A tragedy of the past that questions our present

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, 23 August 2013

Through their struggles, their desire for dignity and freedom, slaves contributed to the universality of human rights. We must teach the names of the heroes of this story, because they are the heroes of all humankind.

In paying tribute, on 23 August each year, to the women and men who fought this oppression, UNESCO wishes to foster reflection and debate on a tragedy that has left its mark on the world as it is today.