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Remembering the slave trade: UNESCO calls for more efforts to transmit the history of the trade that has shaped the face of modern societies



August the 23rd is International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. The day is intended to remind all peoples about the tragedy of the slave trade. The night of 22 to 23 August 1791, in Santo Domingo, presently-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic saw the beginning of the uprising that would play a crucial role in the ending of the transatlantic slave trade. The day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade was instituted by UNESCO in 1994.
In her message for the day, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said: “The slave trade is not merely a thing of the past: it is our history and it has shaped the face of many modern societies, creating indissoluble ties between peoples and continents, and irreversibly transforming the destiny, economy and culture of nations. She said studying this history is tantamount to paying tribute to freedom fighters and to acknowledging their unique contributions to the affirmation of universal human rights. She noted that those freedom fighters have set an example for us to continue the struggle for freedom, against racial prejudice inherited from the past and against new forms of slavery that subsist to this day and affect some 21 million people. The UNECSO DG concluded by inviting all governments, civil society organizations and public and private partners to redouble their efforts to transmit that history.




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