World must unite against slavery: Ban Ki-moon

March 27th, 2008 - 5:58 pm ICT by admin  

New York, March 27 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed hope that past injustices will inspire the world to fight against the modern forms of slavery such as forced labour and human trafficking. He said this at a special ceremony organised at the UN headquarters Tuesday on the occasion of the first International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, WAM news agency reported Thursday.

Ban said: “Even as we mourn the atrocities committed against the countless victims, we take heart from the courage of those who rose up to overcome the system that oppressed them.

“The brave individuals and movements they stirred, to abolish the inequality and prejudices, should serve as an example to all of us, as we continue to battle the contemporary forms of slavery,” he said at the gathering.

Ban said even today, millions of people, including children, are suffering from the burden of racism, forced labour, sexual exploitation and human trafficking around the world.

Not only is the world shamed by these horrible crimes but it is also challenged to respond, he said.

“Let us honour the victims of the slave trade by remembering their struggle. Let us carry it forward until no person is deprived of liberty, dignity and human rights.”

In December 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to mark March 25 as an annual day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It also decided to erect a permanent memorial at the UN to acknowledge the tragedy and consider the legacy of slavery.

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