Has slavery really been abolished?

  • Written by Laura Houghton
  • Published on 23 August 2018
  • Our Voice
Today marks the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition across the globe, a day of reflection intended to  inscribe the tragedy of the slave trade in the memory of all people. Slavery was formally abolished in 1807 and followed up by the 1833 act that declared the freedom of all those tied by slavery.

Slavery in 2018

Despite its official abolition around 200 years ago, slavery still exists in many forms today. It is estimated that there are currently over 40 million victims of modern slavery worldwide – compared to the 11 million slaves that were transported across the Atlantic during the 300 years whilst slavery was a legalised trade. Slavery has evolved and is now widely referred to as Modern slavery. Modern Slavery is an umbrella term used to describe human trafficking, debt bondage, bonded labour, child slavery and forced and early marriage. In comparison to more traditional forms of slavery, physical restraint is rarely used now. Coercion, threats and dehumanisation are used to confine people to slavery. 

The lasting effects of slavery

Historic slavery is an issue that has been surfacing in the media over the last few weeks. BBC1’s “Who do you think you are” this month uncovered TV and radio presenter Marvin Humes’ family connection to the slave trade. Surprisingly, he discovered relatives on “both sides of the slavery divide” – with his four-times great-grandfather owning two slaves despite being the child of slaves himself. 

I researched my ancestry recently and learned that I come from a slaveowner who fell in love with and married a slave.

Beyonce

Tackling modern slavery

Slavery is a topic that we feel very passionate about at Segura. We work closely with our charity partner Unseen to promote and tackle modern slavery. Together with BT, Unseen have launched an app that will help users to identify signs of modern slavery, and report any suspicions to the modern slavery helpline. The aim of the app is to allow people to determine the likelihood of suspicious activity.

“It is crucial that those of us combating modern slavery must innovate too… whether that is technology for businesses to map their supply chains, or an app for everyone to have in their pocket at the nail bar, car wash or takeaway, this isn’t just a gimmick, it’s an essential part of the fight to eradicate slavery.”

Andrew Wallis
CEO, Unseen

On the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 2018, we ask you to spare a thought for all victims of slavery across the globe today. 

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