As far as we have come, lest we forget our past, each and everyone of us have a social responsibility to be mindful of how we treat those who are less fortunate and less educated amongst us. ‘Slavery’ has become an institution of thought for many, and as we reflect upon our freedom, we should ask ourselves, just a few questions;
a) How do I treat my casual workers? Are they paid on time or are they paid at all?
b) Do I physically/and or verbally abuse those who are unable to fight back under my employ?
c) Do I discriminate based on the shade of ones skin?
Simpson Miller urges end to contemporary slavery
Friday, March 27, 2015 (Jamaica Observer)
UNITED NATIONS — JAMAICA’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on Wednesday joined United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in calling for an end to ‘contemporary slavery’ (human trafficking).
“Never again should the world allow the horrors and atrocities of slavery, lest we forget,” the prime minister said during a ceremony at which a permanent memorial in honour of the victims of slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade was unveiled at UN headquarters here.
The UN secretary general, in his address, said: “Slavery has left a stain on human history and should never be allowed to repeat itself”, noting that many of the millions who were taken as slaves never made it through the dreaded Middle Passage.
Both Simpson Miller and the UN head referred to the frequent incidence of human trafficking and child labour, a situation the prime minister described as the contemporary evil of modern slavery.
“Let us hope this memorial will be a motivating force to galvanise our individual and collective resolve to stamp out this evil,” she said.
According to Simpson Miller, the freedom from slavery was not a gift to those who suffered, “but was rather earned by the sweat and blood of millions of our forebears”.
Jamaica, which along with other Caribbean Community countries and the African Union, has been at the forefront of efforts to erect the memorial, was praised for its role in getting the US$1.7-million monument, designed by New York architect Rodney Leon, constructed.
— Harold Bailey