Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

2012 Theme: Honouring the Heroes, Resisters and Survivors

"They will remember that we were sold, but not that we were strong. They will remember that we were bought, but not that we were brave."

William Prescott, former slave

Poster created for the 2012 observance

Click on the poster to download it [PDF, 5.2MB]

The tragic transatlantic slave trade, which marked one of the darkest chapters in human history, lasted for 400 years, despite a spirited resistance by the millions of enslaved peoples.

The transatlantic slave trade, often known as the triangular trade, connected the economies of three continents. It is estimated that between 15 to 20 million people, men, women and children, were deported from their homes and sold as slaves in the different slave trading systems.

The yearly remembrance serves not only as an opportunity to reflect on those that suffered and perished at the hands of slavery, but also as an occasion to raise awareness to the world’s youth about the dangers of racism and prejudice.

The theme for 2012 of "Honouring the Heroes, Resisters and Survivors" of the Transatlantic Slave Trade paid tribute to the brave men and women who valiantly fought against the inhumane practices of slavery.

Zumbi dos Palmares, Harriet Tubman and an anonymous slave (shown in the poster above), like so many others who struggled for freedom, represent the theme of the 2012 International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. There are many more heroes who were honoured during the commemoration, which included an exhibit on the theme.

UN Web Services Section, Department of Global Communications, © United Nations