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International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is held on August 23 each year to remind people of the tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade.

Local names

NameLanguage
International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionEnglish
Día Internacional del Recuerdo de la Trata de Esclavos y de su AboliciónSpanish
היום בינלאומי לזיכרון של סחר העבדים וביטולוHebrew
اليوم الدولي لإحياء ذكرى تجارة الرقيق وإلغائهاArabic
국제 노예 제도의 희생자 기억의 날 및 대서양 노예 무역Korean
Internationaler Tag der Erinnerung an den Sklavenhandel und seine AbschaffungGerman

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015
List of dates for other years

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is annually observed on August 23 to remind people of the tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade. It gives people a chance to think about the historic causes, the methods and the consequences of slave trade.

UN International Day for the remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

The UN's International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition reminds people of the tragedy of slave trade.

©iStockphoto.com/Erik Kolstad

What do people do?

Each year the UN invites people all over the world, including educators, students and artists, to organize events that center on the theme of this day. Theatre companies, cultural organizations, musicians and artists take part on this day by expressing their resistance against slavery through performances that involve music, dance and drama.

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. Many organizations, including youth associations, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations, actively take part in the event to educate society about the negative consequences of slave trade.

Public life

The UN’s International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is a United Nations observance worldwide but it is not a public holiday.

Background

In late August, 1791, an uprising began in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that would have a major effect on abolishing the transatlantic slave trade. The slave rebellion in the area weakened the Caribbean colonial system, sparking an uprising that led to abolishing slavery and giving the island its independence. It marked the beginning of the destruction of the slavery system, the slave trade and colonialism.

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition was first celebrated in many countries, in particular in Haiti, on August 23, 1998, and in Senegal on August 23, 1999. Each year the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reminds the international community about the importance of commemorating this day. This date 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.

Symbols

UNESCO’s logo features a drawing of a temple with the “UNESCO” acronym under the roof of the temple and on top of the temple’s foundation. Underneath the temple are the words “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”. This logo is often used in promotional material for the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SunAug 231998International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
MonAug 231999International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
WedAug 232000International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
ThuAug 232001International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
FriAug 232002International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
SatAug 232003International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
MonAug 232004International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
TueAug 232005International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
WedAug 232006International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
ThuAug 232007International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
SatAug 232008International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
SunAug 232009International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
MonAug 232010International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
TueAug 232011International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
ThuAug 232012International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
FriAug 232013International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
SatAug 232014International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
SunAug 232015International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
TueAug 232016International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
WedAug 232017International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
ThuAug 232018International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
FriAug 232019International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 
SunAug 232020International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUnited Nations observance 

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