25 March 2009 - Today is the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that "Despite the official abolition of slavery, racism still pollutes our world. So too do contemporary forms of slavery". UNODC and the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) argue that human trafficking is a form of contemporary slavery that shames us all.
UN.GIFT was launched two years ago to coincide with both the two hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade and the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. On that occasion, UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said that "Slavery is a booming international trade, less obvious than 200 years ago for sure, but all around us. Perhaps we simply prefer to close our eyes to it, as many law-abiding citizens buy the products and the services produced on the cheap by slaves."
Through its Blue Heart campaign against human trafficking, UNODC is rallying world public opinion against this crime. Human trafficking strips people of their rights, ruins their dreams and robs them of their dignity. It is a global problem and no country is immune.
By joining the campaign and wearing or displaying the Blue Heart, individuals can help raise awareness of this crime and join the campaign to fight it. The Blue Heart represents the sadness of those who are trafficked while reminding us of the cold-heartedness of those who buy and sell fellow human beings. The use of UN blue also demonstrates the commitment of the United Nations to combating this crime against human dignity.
More information about the Blue Heart campaign
More information about UN.GIFT