Next generation of abolitionists called for on first UK annual slavery memorial day

22 August 2008

The 23 August 2008 is the UN’s International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition and marks the UK ‘s first annual slavery memorial day.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade was one of the ugliest chapters in world history but despite the successes of the black and white abolitionists two centuries ago slavery was not consigned to history.

Today, 12.3m people are still forced to work against their will, trafficked into slavery or born as slaves.

Modern slaves include Idree, who after nearly 10 years in bondage at a brick kiln in Pakistan , sold a kidney to pay off a debt of $1,000 that he and his parents owed to the Kiln owner. Only six months later he fell back into debt.

Unfortunately, Idree’s story is not unique. Across the world millions of people are forced to work for years in terrible conditions. They try in vain to pay off extortionate debts accrued simply because wages fail to meet their basic living needs.

As we remember the legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade we need a new generation of abolitionists to take up the fight to stamp out slavery in all its forms.

Aidan McQuade , Director, Anti-Slavery International


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