International Day for the Abolition of Slave Trade

Article excerpt

To commemorate the abolition of the slave trade by Britain some 200 years ago, the International Day for the Abolition of the Slave Trade is observed on November 29 each year. The day is an opportunity for the world to focus on the need to minimize the incidences of modern slavery through improvedaccess to education, to increase the opportunities for legal work, and to limit the vulnerability of people to the false promises of traffickers.The institution of slavery is as old as civilization.Many nations and empires were built by the labor of slaves. In ancient civilization, slaves were usually war captives. Over time, people found other reasons to justify slavery. Slaves were usually considered different from their owners. They might belong to a different race, religion, nationality, or ethnic background. Focusing on such differences, slave owners felt they could deny the basic human rights of slaves. Although outlawed in 1864, slavery still exists today despite all efforts to end it.Today there are 27 million people who are enslaved or work as forced laborers. Trapped in the human trafficking trade and slavery, they are subjected to gross human rights violations. From the villages of Africa to the factories, sweatshops, and brothels of Asia, tens of millions of people are held in some form of slavery or bonded labor.In modern slavery, human beings are literally bought and sold as property on the international market, for amounts that ranged from eighty to five thousand dollars or more. …