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End Slavery Quotes 

 

Slavery was abolished 150 years ago, right? While it is true that slavery is illegal almost everywhere on earth, the fact is there are more slaves today than there ever were...
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

Willingly no one chooses the yoke of slavery.
-- Aeschylus

* “If you love your children, if you love your country, if you love the God of love, clear your hands from slaves, burden not your children or country with them.”
-- Richard Allen

* "Slavery was, in a very real sense, the first international human rights issue to come to the fore. It led to the adoption of the first human rights laws and to the creation of the first human rights non-governmental organization. And yet despite the efforts of the international community to combat this abhorrent practice, it is still widely prevalent in all its insidious forms, old and new. The list is painfully long and includes traditional chattel slavery; bonded labour; serfdom; and forced labour, including of children, women and migrants, and often for the purpose of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and ritualistic and religious reasons....
-- Kofi Annan


Human beings are not property. On the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, let us reaffirm the inherent dignity of all men, women and children. And let us redouble our efforts so that the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — 'no one shall be held in slavery or servitude' — ring true."
-- Kofi Annan

* The more freedom we enjoy, the greater the responsibility we bear, toward others as well as ourselves.
-- Oscar Arias Sanchez

* We could eradicate slavery. The laws are in place. The multi-nationals, the world trade organizations, the United Nations, they could end slavery, but they're not going to do it until and unless we demand it.
-- Kevin Bales

the 4th right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is that there can be no slavery. Virtually every human being agrees that it is a moral wrong. Those key battles are won by people who went before us, who had the really tough job. Our job is simply to make sure that countries enforce their own laws and that slaves, when freed, have an opportunity for rehabilitation, reintegration, education, and so forth
-- Kevin Bales

 

It surprises people that there’s actually a very large number of slaves in the world today—our best estimate is 27 million. And that is defining a slave in a very narrow way; we’re not talking about sweatshop workers or people who are just poor, we’re talking about people who are controlled by violence, who cannot walk away, who are being held against their will, who are being paid nothing.
-- Kevin Bales

Slavery is what slavery's always been: About one person controlling another person using violence and then exploiting them economically, paying them nothing. That's what slavery's about
-- Kevin Bales

“It’s as if all identity has been stolen from them, except their identity as slaves.”
-- Kevin Bales

We have to make it clear to the multi-nationals that slavery is too high a price to pay for cheap goods
-- Kevin Bales

For some slaves, the first step out of bondage is to learn to see their lives with new eyes. Their reality is a social world where they have their place and some assurance of a subsistence diet. Born into slavery, they cannot easily redefine their lives outside the frame of enslavement.
-- Kevin Bales

Slavery is theft -- theft of a life, theft of work, theft of any property or produce, theft even of the children a slave might have borne.
-- Kevin Bales

 

millions of our fellow human beings continue to live as contemporary slaves, victims of abominable practices like human trafficking, forced labour and sexual exploitation. Countless children are forced to become soldiers, work in sweat shops or are sold by desperate families. Women are brutalized and traded like commodities. Entire households and villages labour under debt bondage.
-- Ban Ki-moon

* On this International Day for the Abolition of Slavery let us reaffirm the inherent dignity of all men, women and children. And let us redouble our efforts to build societies in which slavery truly is a term for the history books.
-- Ban Ki-moon

It is up to each and every one of us to raise our voice against crimes that deprive countless victims of their liberty, dignity and human rights. We have to work together to realize the equal rights promised to all by the United Nations Charter. And we must collectively give meaning to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “no one shall be held in slavery or servitude”.
-- Ban Ki-moon

"The slave labors, but with no cheer—it is not the road to respectability, it will honor him with no citizens’ trust, it brings no bread to his family, no grain to his garner, no leisure in after-days, no books or papers to his children. It opens no school-house door, builds no church, rears for him no factory, lays no keel, fills no bank, earns no acres. With sweat and toil and ignorance he consumes his life, to pour the earnings into channels from which he does no drink, into hands that never honor him. But perpetually rob and often torment.”
-- Henry Ward Beecher

As legal slavery passed, we entered into a permanent period of unemployment and underemployment from which we have yet to emerge.
-- Julian Bond

See, it's no in between: you're either free or you're a slave.
-- H. Rap Brown

* None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.
-- Pearl S. Buck

Men would rather be starving and free than fed in bonds.
-- Pearl S. Buck

* “We are asking people to understand that slavery still exists today; in fact, according to a recent New York Times article, if you count the number of women and children in bonded labor, domestic slavery or sexual slavery today, there are more slaves in the world than at any other time in history.”
--
Charlotte Bunch

* The well-being and the hopes of the peoples of the world can never be served until peace - as well as freedom, honor and self-respect - is secure.
-- Ralph J. Bunche

We must show new energy in fighting back an old evil. Nearly two centuries after the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, and more than a century after slavery was officially ended in its last strongholds, the trade in human beings for any purpose must not be allowed to thrive in our time."
-- George W. Bush

* "Everyone has a right to peaceful coexistence, the basic personal freedoms, the alleviation of suffering, and the opportunity to lead a productive life..."
-- Jimmy Carter

 

Slavery can only be abolished by raising the character of the people who compose the nation; and that can be done only by showing them a higher one.
-- Maria Weston Chapman

Why should workers agree to be slaves in a basically authoritarian structure? They should have control over it themselves. Why shouldn't communities have a dominant voice in running the institutions that affect their lives?
-- Noam Chomsky

* "Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free."
-- 14th Dalai Lama

* Brute force, no matter how strongly applied, can never subdue the basic human desire for freedom.
-- Dalai Lama

* Human Beings, indeed all sentient beings, have the right to pursue happiness and live in peace and freedom.
--
14th Dalai Lama

"In the same way that we today think that the slave trade and colonial exploitation were inhuman and inconceivably bestial ways of acquiring riches, there is no doubt that coming generations will think that our form of world trade and distribution of the world's benefits were just as inconceivable and inhuman."
--
Erik Dammann

Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.... The subjection of individuals will increase amongst democratic nations, not only in the same proportion as their equality, but in the same proportion as their ignorance.
-- Alexis de Tocqueville

* “I didn't know I was a slave until I found out I couldn't do the things I wanted”
-- Frederick Douglass

* There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained.
-- W. E. B. DuBois

* "How many years can some people exist
before they're allowed to be free..."
-- Bob Dylan

* For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson


History has a long-range perspective. It ultimately passes stern judgment on tyrants and vindicates those who fought, suffered, were imprisoned, and died for human freedom, against political oppression and economic slavery.
-- Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

It seems almost incredible that the advocates of liberty should conceive of the idea of selling a fellow creature to slavery.
--
James Forten

* "There is no road to freedom, freedom is the road."
-- Mohandas Gandhi

* "There is no road to freedom, freedom is the road."
-- Mohandas K. Gandhi

* Enslave the liberty of but one human being and the liberties of the world are put in peril"
-- William Lloyd Garrison

Our mission has been the protection of the wage-worker, now; to increase his wages; to cut hours off the long workday, which was killing him; to improve the safety and the sanitary conditions of the workshop; to free him from the tyrannies, petty or otherwise, which served to make his existence a slavery.
-- Samuel Gompers

* "Nobody's free until everybody's free."
-- Fannie Lou Hamer

* It doesn't take a genius to pump up the GNP [of a developing country] by burning down rainforests, using slave labor and social repression to keep things in place.
-- Hazel Henderson

We say that slavery has vanished from European civilization, but this is not true. Slavery still exists, but now it applies only to women and its name is prostitution.
-- Victor Hugo

* Yes, a new day is here. Across America -- throughout the entire world -- the forces of emancipation are at work. We hear freedom's rising chorus: “Let me live my own life. Let me live in peace. Let me be free," say the people.
-- Hubert Humphrey

No slavery can be abolished without a double emancipation, and the master will benefit by freedom more than the freed-man.
-- Thomas Henry Huxley

 

In most ages many countries have had part of their inhabitants in a state of slavery; yet it may be doubted whether slavery can ever be supposed the natural condition of man. It is impossible not to conceive that men in their original state were equal; and very difficult to imagine how one would be subjected to another but by violent compulsion. An individual may, indeed, forfeit his liberty by a crime; but he cannot by that crime forfeit the liberty of his children.
-- Samuel Johnson

* I know that there are no limits to which the powers of privilege will not go to keep the workers in slavery
-- Mother Jones

* "I won't give up until the exploitation of all children has ended and all children have their rights."
-- Craig Kielburger

* "It's easier to be ignorant and say I don't know about the problem. But once you know, once you've seen it in their eyes, then you have a responsibility to do something. There is strength in numbers, and if we all work together as a team, we can be unstoppable."
-- Craig Kielburger

* As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free. Psychological freedom, a firm sense of self-esteem, is the most powerful weapon against the long night of physical slavery.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr

 


I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr

The present age handed over the workers, each alone and defenseless, to the unbridled greed of competitors... so that a very few and exceedingly rich men have laid a yoke of almost slavery on the unnumbered masses of non-owning workers.
-- Pope Leo XIII

Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. 
-- Abraham Lincoln

We must free the slaves or be ourselves subdued.
-- Abraham Lincoln

* Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
-- Abraham Lincoln

If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
-- Abraham Lincoln

* Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times -- times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation -- that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils.
-- Nelson Mandela

 

By a divine paradox, wherever there is one slave there are two.  So in the wonderful reciprocities of being, we can never reach the higher levels until all our fellows ascend with us. 
-- Edwin Markham

* “Emancipate yourselves
from mental slavery.
None but ourselves
can free our minds.
Won't you help to sing
The songs of freedom?”
-- Bob Marley

The augmentation of slaves weakens the states; and such a trade is diabolical in itself, and disgraceful to mankind.
-- George Mason

Slavery as an institution that degraded man to a thing has never died out. In some periods of history it has flourished: many civilizations have climbed to power and glory on the backs of slaves. In other times slaves have dwindled in number and economic importance. But never has slavery disappeared.
-- Milton Meltzer

* "The saddest sight these days is the image of hundreds of thousands of children kidnapped and lured into being child soldiers from the age of eight. "
-- Sir Roger Moore

* Compelled to become instruments of war, to kill and be killed, child soldiers are forced to give violent expression to the hatreds of adults
-- Olara Otunnu

 

Look back, to slavery, to suffrage, to integration and one thing is clear. Fashions in bigotry come and go. The right thing lasts.
-- Anna Quindlen

* “Caged birds sing of freedom, free birds fly.”
-- Thorolf Rafto

* "The artist must elect to fight for Freedom or for Slavery.
-- Paul Robeson

Slavery and freedom cannot exist together.
-- Ernestine Rose

The slave is doomed to worship time and fate and death, because they are greater than anything he finds in himself, and because all his thoughts are of things which they devour.
-- Bertrand Russell

Once slavery in America was not seen as radical. It became, instead, a revolutionary idea that slaves should be freed. When we have lived under a pernicious power long enough, no matter how oppressive, we grow so accustomed to the yoke that its removal seems frightening, even wrong.
-- Gerry L. Spence

When we acknowledge the kingdom of the self, we will no longer accept slavery either for ourselves or for others, no matter how it is disguised.
-- Gerry L. Spence

* The prolonged slavery of women is the darkest page in human history.
-- Elizabeth Cady Stanton

* ...it is impossible to make anything beautiful or desirable in the best regulated administration of slavery.
-- Harriet Beecher Stowe

 

Whoever visits some estates there, and witnesses the good-humored indulgence of some masters and mistresses, and the affectionate loyalty of some slaves, might be tempted to dream the oft-fabled poetic legend of a patriarchal institution, and all that; but over and above the scene there broods a portentous shadow — the shadow of law. So long as the law considers all these human beings, with beating hearts and living affections, only as so many things belonging to a master — so long as the failure, or misfortune, or imprudence, or death of the kindest owner, may cause them any day to exchange a life of kind protection and indulgence for one of hopeless misery and toil — so long it is impossible to make anything beautiful or desirable in the best regulated administration of slavery.
-- Harriet Beecher Stowe

When I have been travelling up and down on our boats, or about on my collecting tours, and reflected that every brutal, disgusting, mean, low-lived fellow I met, was allowed by our laws to become absolute despot of as many men, women and children, as he could cheat, steal, or gamble money enough to buy,--when I have seen such men in actual ownership of helpless children, of young girls and women,--I have been ready to curse my country, to curse the human race!
-- Harriet Beecher Stowe

“For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery.”
-- Jonathan Swift

 

Democracy and capitalism have very different beliefs about the proper distribution of power. One believes in a completely equal distribution of political power, 'one man, one vote', while the other believes that it is the duty of the economically fit to drive the unfit out of business and into economic extinction. 'Survival of the fittest' and inequalities in purchasing power is what capitalist efficiency is all about. Individuals and firms become efficient to be rich. To put it in its starkest form, capitalism is perfectly compatible with slavery. The American South had such a system for more than two centuries. Democracy is not comparable with slavery.
-- Lester Thurow

* The essence of all slavery consists in taking the product of another's labor by force. It is immaterial whether this force be founded upon ownership of the slave or ownership of the money that he must get to live.
-- Leo Tolstoy

"Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal - that there is no human relation between master and slave”
-- Leo Tolstoy

* “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”
-- Harriet Tubman

 

Not only do I pray for it, on the score of human dignity, but I can clearly forsee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union, by consolidating it in a common bond of principle.
-- George Washington

* ...nothing on earth can stop man from feeling himself born for liberty. Never, whatever may happen, can he accept servitude; for he is a thinking creature.
-- Simone Weil

In war the strong make slaves of the weak, and in peace the rich make slaves of the poor. We must work to live, and they give us such mean wages that we die. We toil for them all day long, and they heap up gold in their coffers, and our children fade away before their time, and the faces of those we love become hard and evil. We tread out the grapes, and another drinks the wine. We sow the corn, and our own board is empty. We have chains, though no eyes behold them; and are slaves, though men call us free.
-- Oscar Wilde

Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.
-- Oscar Wilde

See Also Quotes on
Freedom

Freedom Day - February 1
End Slavery Da
y - December 2

 

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