The Orion Slave Trade
History of the Slave Trade
From the beginning of the Federation until the end of the Four Years War with the Klingon Empire, Orion slavery was an omnipresent and ancient institution, and wars and conquest had never altered it. The Orion Neutrality Zone, established shortly after the conclusion of the Four Years War did limit the scope (and ostensibly halted the spread) of Orion Green slavery.
By Stardate 7922, Federation trading firms had firmly entrenched themselves around the Orion Neutrality Zone. No longer as dependent on Orion trade, Federation members boycotted Orion ports to show their displeasure of Orion Green slavery. The First Amendment to the Articles of Federation banned slave trade outside Orion space, and pressured by the boycott, the Botchok Planetary Council, the 'official' Orion government (since relegated to planetary-level jurisdiction) officially outlawed the practice.
This was well and good, however, it took a lot more than legislation to force the Orions to surrender one of their most treasured customs. If a piece of paper would regain Federation trade, the Orion thought, then by all means sign it and get on with business. Naturally, resuming business included the continued, if less conspicious use of Green slaves.
From the time of the Four Years War until official and blanket condemnation of slavery was issued by all Orion worlds and corporations on Stardate 28094, Starfleet had its hands full trying to enforce the Federation and the Orions own law. Orion slave-carrying vessels are neither foul, crowded, nor were they easily identified; usually, they were perfectly respectable transports with all the right papers, a smiling and cooperative crew, and the proper licensing to permit the transplantation of perhaps hundreds of 'perfectly free' Green Orions. Under the Orion Registry Act of Stardate 8200, no Starfleet captain had the authority to detain any such properly documented vessel, and most did not try.
During this period, the situation on Orion-occupied Federation worlds (that is, most Federation worlds in proximity to the Orion Neutrality Zone) was far worse for inquiring minds in Starfleet Intelligence and Starfleet Marines. Any non-Orion can find Greens working for room, board, and perhaps a banked sum to be credited back to relatives in Orion Space-but no slaves. Computer records, foremen, and the workers themselves all agreed; no slavery here.
Federation and Starfleet officials are left to contemplate the sincerity of the Orion Colonial Council when they say that Green Slavery is a thing of the past. Since the Treaty of Rhinate was signed, Starfleet has not seized any individuals or vessels suspected of conducting the Green Slave trade. For their part, Federation officials remain somewhat mystified, if relieved, that the slave trade does indeed appear to have been relegated to Orion history. More astute observers point out however, that Klingon law does not forbid slavery per se, nor do the unaligned Orion colonies in the Triangle. The Orion Colonial Council can logically and legally argue that these worlds are beyond their jurisdiction, therefore, Orion Colonial Council statutes that outlaw slavery among Orions has no jurisdiction in the Orion colonies in Klingon territories or those worlds that chose to remain unaligned. Since this seems an impasse among Federation Orion-analysts and all remains conjecture, only time will bear out formal Orion and Federation assertions that the Green Slave trade is dead.