Thursday, December 2 marks the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. The day commemorates the brutal history of slavery practiced by colonial rulers of past centuries and aims to eradicate modern forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery: History and Significance
The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery marks the date of the adoption of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. The resolution 317(IV) of December 2, 1949, by the General Assembly aims to abolish modern forms of slavery which has its roots in history.
The past of slavery continues to be a reminder of tragedy and cruelty centuries. Several parts of the world practiced slavery and resorted to unjust and inhumane practices as they enslaved mass populations. The most recent example of slavery in modern history is that of Trans-Atlantic slavery. People from various countries of Africa were transported to the United States in the 17th and 18th century where they were forced to work in plantations owned by white imperialists.
Although now slavery has been abolished, new forms of slavery has emerged with human trafficking, child labour and forced prostitution. The United Nations focuses on curbing this practice. The UN human rights bodies have found the persistence of old forms of slavery that are embedded in traditional beliefs and customs.
UN believes that these forms of slavery are the result of long-standing discrimination against the most vulnerable groups in societies, such as those regarded as being of low caste, tribal minorities and indigenous peoples.
This day is a reminder of how, conditions in the current era of globalisation, which has given a platform for growth of informal economies and economic disparities between nations, increasing flows of labour and commodities across international borders are causing human trafficking to flourish on a global scale.