich history. For on this day the Republic of Dubrovnik banned the slave trade, centuries before most of the countries in the Western world.
At a meeting of the Grand Chamber of the Republic of Dubrovnik on the 27th of January 1416 a total of 75 councillors of 78 in the council voted to ban slavery in the Republic. The very next day the vote and the decision came into effect and slavery was banned forever.
The decision stated that "none of our nationals or foreigners, and everyone who considers himself or herself from Dubrovnik, can in any way or under any pretext to buy or sell slaves or female servant or be a mediator in such trade.”
With this decision the Republic of Dubrovnik was among the first countries in Europe and in the world to ban the buying and selling of slaves.
For example, Great Britain banned the trading of slaves 391 years later, and the USA banned the slave trade 450 years after Dubrovnik on the 18th of December 1865.