FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today, on International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, we pay tribute to the millions who died and suffered in humiliating bondage during the centuries of the transatlantic slave trade. We honor as well those who fought to end this abominable practice on our shores.
Slavery in the Americas had a harrowing history and tragic legacy. Countless men, women and children were forcibly stolen and sold into bondage. Millions more suffered the unspeakable indignity of living their entire lives in captivity and forced labor. Whole families were destroyed, and communities and societies divided. Let us not forget slavery’s enduring impact and the wounds that we, as a nation, must still strive to heal.
We must also recall slavery’s deadly and immoral legacy to strengthen our shared commitment to ending its modern day manifestations. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation; yet, more than 20 million men, women and children continue to be victims of human trafficking without recourse to protection or justice.
All people deserve to live in peace and dignity, free from captivity, exploitation and abuse. Today, we recommit ourselves to the critical work of combating slavery’s enduring consequences and rededicate ourselves to ending slavery anywhere and advancing freedom everywhere.
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