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India asks for awareness about slave trade

India has asked the international community to educate the future generations about slave trade to ensure that horrors of the past are not perpetuated through racism and prejudice.



United Nations: India has asked the international community to educate the future generations about slave trade to ensure that horrors of the past are not perpetuated through racism and prejudice.

"The tragedy of transatlantic slave trade has been undeniably one of the most inhumane chapters in recorded human history," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Asoke Mukerji said.

"This slave trade, which happened over a 400-year period, completely altered the socio-economic fabric of African society, the effects of which are still visible today. The legacy continues in the form of racism and prejudice which are an affront to human dignity," he said at a UN General Assembly session on transatlantic slave trade on Friday.

Mukerji said through education and remembrance the international community must build in future generations an "understanding of the causes, consequences and lessons of slave trade so that the horrors of the past are not perpetuated through racism and prejudice."

He called for reaching a broader audience by strengthening the involvement of academics and institutions of learning.

Mukerji noted that the 'International Decade for People of African Descent', which will start in 2015, would also provide an opportunity to showcase the most valuable contributions that enslaved people and their descendants have made to the societies that forced them into bondage.

He welcomed the initiative to erect a permanent memorial at the UN headquarters saying it is a fitting tribute to the millions of victims of slavery and slave trade.

India is the lead contributor to the United Nations Trust Fund for Partnerships-permanent Memorial with a contribution of USD 260,000.

"Our contribution reflects our firm belief that the international community must honour those who were the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade," he said.

He added that while India had no role to play in slave trade but it is willing to jointly shoulder the responsibility that the international community has for its remembrance and urged others to join the initiatives.

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