International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2023: Every year on December 2, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is observed. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention for the Suppression of Trafficking in Persons and the Exploitation of Others for Prostitution on this date in 1949. Sexual exploitation, human trafficking, the most egregious forms of child labor, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of minors for use in armed conflict are all prohibited on this day.
The program seeks to promote international cooperation and raise awareness about modern slavery. It is urged that governments, organizations, and individuals seize this day as a particular occasion to condemn the heinous crimes of modern slavery, which persist throughout the world. I wish to point out that International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is distinct from International Day for Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, which commemorates the heinous acts committed during the Transatlantic Slave Trade period.
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery: A Historical Overview
The eradication of modern forms of slavery, including but not limited to human trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced marriages, and forced recruitment of minors into armed conflicts, is the primary objective of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. The United Nations Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons and Exploitation of Prostitution of Others was adopted by its member states on December 2, 1949, a date on which governments, organizations, and individuals worldwide are expected to observe the Day. The purpose of this day is to denounce all contemporary forms of slavery that continue to exist in the world.
According to the International Labor Organization, forty million individuals are victims of modern servitude on a global scale. While lacking a legally binding definition, modern slavery encompasses a wide range of exploitative practices, including but not limited to forced labor, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking. Victims are ensnared in such circumstances due to threats of violence, coercion, deception, or abuse of authority.
Throughout history, slavery has permeated diverse nations, civilizations, and religious systems, dating back to prehistoric times. In the same way, individuals who were enslaved comprised a diverse array of racial and religious affiliations. The social, economic, and legal status of enslaved individuals has vastly differed throughout history and geography. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Africans were abducted, sold into slavery in the American colonies, and forced to perform labor-intensive tasks as slaves in the manufacturing of goods including tobacco and cotton. While exact figures are unattainable, certain historians contend that between six and seven million enslaved people were transported to the New World in the eighteenth century alone, depriving Africa of some of its most robust and healthy inhabitants.
On September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued a preliminary proclamation of emancipation. Subsequently, on January 1, 1863, he formally proclaimed that slaves residing in any state of the United States, or a specified territory thereof, would be liberated both then and eternally. Approximately 3 million enslaved individuals in the rebel states were liberated as a result of the Emancipation Proclamation, which deprived the Confederacy of the majority of its labor forces and significantly influenced foreign public opinion in support of the Union. While slavery in America was not officially abolished with the 13th Amendment’s ratification following the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation did facilitate the enlistment of 186,000 African American soldiers in the Union Army, of which approximately 38,000 perished.
Human trafficking continues to be a worldwide concern, despite the fact that slavery is no longer lawful in any country. The majority of slaves in Asia lived in bonds of slavery in 2013. Slaves were sold into servitude throughout the duration of the Second Sudan Civil War, which spanned from 1983 to 2005. In the late 1990s, indications of child trafficking and servitude on cocoa plantations in West Africa surfaced.
Exactly ten years after a United Nations Working Group on Slavery submitted a report proposing December 2 as the World Day for the Abolition of Slavery in 1985, December 2 was not officially observed as International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, even though it has attempted to inspire commitment to better humanity and brought attention to the atrocities of modern slavery since 1995.
FAQs regarding International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
Which nation was the first to abolish slavery?
Great Britain abolished slavery in 1833; France and the United States followed suit in 1848 and 1865.
Who is accountable for the emancipation of the slaves?
The British philanthropist and politician William Wilberforce (1759–1833) spearheaded the effort to abolish the slave trade.
Which nation was the last to eradicate slavery?
Even though the final documented slave voyage transported individuals to Cuba in 1866, Mauritania holds the distinction of being the last nation to abolish slavery completely in 1981, almost a century and a half after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation from the United States.
Observing the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery: Guidelines
Emerge as an informed consumer
An approach to commemorating the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery and effecting significant change is to solely purchase products bearing the label ‘fair trade,’ which signifies their ethical production. Inspect the supply chains of the companies from which you purchase to ensure that no slave labor was utilized to manufacture the products. Additionally, you can demand that companies eliminate forced labor and servitude from their supply chains.
Ensure the use of ethical labor procurement
Supporting business owners on this day is impossible without their commitment to ethically producing and delivering their services and products. You may also convince other business owners to purchase your products and label them as having been manufactured using ethical labor practices to increase your customer base.
Cease undermining others
Consider yourself; you may be, in a sense, oppressing one or more individuals. Should you discover that you are culpable of this, it is still possible to make a change for the better. It is impossible to be the oppressor after reading about the history of slavery.
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY DATES