International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Date in the current year: December 2, 2017

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is an annual United Nations observance celebrated on December 2. It was officially established by the UN General Assembly in 1986 to commemorate the adoption of the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others in 1949.

Many people think that slavery does not exist anymore. Officially, slavery is de jure illegal in all countries (Mauritania became the last country to officially abolish slavery in 1981). However, de facto practices akin to slavery (referred to as modern slavery or contemporary slavery) exist in the present day throughout the world. They include slavery by descent in Africa, debt bondage, forced migrant labor, sex slavery, early or forced marriage, and child labor.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery was established to raise awareness of contemporary slavery. It focuses on eradicating modern forms of slavery and liberating over 20 million people who are currently trapped in slavery. On December 2, Member States, UN organizations, international organizations, NGOs, and other participants hold events and activities that focus on raising awareness of the main forms of modern slavery.

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UN Observances

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International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, UN observance, United Nations observance, contemporary slavery