International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
By Siera Millard
Photo by unique2brilliance
Imagine a world in which you are trapped completely. You are chained, either physically or metaphorically, and the chains that bind you leave bloody indentations on your skin and on your mind. You have no feasible way to get out of the situation and no one to help you. This is the world of slavery.
Centuries and centuries before the adoption of slavery by American colonies, which is often what is associated with, tribes in Africa and the Middle East traded slaves or took them as war conquests. It was a common practice that would spread to the Americas by Spanish explorers in their enslavement of Native Americans and later in the African slave trade that would labor on plantations. Not until 1865 was slavery made illegal in the Constitution of the United States, and not until 1949 did the United Nations adopt the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Person and Exploitation and of the Prostitution of Others, an international agreement by the UN to prohibit slavery.
December 2nd marks the day that the UN passed the adoption of this convention - the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. This was passed in 1949...only sixty-nine years ago. This is a short second in consideration of the span of the history of the world.
Slavery today comes in many forms; its supposed complete abolition in 1949 does not mean that it does not exist, and does not mean that it is something we can forget. Slavery includes human and sex trafficking, forced labor, child labor, forced marriage, and other acts that threaten to make a person do something or do not allow them the freedom to leave the situation.
A few mind-boggling statistics from the United Nations: