Friday, 15 January 2021

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The Ark of Return: Permanent Memorial Unveiled In Remembrance of Enslaved Women

slave day

25 March 2015 – The Secretary General unveils a permanent memorial today in honour of victims of the slave trade. Located on the grounds of the UN headquarters in New York, it marks this years International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The 2015 theme, “Women and Slavery” pays tribute to the strength of the women who fought for freedom from slavery and advocated for its abolition.

“Women slaves played a key role in maintaining the dignity of their communities. Too often their leadership and brave resistance have been underestimated or forgotten” said Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.

Enslaved women carried a triple burden: In addition to enduring the harsh conditions of forced labour as a slave, they experienced extreme forms of discrimination and exploitation as a result of both their gender and the colour of their skin.

The Ark of Return

In 2011, together with UNESCO the Permanent Memorial Committee launched a competition to design a memorial that will provide future generations an understanding of the history and consequences of slavery.

The Ark of Return” by Haitian-American architect Rodney Leon was chosen among 310 entries from 83 countries.

It will serve as a reminder of the ongoing dangers of racism, prejudice and the lingering consequences that continue to impact the descendants of the victims today.

Slave day2

Slavery still exists

“Tragically, slavery has still not ended. Slavery stubbornly persists in many parts of the world, in the form of forced labour, trafficking, sexual exploitation or captivity in slavery-like conditions. These despicable practices could not exist without deep-seated racism. It is absolutely vital that the dangers inherent in racism are made crystal clear to all,” stated United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in his official message for Slavery Remembrance Day 2015.

A number of additional events are scheduled at the UN Headquarters in New York to mark the day, during which you will be able to access a live webcast

  • General Assembly Commemorative Meeting
    Wednesday, 25 March 2015, 3:00 pm (Followed by a performance)
  • NGO Briefing
    Thursday, 26 March, 2015, 11:00 am-1:00 pm
  • Student Global Video Conference
    Friday, 27 March 2015, 9:30 am


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