International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
annually on December 2nd (since 1986)
More than 40 million people around the world are trapped in modern slavery, which is usually regarded as forced labor, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking. Slavery is a condition where a person can't leave because of threats, violence, abuse of power, deception, and coercion. Those most affected by modern slavery are the poorest and most socially excluded groups, including migrants, women, discriminated ethnic groups, minorities, and indigenous peoples. Besides the more than 40 million adults in modern slavery, over 150 million children—almost a tenth of all children—are forced into child labor.
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery aims to eradicate forms of modern slavery-like sexual exploitation, human trafficking, child labor, forced recruitment of children for armed conflict, and forced marriage. It is held on December 2nd, the anniversary of the General Assembly's 1949 adoption of resolution 317(IV), which is the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.
How to Observe International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
Some ways you could participate in the day include:
- Learn more about modern slavery.
- Raise awareness about modern slavery. Share about it with others, in conversation, and by posting on social media.
- Support anti-slavery organizations such as the Anti-Slavery Collective, End Slavery Now, and Freedom United.
- Learn about and support anti-trafficking organizations.
- Learn how to identify a possible trafficking victim.
- Avoid companies that use child labor or other forms of slavery. Buy fair trade foods, look over the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor from the Department of Labor, and find ways to shop ethically by using the Responsible Sourcing Tool, Good On You, and the Fashion Transparency Index.
- Contact your representatives about the issue of modern slavery. Ask them what they are doing to combat it.
- Watch and discuss a film about modern slavery such as The Storm Makers, Born into Brothels, or 13th, or the documentary series Slavery: A 21st Century Evil.