The United Nations observes the ‘International Day for the Abolition of Slavery’ on 2nd December. This is both a day of remembrance and recognition and an urgent call to action to all Member States, civil society and the private sector to strengthen collective action to end the heinous practice of slavery.
What is slavery and how did it start?
Slavery has been around since primeval times and in most ancient cultures. In many cultures, slaves formed a very large part of the economy. Some of the empires like ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire and some of the Greek Poleis built a large part of their wealth using slaves acquired through conquest or as prisoners of war.
Although slavery is illegal in all countries today, the practice is still subtly prevalent around the world, primarily in African, Asian, and Eastern European countries. Modern slavery includes forced and bonded labour, services for debt repayment, child labour, forced marriage, sexual trafficking and exploitation of women and children with children even being recruited in areas of armed conflict.