UN calls for an end to modern slavery

UNAs the world marks the International Day of Remembrance of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, the UN has called for an end to modern day slavery manifesting in various forms.

The world body said though the horrific tragedies of slavery ended 1807, the world still faced widespread discrimination, prejudice, child trafficking and kidnapping.

This was contained in a message from the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon at a forum held at Christ the King Parish Hall on the theme “Women and Slavery.”

He said though women slaves experienced appalling violence, sexual and reproductive enslavement and prostitution and forced to sell their own children, they played a key role in maintaining the dignity of their communities.

Mr Ban said the transatlantic slave trade remained a monstrous crime and a stain on human history which has still not come to an end.

“Tragically, slavery has still not ended. In the past year, thousands of women, men and children in Syria and Iraq have been abducted. Many women have been sold to fighters in public slave-markets. Slavery stubbornly persists in other parts of the world,” he said.

Mr Ban urged all to re-double their efforts on this important day to end modern slavery once and for all.

Mr Carl Ampah, a representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said the struggle of the slave trade had strengthened awareness of the equality of all men and women.

He called on UNESCO partners, member states, schools, media museums and places of memory to strengthen their efforts to ensure that the role played by slaves in winning recognition of universal human rights is known and taught widely.

Ms Nana Nyarkua Ocran, Deputy Director (Education) of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, said the youth must not be left out in the important education on the negative effects of racism and prejudice nations are struggling to overcome.

Mrs Cynthia Prah, the National Information Officer of the UN, Ghana, said Ghana had joined hands with the rest of the world to pay tribute and to fight slavery around the world and added that a memorial termed “Ark of Return” had been established in New York to honour the victims of the transatlantic slave trade.

“The memorial recognizes the millions of African people who endured the extreme conditions on slave ships during the Middle Passage and the subsequent horrors of enslavement upon their arrival to the New World,” she said.

Mrs Prah said the theme was chosen to celebrate the strength of the enslaved women, many of whom succeeded in transmitting their African culture to their descendants despite the many abuses they endured.

The Day aims at targeting the youth to increase public awareness, educating future generations and communicating the dangers of racism and prejudice in this modern day and time.

The forum had about 500 attendees from Christ the King School, Tema International School, Morning Star School and Independence Avenue Basic School.

Source: GNA

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