The day intends to remind people of the tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade. It gives people a chance to think about the historic causes and the consequences of slave trade. This year the day has special meaning as 2011 is the International Year for People of African Descent.
In 1998 at its 29th session, the UNESCO Executive Board proclaimed 23 august the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of its Abolition. The observance was first celebrated in a number of countries, in particular in Haiti, paying tribute to the night of 22-23 August 1791 when the uprising of slaves took place in Santo Domingo island (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic), an uprising began which set forth events which were a major factor in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reminds the international community abut the importance of commemorating this day. The day also pays tribute to those who worked hard to abolish slave trade and slavery throughout the world. This commitment and the actions used to fight against the system of slavery had an impact on the human rights movement.
The day is not to be confused with the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, observed annually on 2 December.
Each year the UN invites people all over the world, including educators, students and artists, to organize events.
Educators promote the day by informing people about the historical events associated with slave trade, the consequences of slave trade, and to promote tolerance and human rights.
Schools and youth organizations are invited to organize, promote and sustain activities in co-operation with cultural institutes, historians and other specialists and the media, to increase awareness of the slave trade and slavery, its causes and consequences, including modern forms of slavery, to encourage solidarity with the peoples that have suffered because of slavery and to celebrate the African Diaspora.
* Visit UNESCO's Slave Route project
In 1994 UNESCO launched the "Slave Route Programme" which mostly aimed at highlighting the economic, social, cultural and demographic transformations resulting from the transatlantic slave trade.
Additionally, it sets the stage for analysis and dialogue of the interactions which gave rise to the transatlantic trade in human beings between Arica, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean.
* 2011, International Year for People of African Descent
The Year aims at strengthening national actions and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent.
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