Freedom is one of the human rights that everyone must know. It is the foundation of the ability to express oneself, to act according to what one feels and desires, and governed oneself in coming up to certain decisions for the benefit of individuals, and nations. On August 23, 2012, the International celebration of the Remembrance Slave Trade and of its Abolition will take place in commemoration to what has transpired in August 1971 in Santo Domingo which is popularly known today as Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It’s all about the uprising and call for abolition for slave trade or transatlantic slave trade. The rebellion that happened that year boosted the desire of the people then to fight colonialism and achieve real independence. In fact, through the assistance and proclamation made by the UNESCO, on August 23, 1998 the first celebration was held which was called as Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of its Abolition, and its approaching its 14th year where it marks as a tribute to those slaves who had suffered so much, and a commitment to keep or maintain the right of independence of the people in any part of the world. Here are other tidbits about the remembrance of the slave trade and of its abolition.
10. The Transatlantic Slave Trade and Abolition
United States is one of the countries that has expressed strong opposition about the Transatlantic Slave trade specifically its department by finishing and passing the Wilberforce’s Bill to totally abolish this kind of human trading. In fact, the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Abolition has come to its 204th year this year, and it became possible through the Global Slavery Remembrance Day which is being celebrated in the U.S. in relation to the Slave Trade and of its Abolition.
9. Other Acts/Bills that Supports this Day
There are various acts and bills which have been passed while some are still being reviewed and discussed for the sole purpose of fortification of the anti-slavery system that became prevalent in 17th century. One of which is the Resolution 317 (IV) of December 02, 1949 wherein it put forths the kind of services that social welfare can give or extend, the convention for the suppression of the traffic in persons and exploitation of the prostitution of others and other coverage of this resolution. Prior to August 23, 1998 celebration, an act was also approved and signed on January 01, 1808 by Thomas Jefferson called The Act to Abolish the Importation of Slaves which was passed in 1807 and approved the following year. Hence, there are other countries as well that have implemented different laws that have the same scope and content.
8. First Celebration
As been stated, the first celebration was held in Haiti on August 23, 1998 aside from the yearly celebration that happens every May with regards to the remembrance of the Slave Trade, Slavery, and Abolition in France. This is being observed annually to continue to protect people who have not received proper literacy about their human rights, that they too can be protected against human abused such as human trafficking, prostitution, child labor, and other contemporary forms of slavery. It is true that aside from Haiti, there was a simultaneous celebration in other countries, but the focused is more on Haiti since the revolt happened in Santo Domingo which is known as Haiti in our time.
7. Opposition against Human Trafficking
The primary intent of this international celebration is to inculcate to the minds of the people not just in Haiti, but globally that human trafficking is the primary activity of the slave trade which had been the practice of the people anciently. It connotes division of social level based on the resources, education, and status in life which are inherent through family affiliation. In fact, this is the fastest and growing form of slavery in this era where most women and other girls are being trafficked for sex trade and other hereditary slaves.
6. Fight against Modern Forms of Slavery
Aside from the typical form of slavery which was the common concern during the early life of the inhabitants on earth since the classification of classes were distinctively active, and the orientation for human rights were not really part of education, the valuable evaluation and human expression were not considered. Hence, despite of the changes and rotation that the world does each day, the same problem exists, but in contemporary ways and forms. Some of the current slavery issues are worst than the problems that people had experienced before. In fact, they are identified as sexual exploitations, forced marriage, child labor, trafficking of persons, and force recruitment of children to be part of an army and face the conflict.
5. Not a Public Holiday
Although it is an international event or declared celebration, but it is not declared as a public Holiday. It’s up to specific countries if they would want to dedicate a day to commemorate it, but as per UNESCO’s declaration, it can be celebrated in various ways whether you are an employee, a strong advocate of it, and even simple students who could make contribution in making proper information dissemination to the people.
4. The UNESCO Logo
If you would observe the UNESCO logo has its Acronym that stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, wherein it has a drawing of a temple. The whole concept of the logo for those who are not aware why it was created is to make an intensive promotion and campaign for the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its abolition.
3. Related Dates
There are other related celebration dates in other parts of the world which are also appendages of the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of its Abolition. There are National Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade and their Abolition being celebrated every May 10. There is also the 1956 UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, and even the celebration every year that falls in March entitled Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
The celebration of this day is different in other international events where various programs are being done in order to celebrate individual freedom, and keeping or protection of human rights. The real commemoration happens as people especially the young ones receive proper education about the ill-effects slavery, racism, and other forms of it. It’s done through educational activities that can be done in schools especially in to in high school campuses, colleges, and universities since they are open to listen. Some makes campaigns through art exhibitions, poetry, and other presentations in order to keep the young minds oriented about the national and even issues across the globe.
1. The Chosen Date
The August 23, 1998 date was set for the celebration of the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of its Abolition since the uprising that took place in Haiti or formerly known as Santo Domingo happened on August 23 to 23 1791. This was the biggest triumph that Haiti had achieved that allowed the succeeding generations to enjoy fully the meaning of freedom. It’s the kind of struggle of winning their rights against their oppressors. It left a remarkable impact not just to the modern era and the rising generations in Haiti, but even to other countries that had been influenced by their actions to fight colonialism, and go for liberation like in Caribbean countries and in Latin America. As of today, one of the people that needs sole attention and has been in this state of captivity is the African people.