International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is celebrated on 2nd December every year.
Dec 20, 2014 11:42 IST

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is celebrated on 2nd December every year, and it was initiated by the United Nations General Assembly. The Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of 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 memorialize 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.

Currently, approximately 21 million women, men and children are trapped in slavery across the globe. The International Labour Organization (ILO) consists of outstanding artists, athletes and advocates in its new campaign to End Slavery Now. According to the ILO, there were approximately 168 million children aged between 5 and 15 trapped in child labour in 2013, and out these children, about 85 million are involved in “hazardous work”.

On 25th March 2007, the UN stated that the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. In 2008, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade emerged as a yearly observance.

How is International Day for the Abolition of Slavery celebrated?

During this day, many people takes 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 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 the survey, approximately more than one million children are trafficked every year for cheap labour and sexual harassment. 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 represents peace. The emblem is of blue colour, although it is printed in white colour on a blue base on the UN flag.