Mon 27 March 2023:
Global societies are still feeling the effects of the more than 400-year-long transatlantic slave trade, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Monday, Anadolu Agency reported.
Speaking at a commemoration ceremony marking the UN’s International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Guterres said the “evil enterprise” of slavery was the “largest legally sanctioned forced migration in human history” with millions of people across Africa “ripped from their families and homelands.”
Its legacy is one of “cruelty and barbarity,” Guterres said at the UN’s New York headquarters, noting it “shows humanity at its worst.”
“But it is also a history of awe-inspiring courage that shows human beings at their best-starting with enslaved people who rose up against impossible odds and extending to the abolitionists who spoke out against this atrocious crime,” he said. “And yet, the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade haunts us to this day.”
The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is commemorated on March 25 at UN offices worldwide after being established by the General Assembly in 2007.
Guterres said there is a direct correlation between slavery’s “colonial exploitation” and the “social and economic inequalities of today.”
“The scars of slavery are still visible in persistent disparities in wealth, income, health, education, and opportunity. And we can recognize the racist tropes popularized to rationalize the inhumanity of the slave trade in the white supremacist hate that is resurgent today,” he said.
“The long shadow of slavery still looms over the lives of people of African descent who carry with them the transgenerational trauma and who continue to confront marginalization, exclusion, and bigotry. It is incumbent on us to fight slavery’s legacy of racism,” he added.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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