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
no one chooses the yoke of slavery.
“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
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
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."
more freedom we enjoy, the greater the responsibility we bear, toward others as
well as ourselves.
Oscar Arias Sanchez
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.
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
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.
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
as if all identity has been stolen from them, except their identity as slaves.”
have to make it clear to the multi-nationals that slavery is too high a price
to pay for cheap goods
-- Kevin Bales
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.”|
As legal slavery passed, we entered into a permanent period of unemployment and
underemployment from which we have yet to emerge.
it's no in between: you're either free or you're a slave.
-- H. Rap Brown
who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the
hope of freedom to those who are not free.
would rather be starving and free than fed in bonds.
Pearl S. Buck
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
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. |
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
has a right to peaceful coexistence, the basic personal freedoms, the alleviation
of suffering, and the opportunity to lead a productive life..." |
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
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?
can only last where human rights are respected,
where the people are fed, and where individuals
and nations are free."
force, no matter how strongly applied, can never
subdue the basic human desire for freedom.
Beings, indeed all sentient beings, have the
right to pursue happiness and live in peace
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."
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
didn't know I was a slave until I found out
I couldn't do the things I wanted”
is in this world no such force as the force of
a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot
be permanently chained.
E. B. DuBois
many years can some people exist
they're allowed to be free..."
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
seems almost incredible that the advocates of
liberty should conceive of the idea of selling
a fellow creature to slavery.
the liberty of but one human being and the liberties
of the world are put in peril"
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
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.
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
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.
slavery can be abolished without a double emancipation,
and the master will benefit by freedom more than the
-- Thomas Henry Huxley
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
know that there are no limits to which the powers
of privilege will not go to keep the workers
won't give up until the exploitation of all
children has ended and all children have their
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."
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.
Luther King, Jr
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
Luther King, Jr
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
-- Pope Leo XIII
I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a
strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
must free the slaves or be ourselves subdued.
who deny freedom to others deserve it not for
slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
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.
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
from mental slavery.
None but ourselves
can free our minds.
Won't you help to sing
The songs of freedom?”
augmentation of slaves weakens the states; and
such a trade is diabolical in itself, and disgraceful
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
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.
to become instruments of war, to kill and
be killed, child soldiers are forced to give
violent expression to the hatreds of adults
back, to slavery, to suffrage, to integration and
one thing is clear. Fashions in bigotry come and go.
The right thing lasts.
-- Anna Quindlen
artist must elect to fight for Freedom or for
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.
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,
-- Gerry L. Spence
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
is impossible to make anything beautiful or
desirable in the best regulated administration
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.
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!
in reason, all government without the consent of the
governed is the very definition of slavery.”
-- Jonathan Swift
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
-- Lester Thurow
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.
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”
freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed
a thousand more if only they knew they were
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
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.
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
slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical
slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future
of the world depends.
-- Oscar Wilde
- February 1
- December 2