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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 2015, March 25

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, 25 March.








United Nations Secretary-General Message for the for International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 2015.


Over the course of more than four centuries, some 15 million Africans were taken from their homes across Africa and transported by force to the Americas.  The number of people purchased by slave traders was even higher.  Those slaves who survived were bought and sold, stripped of all dignity, denied all human rights.  Even their children could be taken from them and sold for the profit of their “owners”.  The Transatlantic slave trade remains a monstrous crime and a stain on human history.
This year’s Day of Remembrance pays particular tribute to the many women who suffered and died during the slave trade.  They experienced appalling violence, including sexual and reproductive enslavement, forced prostitution, repeated sexual assault, as well as forced childbearing and the sale of their own children.
Yet women slaves played a key role in maintaining the dignity of their communities.  Too often their leadership and brave resistance have been underestimated or forgotten.
Tragically, slavery has still not ended.  Slavery stubbornly persists in many parts of the world, in the form of forced labour, trafficking, sexual exploitation or captivity in slavery-like conditions.  These despicable practices could not exist without deep-seated racism.  It is absolutely vital that the dangers inherent in racism are made crystal clear to all.  The Department of Public Information’s Remember Slavery Programme educates about the Transatlantic slave trade and how intolerance can easily shift from an attitude into acts of hatred and violence.
To mark this International Day, I will unveil a permanent memorial at United Nations Headquarters in New York to honour the victims of slavery and the Transatlantic slave trade.  Built on the Visitors Plaza, the “Ark of Return” will bring home to people from around the world the terrible legacy of the slave trade.  It will help us heal as we remember the past and honour the victims. 
On this important Day of Remembrance, I call for a renewal of our commitment to end modern slavery, so our children will live in a world free of racism and prejudice with equal opportunity and rights for all.

Ban Ki Moon


Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the United Nations


Events : United Nations General Assembly Commemorative Meeting
Wednesday, 25 March 2015, 3:00 pm, General Assembly Hall, United Nations, New York
Followed by a performance






Meetings Coverage

NGO Briefing: “Women and Slavery: its impact on women’s rights today’
Thursday, 26 March, 2015, 11:00 am-1:00 pm, United Nations, Economic and Social Council Chamber, New York 
Student Global Video Conference
Friday, 27 March 2015, 9:30 am, United Nations, Conference Room 2, New York
Other New York Events
For the most updated information on events please visit our Remember Slavery Facebook Page or see the 2015 Remember Slavery programme.PDF document

Commemorations at Unesco
Various Days offer the International Community the occasion to meet on the issue of slave trade and slavery. They provide the necessary opportunity for a memory duty on this sad page of our history, in order to honour all the victims of four centuries of human tragedy, but also those who opposed and triumphed over this “crime against humanity”.
These commemorative days serve to deepen the reflexion on the contemporary consequences of this tragedy and its implications in our society today, namely racism and racial discrimination, intolerance, but also all the modern forms of slavery, of exploitation and of human bondage.



Exhibit : Women and Slavery: Telling Their Stories

An exhibition to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade opened in the United Nations Visitors’ Lobby in New York on Thursday, 12 March at 6 p.m. and remain on display until 9 April.

The exhibition features the stories of enslaved women who endured the harsh conditions of forced labour and sexual exploitation, yet found the courage to fight for freedom.  These women also succeeded in transmitting their African culture and heritage to their descendants, despite the many abuses that they had to bear. In addition, it shines a light on free women who fought for abolition of the slavery system.
This exhibition is produced by the Remember Slavery Programme in partnership with the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery in Nantes, France, which published an extensive account of women and slavery in its exhibition Dix Femmes Puissantes.

Statements delivered on the occasion of the opening of the exhibit on 12 March 2015



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