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International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Authored by Rex Cleaver
Published on 2nd December, 2022 2 min read

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Poster for the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Today (02/12/2022) is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, an annual event organised by the United Nations (UN). The day marks the adoption by the UN’s General Assembly, of the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, approved on the 2nd December 1949. 

Seeking to highlight the existence of slavery in today’s society, the day provides an opportunity to examine the horrors of both historical and modern slavery and explore ways in which it can be eradicated. 

Slavery has existed throughout the course of human history, affecting every country and society across the globe. The atrocities committed during the Transatlantic slave trade, in which millions of Africans were brutally enslaved and transported to the Americas and European colonies, have been widely historically examined, frequently leading people into believing slavery is largely a thing of the past. However, more people are currently enslaved than at any other point in human history. 

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), over 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery — that’s 5.4 people for every 1,000. Today, slavery exists in a myriad of different ways such as forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking. In addition, more than 150 million children are subject to child labour, accounting for almost one in ten children around the world. With such staggering numbers, it is increasingly vital that the issue of modern slavery is addressed by today’s political and social institutions. It is a global issue that affects us all.

Today not only serves as a reminder of the horrors of the historic slave trade but also a day to draw attention to modern forms of slavery that affect millions of individuals worldwide. The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is an important day to educate yourself and help the fight against the slavery of today.

Authored by Rex Cleaver

Rex Cleaver

Rex is an Editorial Assistant at British Online Archives

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Notable Days


The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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