Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 2017

Today marks the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, recognised across the world since 1997.

On this day we remember the lives of those people who were caught up in the slave trade and the courage they displayed, and endeavour to remember their lives through education and the end of modern day slavery.

Slavery memorial in Stone Town, Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania.

To create awareness of the political, ethnic and sociocultural impacts of slavery, UNESCO’s Slave Route Project traces the causes of, and transformations due to, the history of global slavery. The project, launched in 1994 was proposed by Haiti and overseen by the International Scientific Committee, in response to the historic uprising by the slave community in Haiti during 23 August 1791, which resulted in the country’s independence and freedom in 1804.

European nations were embroiled in the slave trade until Denmark-Norway became the first European country to ban the transatlantic slave trade in 1802. This was followed by the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act which was passed by the British Government on 25 March 1807, led by anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce, although slavery was not abolished in the UK until 1833.

Further bilateral treaty formations and slavery bans were brought into force for the next two centuries, and today slavery is banned worldwide, although legislation against modern slavery and human trafficking is now deemed necessary.

The Slave Route Project now aims, since 2012, to be introduced to an international, multicultural audience through the assistance of Member States.

This year’s International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is the third to be recognised during the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).

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