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Fact Sheet: 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

Modern Forms of Slavery

“We should remember that even today, many millions of our fellow human beings are subjected to slavery-like practices…For all that has been accomplished in our campaign for human rights, we still have much to do.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade also serves as a reminder that contemporary forms of slavery – such as human traficking, forced prostitution, child soldiers, forced and bonded labour and the use of children in the international drug trade – are still lourishing today, largely as a result of vulnerability exacerbated by poverty, discrimination and social exclusion.

“Despairingly credible comparisons of scale and suffering may be drawn with the trans-Atlantic trade in Africans in the Americas in which more than 12 million people were forcibly transported over the ocean in four hundred years. It is to our great shame that if today’s statistics are correct, and 700, 000 people are now being trafficked across borders into slavery annually, we will have equaled that total in a mere 20 years.”

Mrs. Ndioro Ndiaye
Deputy Director General
International Organization of Migration

It is the responsibility of us all to work to address the root causes of slavery, to provide assistance and protection to its victims and to ensure that there is no impunity for those who perpetuate the practice.

Through learning about the history of slavery and the slave trade and the collective triumphs and battles that brought about its demise we can seek to overcome the many pervasive forms of slavery that still exist today.

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