International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

Posted August 23, 2021

“Once and for all, it is time to abolish human exploitation and to recognize the equal and unconditional dignity of each and every individual on Earth. Today, let us remember the victims and freedom fighters of the past so that they may inspire future generations to build just societies.” Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO

For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, which has been called “the worst violation of human rights in history. On August 23, 1791, men and women, torn from Africa and sold into slavery, revolted against the slave system in Saint-Domingue (Haiti) to obtain freedom. The uprising set into motion events that eventually led to the abolition of the slave trade.

In 1997, UNESCO established August 23rd as International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition to pay tribute to all those who fought for freedom, and to continue teaching about their story and their values. The success of this rebellion, led by the slaves themselves, is a deep source of inspiration today for the fight against all forms of servitude, racism, prejudice, racial discrimination, and social injustice that are a legacy of slavery. (UNESCO)