The commemoration was established by the UN in 1998, in memory of the uprising of August 23, 1791 by men and women who were subjected to slavery in Saint-Domingue, the western part of the island of Hispaniola and that after proclaiming its independence recovered its original Amerindian name, Haiti. That event was the genesis for the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, a practice that as a legal trade lasted a little over 400 years, during which time more than 15 million men, women and children were sold, as if they were cattle, only to then being subject to the toughest jobs and subhuman living conditions.
“The time has come to abolish human exploitation once and for all and to ensure the recognition, everywhere, of the equal and unconditional dignity of people. Let us remember today the victims and fighters of yesterday so that future generations will find in them the courage they need to build just societies”, said Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, organization that developed The Slave Route, an intercultural project that aims to carry out a collective examination of the historical causes that gave rise to this type of racial exploitation, studying both its methods and the consequences of the tragedy.
Information on slavery can also be found on the CIPDH-UNESCO website by accessing #MemoriasSituadas, an interactive map of different places of memory related to serious human rights violations. Several sites originating from the slavery theme are included, and many of them are part of the UNESCO Slave Route project.