Ignorance or concealment of major historical events constitutes an obstacle to mutual understanding, reconciliation and cooperation among peoples. Keeping this in mind, UNESCO has decided to break the silence surrounding the slave trade and slavery that concerned all continents and caused great upheavals giving our modern societies the shape they have today.
Circular CL/3494 of 29 July 1998 from the Director-General of UNESCO invited the Ministers of Culture of all the Member States to organize events to mark 23 August each year involving the entire population of their countries and particularly involving young people, educators, artists and intellectuals.
The night of 22 to 23 August 1791, in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) saw the beginning of the uprising, in the context of the great Haitian Revolution that played a crucial role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.
The aim behind observing the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is to inscribe the tragedy of the slave trade in the memory of all peoples. In accordance with the goals of the intercultural project "The Slave Route", launched in 1994, the day should offer an opportunity for collective consideration of the historic causes, the methods and the consequences of this tragedy.
International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition was first celebrated in a number of countries, in particular in Haiti (23 August 1998) and Goree in Senegal (23 August 1999). Cultural events and debates too were organised.
Compiled by Law desk (Source: unesco.org)