The Emancipation Proclamation, as written by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, is now on display at the United Nations headquarters this week.
Although the Emancipation Proclamation officially began an end to slavery in the United States 150 years ago, some current estimates suggest there are as many as 27 million people trapped in slavery worldwide. If these estimates are true, then this would make human slave traffickers more active today than they were at the height of the African slave trade of the past.
Millions are forced into servitude as house slaves or sex workers. Many are lured to other countries by the promise of money only to find the promise a nightmare. Others are caught up in a type of modern slavery as farm workers, where a combination of debt and drugs keep the farm slaves in line.
Unfortunately, many UN nations in good standing including China, India, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Thailand, Mexico, and even the United States have seen the rise of slavery in the shadows.
Thus, the United Nations is calling today a day where awareness of this pressing issue must be made:
“The annual observance of 25 March as the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade serves as an opportunity to honor and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system, and to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.”
As we remember the Emancipation Proclamation, how do you think modern slavery needs to be combated?