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

August 23 commemorates the insurrection that took place during the night of August 22-23, 1791, in Santo Domingo (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Black slaves and freed people claimed freedom and equal rights with white citizens at that time. This insurrection was instrumental in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. The struggle continued and eventually led to Haiti’s independence on January 1, 1804.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) chose this date to invite all member states to organize activities to raise awareness among their populations about the human exploitation that still exists today under the term “modern slavery” or “human trafficking.

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

The organization established the Slave Route project in 1994 to “break the silence on the slave trade and slavery, shed light on the global transformations and cultural interactions resulting from this tragedy and contribute to reflection on cultural pluralism, reconciliation and intercultural dialogue.”

The organization established the Slave Route Project in 1994 to “break the silence on the slave trade and slavery, shed light on the global transformations and cultural interactions resulting from this tragedy, and contribute to reflection on cultural pluralism, reconciliation and intercultural dialogue.”

The United Nations is proposing “Stories of Courage: Resistance to Slavery and Unity Against Racism” as the theme for 2022. The webpage includes the message of the Secretary-General.