International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is dedicated to remembering those who were forced into slavery and suffered without pay, torture, and inhumane working and living conditions. Slavery is a dark chapter in history and it is important to not forget the violence and injustice that millions of people faced.
The slave trade was a significant part of the economies of many countries, particularly in the Americas, from the 15th to the 19th centuries. An estimated 13 million people were forced into slavery during this time. In the French colony of Saint-Domingue, on the island of Haiti, by the end of the 19th century, there were about half a million slaves. In 1791, on the night of August 22-23, a rebellion led by the former slave Toussaint Louverture broke out among the enslaved people. This rebellion, which grew into a full-scale revolution, was the only successful slave rebellion in history. The revolution led to Haiti’s declaration of independence on January 1, 1804, and made it the first state in Latin America to gain independence from colonial powers.
In 1998, UNESCO designated August 23 as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.
- Since 2016, there is another celebration of this day in London, called Sankofa Day, which is organized by the Slave Memorial Day organization. The word “Sankofa” in the Ghanaian language Twi means a return to the origins, symbolizing the longing of the slaves for their homeland.
- The United Nations actively celebrates this day with various events such as information programs, concerts, and performances.
How to take part
- Participate in any events organized for this day by the United Nations or other organizations.
- Share information about the holiday on social media and educate others who may not be aware of it.
When is International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition celebrated in 2023?
International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is observed on August 23 each year.