Thursday, 23 August 2012

The Slave Trade, Then and Now

This post is not just about teaching strategies or resources. Instead, it offers an opportunity to reflect on a disturbing chapter in our country's past, to share that reflection with your students, and to learn about a similar tragic situation that exists in 2012.

Today is the 10th annual International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. UNESCO's Director-General included this paragraph in his statement marking this year's August 23rd remembrance:

"While we should never forget the atrocities committed in the past, we should be equally vigilant in seeking to abolish the contemporary forms of slavery that affect millions of men, women and children around the world. Despite the arsenal of international instruments created to combat the exploitation of human beings, as well as the growing awareness of the forced labour and the sale and prostitution of children, the disturbing truth is that such flagrant violations of human rights continue. They are a scourge undermining the social fabric of many societies, which UNESCO is working with determination to end."

To share this remembrance of slavery in the United States with your students (sorry I couldn't give you advance notice, but one day soon will also be good) Anita Silvey recommends reading Virginia Hamilton's The People Could Fly.

If you want to educate yourself about human trafficking and one organizations's work in the fight against it in Nepal, go to the website of the Red Thread Movement.

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