Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Modern Slavery

A comprehensive approach through laws, education and international cooperation is needed to end modern-day slavery, the President of the United Nations General Assembly Nassir, Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, said this week.  “The terrible impacts of slavery and the slave trade are still felt to this day,” Mr. Al-Nasser said in remarks delivered on his behalf to a General Assembly meeting to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. “They have devastated continents and countries. They have led to profound social and economic inequalities, and have given rise to hatred, racism and prejudice.”

In 2007, the General Assembly designated 25 March as the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade to honour the 28 million estimated Africans who were violently removed and cast into slavery, mainly in colonies in North America, South America and the West Indies.  In his remarks, Mr. Al-Nasser emphasized that Member States must work tirelessly to eradicate modern slave-like practices that have emerged in the forms of racism, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

The U.N. General Assembly President also underlined that existing international instruments on slavery “should be fully utilized to bring about necessary change in attitudes and customs, to punish the offenders, and to support innocent victims in re-gaining their lives and dignity.” 

(mew) (adapted from a UN Press Release)

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