"Today, governments, civil society and the private sector must unite to eradicate all contemporary forms of slavery. ... Together, let us do our utmost for the millions of victims throughout the world who are held in slavery and deprived of their human rights and dignity."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the International Day
for the Abolition of Slavery
2 December 2012
Former child soldiers from the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), about to be demobilized, during a visit by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict in November 2009. UN Photo/Tim McKulka
The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December, marks the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly, of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949).
The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.
Today, 21 million women, men and children are trapped in slavery all over the world. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has teamed up with prominent artists, athletes and advocates in its new campaign to End Slavery Now.
In 2007 the UN marked the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade on 25 March. In 2008 the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade became an annual observance.