International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2022: History and significance


International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is celebrated every year on 2 December to raise awareness regarding the suppression of contemporary forms of slavery like human trafficking, child labour, and sexual exploitation. Along with the traditional types of forced labour like debt bondage and bonded labour, more contemporary forms of forced labour are now existing. For instance, migrant workers get trafficked for all kinds of economic exploitation. These include work in the construction industry, food and garment industry, work in domestic servitude, agricultural sector, and forced prostitution.

According to the United Nations (UN), there are an estimated 50 million individuals who are in modern slavery. This number includes 28 million people in forced labour and 22 million in forced marriage.


UN adopted the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of others on 2 December 1949. The proclamation of World Day for the Abolition of Slavery on 2 December was recommended by a UN report on the Working Group on Slavery in 1985. All forms of slavery were included in the recommendation. By 1995, this day came to be known as the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery to the world.

Significance and all you need to know:

The day aims to bring together all sections of society for eliminating forced labour and modern slavery around the world. As per the UN, the main forms of modern slavery include:

Child labour
Almost 1 in every 8 individuals in forced labour are children. More than half of these children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

Trafficking in persons
Trafficking in persons includes transportation, transfer, recruitment, harbouring, or receipt of individuals by using threat, force, or other forms of coercion for exploitation purposes. Prostitution, forced labour, slavery, sexual exploitation, and removal of organs are some of the practices that come under exploitation. The trafficking of children is considered a crime even when done without the use of force.

Forced labour
In forced labour, a person is forced to work involuntarily and under the menace of penalty. Violence, intimidation, or subtle means like manipulated debt can be used to make someone do forced labour. At 86 per cent, most cases of forced labour are seen in the private sector.

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International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2022: History and significance
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2022: History and significance
ASE News
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