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Reflections as we celeberate the Elimination of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

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Friday, March 25th, 2016
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Today 25th of March is significant as the  day set aside by the United Nations to remember the elimination of slavery and the transatlantic trade. That period remains one of the darkest chapters in human history. It is a period that epitomizes man’s inhumanity to man. It was responsible for the forced migration of between 12- 15 million people from Africa to the west. The kidnapping of Africans occurred mainly in the region that now stretches from Senegal to Angola and also across the Atlantic from Eastern and South-Eastern Africa.  As we ponder on the tribulations of some of our ancestors, we must also not fail to reflect on the astonishing statistics on modern day slavery connoted in catch-phrases such as ‘human trafficking’, ‘bonded labor’, ‘forced labor’, in a bid to add a Nigerian one to it ‘House girl’, Yes!, that underage vulnerable girl and boy working non-stop in your home makes you a slave master!

If you dint know, it is estimated that 35.8million people live in modern slavery today and the illicit sector generates $32 billion dollars annually. Approximately 78% of victims are enslaved for labor, while the remaining 22% are enslaved for sex. It is particularly disheartening to note that, 55% of victims of slavery are women and girls, while 26% are children under the age of 18. According to the 2014 Global Slavery Index which presents a ranking of 167 countries based on the percent of each country’s population estimated to be in modern slavery as well as the efforts of the various government in that regard; the 10 countries with the most prevalence account for 71% of the global total. They are Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Haiti, Qatar, India, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Syria and Central African Republic.

However, in terms of absolute population India remains top of the list with an estimated 14.29million enslaved people, followed by China (3.24 million), Pakistan (2.06 million) and Russia (1.05 million). These statistics calls for serious concern as we remember those who were victims of the transatlantic slave trade.

Please watch the 2 videos below to help comprehend the dimensions, impact and how close-to-home the transatlantic slave trade was. The first video is a little analytical but concise while the second is very emotional and highly recommended. It takes us into the dungeons where our people were kept before taken to the point-of-no-return.

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