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International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2019: All you need to know

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is observed on 2 December every year to highlight the importance of eradicating contemporary forms of slavery including trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage, etc. Let us read more about International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.
Nov 30, 2019 16:56 IST
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International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery was initiated by the United Nations General Assembly on 2nd December. The Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others was passed by the Assembly on 2nd December, 1949. Likewise, by resolution 57/195 of 18th December 2002, the Assembly notified 2004 the International Year to memorialise the struggle against Slavery and its Abolition.

This day focuses on eliminating present-day forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage, and the pressurized recruitment of children for use in armed rivalry.

According to the UN, an estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage. Do you know that there are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world? And 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children. 

Not only this out of 24.9 million people are trapped in forced labour; 16 million people are exploited in the private sector like domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million people in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million people in forced labour imposed by state authorities. Even, women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labour that accounts for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors. 

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How is International Day for the Abolition of Slavery celebrated?

During this day, many people take an opportunity to share their views in writings through poetry, essays, interviews, feature articles, stories and other kinds of published material. Sessions are conducted to review the history of the slave trade, its evolution, and changes that occurred in due course of time.

Modern-day slave trade and its effects on human rights are promoted by online, print and broadcast media during this celebration. Some political leaders also participate in this event by conveying their message to work together in eliminating any kind of slavery in modern society. Newsletters, leaflets, flyers, posters and other published materials about abolishing slavery and slave trade are dispensed across the universities and other public areas. It is not a public holiday.

The United Nations (UN) is dedicated to fighting against slavery and sees bonded labour, forced labour, child labour and trafficking people as modern types of slavery. According to the UN, more than 150 million children are subject to child labour, accounting for almost one in ten children around the world. These kinds of slavery are international problems and proceeds against article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that no one should be trapped in slavery, and all the forms of slave trades should be prohibited.

Symbols for the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

The UN emblem consists of a projection of the globe focused on the North Pole, depicting all the continents except Antarctica and four concentric circles representing various degrees of latitude. The projection is covered by images of olive tree branches which represent peace. The emblem is of blue colour, although it is printed in white colour on a blue base on the UN flag.

Important Days and Dates in December 2019

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