International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Today, March 25, is the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history.
This year’s theme, “Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation,” pays tribute to the emancipation of slaves in nations across the world. As well as marking the occasion here in New York, we are joined by the United Nations community through our United Nations Information Centres. Strong online support came from peacekeeping missions, and Funds Programmes and Agencies.
General Assembly Commemorative Meeting
Today, the General Assembly will hold its annual commemorative meeting where Professor Ali Mazrui will deliver the keynote address with a performance by the Cameroon National Ballet. You can watch the meeting live at 3 pm New York time via UN Webcast.
How can you help commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade?
Join us on Twitter by following @rememberslavery, and visiting Tumblr, and Facebook. The conversation won’t finish today, we’ll be sharing content from our colleagues in United Nations Information Centres all over the world and continuing to learn about the history and legacy of slavery. Take part in the global conversation today!
2 December is International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December, marks the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly, of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949).
General Assembly Resolutions
Economic and Social Council Resolutions
Secretary General’s Reports
- Convention on the Rights of the Child: Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (2000) [A/RES/54/263]
- United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime: Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000) [A/RES/55/25]
- Recommendation on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages (1965) [A/RES/2018 (XX)]
- Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages (1962) [A/RES/1763 (XVII)]
- Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery (1956)
- Protocol amending the Slavery Convention signed at Geneva on 25 September 1926 (1953)
- Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (1949) [A/RES/317 (IV)]
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) [A/RES/217 (III)]
- Slavery Convention (1926)
- Additional Declarations and Conventions on Human Rights
International Labor Organization Conventions
Commemoration of International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (25 March)
The 2012 annual commemoration will be observed under the theme Honoring the Heroes, Resisters and Survivors. The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/61/19 for the Commemoration of the Two-hundredth Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and resolution A/RES/62/122 for the remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade for annual observation beginning 2008.
- Slavery Abolition Website
- Permanent memorial to and remembrance of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade
Activities (all of which will be webcast) will include:
- Friday 23 March: NGO Briefing: 10am-12:30pm.
- Special radio features produced by UN Radio in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish; some interviews are already available on the UN Radio website, additional stories will be gradually added and be the Story of the day.
- Monday 26 March, 3-6pm.: Special commemorative meeting of the General Assembly is to be convened by the President of the General Assembly,
- Friday 30 March: A one-day global video conference for students with five sites:
- A traveling exhibition “The Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade” to be exhibited at various UN Information Centers in addition to other events to be organized by UN Information Centers around the world.
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
Today, 2 December, marks the adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of December 1949).
The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery annually commemorates this day and encourages Member States to focus on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for the use in armed conflict.
- Event Page
- Message of the Secretary-General for 2011
- Reports of the Secretary-General
- Meeting records
- Resolutions on slavery, human trafficking, and child labour
Photo: A girl recovers from her year-long captivity by the Lord’s Resistance Army, Uganda. UNICEF.
International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition (23 August)
In its 1999 declaration to proclaim 23 August each year as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (transmitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly A/54/137), UNESCO sought to “increase awareness of the slave trade and slavery, its causes and consequences, including modern forms of slavery, to encourage solidarity with the peoples that have suffered because of slavery and to celebrate the African Diaspora.”
UN Resources on the Slave Trade and its Abolition
- The Slave Route Project (UNESCO)
- Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery UNESCO Slave Route Project and the NYPL Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
- International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (25 March)
Non-UN Resources on the Slave Trade and its Abolition
- Mémoire St Barth | Histoire de Saint-Barthélemy Comité de Liaison et d’Application des Sources Historiques
- Abolition of Slavery National Archives of the United Kingdom
- The Abolition of the Slave Trade Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
*Artwork - Banner created collaboratively at the art workshop at the Regional Youth Encounter in Trinidad and Tobago (2001)/UNESCO