International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Today, the 23rd of August, the world celebrates the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, in accordance with the UN General Assembly resolution of 17 December 2007, as well as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, declared by UNESCO in 1994.
The Geneva Institute for Human Rights reaffirms the significance of this anniversary, and reminds the world that slavery was one of the great plagues that afflicted mankind and one of the was most atrocious crimes afflicted on mankind. Slavery, a crime against humanity, deprived individuals of their freedom and stripped them of their dignity. By applying the principles of property law on humans, labeling them as justly owned objects, they were exploited and forced to work the entirety of their lives, for nothing in return.
GIHR commemorates this day in order to shed a light on the fight against all contemporary forms and manifestations of slavery and remind the world on the importance of UN efforts to raise awareness on the history of slavery and its effects.
International observance aims to create a path of peace and dignity, create an earth for peaceful co-existence and to denounce the practices of arrogance and unjust differentiation.
This years anniversary holds additional importance as it coincides with the 214th anniversary of Haiti independence and the 24th anniversary of UNESCO’s project «The Slave Route Project», that aims to shed light on this ugly practice and to illustrate the richness of African cultural traditions, as well as their contribution to art, music, dance and other aspects of life, in spite of the suffering and hardships enforced onto innocent individuals due to exploitation and enslavement.
GIHR, emerging from its objectives and mission in defending and promoting human rights internationally, to root them in the human mind and translate them into action, considers this day to be great opportunity to remind the international community of the great sacrifices that the slaves had incurred, through its different forms in the past and at present, as well as the need to exert more efforts to eliminate this disgraceful phenomena and current slavery-like practices.
GIHR would like to reiterate that it will continue its quest to break all barriers and to reach to all slavery and enslavement spots, in all its explicit and implicit forms. GIHR will also continue to be the forum to denounce and expose all practices that harm human dignity, and be the safe haven that shelters and protects the victims by restoring their rights and dignity. In that regard, the Institute will mobilize all its human and material capacities to achieve this noble goal and to reach this maximum end.
The tragic history of slavery should be shall be employed to reaffirm the values of human freedom and dignity and to build the culture of tolerance, respect and mutual understanding between the people. In addition, the significance of this day is to warn people of the risks of racism, would like to promote and to combat contemporary slavery in all of its forms.
We, at GIHR, while celebrating this Day, would like to join our voice to the voice of the Secretary-General's in her appeal to all governments, civil society organizations and the stakeholders in the public and private sectors, to double their efforts, to commemorate this Day, and learn from history. This day should be used as an opportunity to consider and analyse the historic causes and consequences of Slavery, and in turn continue to promote tolerance and human rights, in order to build a better world for the future generations and continue the fight against modern slavery.