December 2nd

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery -

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Every year on December 2nd, the world comes together to observe the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. This significant day serves as both a commemoration for those subjected to this horrific institution, as well as a reiteration of an ongoing, global dedication to putting an end to all present-day forms of slavery. In spite of the considerable strides taken in forwarding human rights over time, it is a sobering reality that we are still battling to eradicate exploitation of individuals for economic gain.

The day prompts our consciousness, spurs action, and strengthens our resolve, emphasising the urgent need to address and dismantle enduring vestiges of slavery across the world.

History of International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Celebrated since 1986, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery appreciates its roots emerging from historical milestones that go back a century prior. The United Nations General Assembly, on December 2, 1949, endorsed the first ever convention against human trafficking, officially known as the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.

The broader historical context of this day is traced back to the abolitionist movement in Britain and the United States around the mid-eighteenth century. There, slavery had become deeply embedded within the economic fabric, and the abolitionist campaigns fiercely advocated to abolish the Transatlantic Slavery. By the end of the 1800s, slavery was officially abolished in most Western nations, although remnants existed in other regions globally.

Moving on to the 20th century, after the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, the focus shifted to global peace and safeguarding human rights, paving the way for intensified abolitionist efforts globally. This resulted in the said 1949 convention followed by numerous other conventions and protocols over the years to take grave action against all forms of slavery, inclusive of child labor, forced labor, and servitude.

Thus, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery remembers these significant milestones and renews the pledge to eliminate all forms of modern slavery, which, unfortunately, continue to exist today – often inconspicuously unlike those prevalent in previous centuries.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Timeline

Beginning Of Abolition Movements

Abolition movements had begun to form, starting with The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.

Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Slavery was abolished in the United States through the Thirteenth Amendment.

Golden Law in Brazil

Brazil was the last country in the Western world to abolish slavery, done so by the Golden Law.

Adoption of The Slavery Convention

The Slavery Convention, an international treaty to outlaw slavery was adopted by the League of Nations.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, prohibiting slavery and slavery-flavored practices was adopted by the United Nations.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

The United Nations set December 2 as the annual date to mark the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons

The protocol aimed at preventing and combating trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

Current Day Abolition Efforts

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery continues raising awareness of modern forms of slavery.

Ideas to Celebrate International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

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Educational Movie Night

Screen a series of documentaries or movies that educate people about the history of slavery, its impacts and abolition movements around the world. It could serve as an eye-opening moment to understand the severity of this past and present problem.

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Public Seminar

Invite historians, sociologists, or human rights activists to hold a seminar about the history of slavery and human trafficking still occurring today. This can lead to more informed and aware citizens.

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Educational Exhibition

Put together an exhibition in a local library or community center with art and information surrounding the history of slavery, its abolition, and modern forms of slavery.

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School Presentation

Coordinate with local schools to hold presentations or workshops that educates younger generations about the history of slavery, its abolition and how to stop modern slavery.

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Community Art Project

Organize a community mural painting or sculpture project that depicts the abolition of slavery, using it to spark discussions about the importance of freedom and human rights.

7 Interesting Facts About Abolition of Slavery


Slavery in our History

Slavery has been a part of human society since ancient times. Rome, Greece, Egypt, and other ancient civilizations considered slaves as property and an economic asset.


The Act of 1807

The British were the first to take significant steps towards ending the global slave trade. The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1807, making it illegal to buy or sell slaves within the British Empire.


Role of Quakers

The Quakers or the Society of Friends, a small Christian sect, played an instrumental role in advocating for the abolition of slavery. They were the first religious group in America to ban its members from owning slaves in 1776.


Emancipation Proclamation

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring that all persons held as slaves within the rebellious states 'shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.'


13th Amendment

The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1865, abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.


Slavery is Not Entirely Abolished

Although legal slavery has been abolished in every country, human trafficking, debt bondage, and other forms of modern-day slavery still exist and affect millions of people around the world.


United Nations Involvement

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, guarantees freedom from slavery and slave trade for all individuals.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery FAQs

Next International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Dates

Year Date Day
2023 December 2nd Saturday
2024 December 2nd Monday
2025 December 2nd Tuesday
2026 December 2nd Wednesday
2027 December 2nd Thursday
What is the pattern? Every December 2nd

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Word Search

  • Freedom
  • Abolition
  • Slavery
  • Liberation
  • Justice
  • Respect