International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

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2023 Date2 December 2023
2024 Date2 December 2024

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery in
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The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is a global observance that highlights the ongoing plight of modern slavery and the importance of eradicating such practices. It commemorates the global and unified efforts to eliminate all forms of slavery, including forced labor, child labor, and human trafficking, which continue to persist in many countries. This day is an opportunity for governments, civil society organizations, and individuals to reflect on the importance of protecting human rights and addressing the underlying issues that make people vulnerable to various forms of exploitation.

This annual observance was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1986, on the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery. The issue of modern slavery is also highly relevant to India, which is home to an estimated 6.1 million victims of forced labor and human trafficking, according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index. Child labor, bonded labor, and human trafficking continue to be widespread, especially among rural and marginalized communities. The Indian government has taken significant steps to address these serious human rights abuses, including through comprehensive legislations such as the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, and the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018.

In India, International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is observed through various awareness campaigns, educational events, and community discussions, emphasizing on the need to end modern slavery and protect the rights of vulnerable populations. Civil society organizations, activists, and educational institutions participate in these efforts to promote human rights, social justice, and dignity for all, irrespective of their socio-economic background. These events typically occur every year on the 2nd of December, uniting people across the country in solidarity against slavery and exploitation.

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Facts about this United Nations Observance

  • The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 21 million people worldwide are victims of forced labor.
  • Brazil was the last country in the West to abolish slavery, which it did in 1888. Other parts of the world took even longer, with countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia abolishing slavery only in the 1960s.
  • According to NCRB data, the number of crimes related to human trafficking in India has increased in the past decade, with states such as West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh recording the highest number of crimes.
  • During the 19th and early 20th centuries, British and Indian social reformers, missionaries, and other groups played a significant role in raising awareness about the issue of slavery and in advocating for the rights of the oppressed. Education was seen as a powerful tool for empowering the poor and marginalized, and for eradicating the social evils associated with slavery.

Top things to do in India for this observance

  • Spread awareness by using the hashtags #InternationalDayforAbolitionofSlavery, #EndSlavery and #HumanRightsMatter.
  • Volunteer your time at a local rescue center for victims of human trafficking. These centers assist victims in sharing their stories, regaining their lives and dignity and helping to reduce this problem.
  • Leverage social media platforms to raise awareness, share facts, and encourage action in the fight against slavery. Post informative content, use relevant hashtags, and actively engage in discussions to amplify the message.
  • Engage in volunteering activities related to anti-slavery efforts. Join local organizations that work directly with survivors of slavery and provide support, rehabilitation, or empowerment.

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