International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is on Friday 2nd December 2023. This day is an effort to eradicate contemporary forms of modern slavery systems, such as sexual exploitation, trafficking in person, child labor, forced recruitment of children, and motivate people to stand against racism.
Theme of the Day
The theme of International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2023 is “Stories of Courage: Resistance to Slavery and Unity against Racism”. The focus of the theme is describing the tales of those brave people who endured the slavery system in the past and bear the brunt of racial discrimination in society. It also explains our motive to become resilient against all those causes which may promote and propagate slavery in any form. On this day, we also aim to raise awareness and reinforce global efforts to oppose the curse of the modern slavery system and gather people against biasedness based on skin tone. Hence, the central idea of this day entreats the Government organizations and the public to take the opportunity of the event for the condemnation of the atrocities on slaves in whatever existing form.
History of the Day
On 2nd December 1949, the General Assembly adopted the UN’s Convention for the Suppression of Human Trafficking and Exploitation of Prostitution of Others and the first slavery abolition day was observed in the year 1995. Since 1995, the International Day for Abolition of Slavery has shone a spotlight on the atrocities of modern slavery and tried to motivate commitment to improve humanity
How to Celebrate the International Day of Abolition of Slavery
Become a conscious customer.
One way to observe this day is to commit to only buying goods labelled as fair trade, indicating that the goods are manufactured ethically. Check the companies you pay and their supply chain to ensure there was no slave labor used in manufacturing these goods. Commit to ethical labor sourcing There’s no nicer way to support the day for individuals who own businesses than to commit to manufacturing your goods ethically. You may also convince fellow entrepreneurs and even mark your products through ethical labor to get even more support.
Stop exploiting others
Looking inward, you may be oppressing someone. If you find that you are guilty of this, then it is not too late to change your ways. After reading about the history of slaves you must understand how those being exploited feel and whether would you want to be a slave driver.
You can be the mean of spreading awareness through social media. On this day you can take an opportunity to share your views in writing through poetries, essays, feature articles and other kinds of published material.
Importance of the Day
It’s an opportunity to make a change
Talking about it to people and convincing them to commit ending slavery crimes is the goal of the day and it’s an opportunity to make a change. The day is important as it serves avenue to make a lasting impact on the world.
It highlights humanity’s shortcomings
There’s no better motivation to collectively work towards a better and just future than having a look at the thing we are currently bad at. Because the day highlights our errors in slavery regions and institutions that have actively supported it, this day serves as motivation for us to demand something better.
It helps recommit us to humanity’s service
The day helps to recommit us to the service of those who have been forced into modern slavery. It helps to connect our humanity further. when we remember that this day is about the abolition of slavery, and it is celebrated to end slavery we would be grateful that we were not born in the cruel slave trade era. This will also make us appreciate our freedom more.
Some Facts one Should Know about Slavery
- Some historiographers believe that 6 to 7 million enslaved persons were transported to the New World within the 18th century.
- Africans were kidnapped in the 17th and 18th centuries, sold into slavery in the American colonies and exploited to work as slaves in the manufacturing of products such as cotton and tobacco.
- President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary emancipation proclamation on Sep 22, 1862, and on 1st January 1863, he made it official that slaves inside any U.S. state, shall be then and forever be free.
- The Emancipation declaration freed almost 3 million enslaved persons in the rebel states.
- Evidence of slavery and child trafficking in West Africa appeared in the 1990s on a cocoa plantation.
- Approximately 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 in forced labor and 15.4 million in forcible wedlock.
- About 25 to 40 million persons were enslaved, with most of these people living in Asia.
- There are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world. 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.
- Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labor, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as construction or agriculture or domestic work,4.8 million people are in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million people are in forced labor enforced by state authorities.
- Slave labor victims worldwide are creating a total of $150 billion in illegal profit every year.
- Girls and women are extremely influenced by forced labor, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other divisions.
What are the main forms of modern slavery?
- Human trafficking.
- Debt slavery.
- Forced labor.
- Descent-based slavery. (Where people are born into slavery)
- Child slavery.
- Domestic servitude.
- Forced and early marriage.
Abolition of Slavery Amendment
The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the US, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
With the adaptation of the 13th Amendment, the US found a final constitutive solution to the problem of slavery. The 13th Amendment, along with the 14th and 15th, is one of the trios of Civil War amendments that greatly expanded American’s civil rights.
Quotes of the Day
All of us are equal and all must be treated equally. Let us abolish slavery this year from our new world. Some quotes to share about this day are as follows:
- “Slavery Can Only Be Abolished by Raising the character of The People Who Compose the Nation, and What Can Be Done Only By Showing Them a Higher One.”(Maria Weston Chapman)
- Abraham Lincoln said “as I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. this expresses my idea of democracy. whatever differs from this to the extent of this differences, is no democracy.”
- Ralph Waldo Emmerson quoted “an immoral law makes it a man’s duty to break it at every hazard”.
- “Whenever I hear anyone arguing slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” (President Abraham Lincoln)
- Oscar Arias Sanchez said “The More Freedom We Enjoy, the Greater the Responsibility we bear, Toward Others as well as ourselves.”