Thoughts on the Slave Trade and its Abolition

Slavery

In the night of August 22, 1791 those men and women that had been torn from Africa and sold into slavery revolted against the slave system to obtain freedom and independence for Haiti. An independence that was finally gained in 1804. The uprising was a turning point in human history, greatly impacting the establishment of universal human rights. The courage of these men and women has created obligations for us. As an organization, we are excited to celebrate the success of this rebellion, led by the slaves themselves. We are inspired in our efforts against all forms of servitude and social injustice that are a legacy of slavery, but we must not forget in celebration the forms of slavery that still exist.

In recognizing the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 2016 the UNESCO aims to ensure dignity and equality for all human beings, without distinction. Therefore we find it appropriate to use this day as an opportunity to discuss modern-day slavery that has yet to be abolished, that is Human Trafficking. Both Labor Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation persist today effecting a staggering 3 out of 1000 people worldwide. With such reach, we encourage you to open your minds and look forward….. We too celebrate that which is in our rearview window, freedom of many. But this must not distract us from the realities faced today:

  1. According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
  2. There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.
  3. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.

We encourage you to take a second look at the abolition of the slave trade, and recognize that a battle has been won but this war is not over. Educate yourself, be informed and advocate for the freedom of those still trapped in servitude. The only means of achieving social justice is to improve and recognize that abolition has yet to be achieved.


  1. “International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 2016.” United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/slave-trade-and-its-abolition/
  2. ”Human Trafficking Facts.” National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
  3. Bales, Kevin. “The Number.” The CNN Freedom Project Ending Modern Day Slavery. http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/category/the-facts/the-number/.
  4. “Trafficking in Persons Report.” United States Department. Accessed February 25, 2014, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/34158.pdf