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International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition 2020: August 23

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International-Day-for-the-Remembrance-of-the-Slave-Trade-and-its-Abolition-2020-August-23United Nations(UN)’s International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition is observed annually on 23rd August to spread the information about the historic events associated with slave trade and its consequences and to promote the tolerance and human rights.

The first International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition was celebrated in various countries including Haiti and Goree on 23rd August 1998 and 23rd August 1999.

History:

The uprising against the transatlantic slave trade in Santo Domingo (Todays Haiti and Dominican Republic) on the night of 22 to 23rd August 1791 played a key role in the abolition of slave trade and dehumanization.

The Slave Route Project:

i.The interregional project “The Slave Route”, a flagship project of UNESCO and its International Scientific Committee recommended the implementation of the programme of activities. 

ii.The objective of the project was an approach of combining the historical dimension of slave trade with study of current cultural interaction it has generated.

Background:

i.The Internaitonl Scientific Committee for the Slave Route project recommended the establishment of an annual day in memory of slavery and its abolition.

ii.The Executive board of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the resolution 29 C/40 on 29th Session 1997 at Paris and proclaimed 23rd August of every year as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition.

iii.United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) circular CL/3494 of 29th July 1998 from the Director General to the Ministers of Culture invited all the member states to organise events and mark 23rd August as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition.

Events:

i.The Mulhouse Textile Museum, France participated 2001 international day and organised a workshop for fabrics “Indiennes de Traite” a type of calico which was used as a currency for slave trade in 17th and 18th Centuries.

ii.The Ministers of Culture of all the member states of the UN organises the events involving the general public, youths, educators, artists and intellectuals.

2020 Events:

i.On 23rd August 2020, The National Maritime Museum(NMM), Greenwich hosted the annual emancipation ceremony from the National Maritime Museum to the River Thames with social distancing and the procession was led by Natalie Cooper of the London Lucumin Choir.

ii.In collaboration with International Slavery Museum Liverpool, live panel discussion on exploring the histories and legacies of the transatlantic slave trade in Greenwich and Liverpool was organised on 20th August 2020.

Note:

Most of the events of 2020 were organized as an online event due to COVID-19 pandemic.

About UNESCO:
Director General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France