The Rastafarian organizations in the Caribbean are determined that the issue of slavery reparations will emerge from the eclipse of COVID-19.
As the world deals with the impacts of efforts to contain the virus’ spread and regional governments tackle vaccine hesitancy and a wave of misinformation, issues not directly related to COVID-19 have had to be temporarily shelved.
“They forcefully took us away and kept us like prisoners,” Lydia Musa, a former Boko Haram captive who was abducted at the age of 14 during an attack on her village in Gwoza, in Nigeria’s north eastern Borno State, tells IPS. Musa and two other underaged girls were captured and forced to marry Boko Haram fighters in spite of their protests that they were too young to marry.
Child labour has been substantially reduced in Latin America, but 5.7 million children below the legal minimum age are still working and a large proportion of them work in precarious, high-risk conditions or are unpaid, which constitute new forms of slave labour.
The wave of conservativism is testing its limits in Brazil, as reflected by a Labour Ministry decree that seeks to block the fight against slavery-like working conditions, which has been provisionally revoked by the justice system.
Stressing the enduring relationship between injuries inflicted by slavery and contemporary injustices, a UN committee has recently issued a strongly-worded call for reparations for black U.S. Americans.
“Poverty has become part of me,” says 13-year-old Aminata Kabangele from the Democratic Republic of Congo. “I have learned to live with the reality that nobody cares for me.”
An exhibition on modern-day slavery at the International Slavery Museum in this northern English town is just one example of a museum choosing to focus on human rights, and being “upfront” about it.
Her lips are quavering her hands trembling. Susan (not her real name) struggles to suppress stubborn tears, but the outburst comes, spontaneously, and the tears stream down her cheeks as she sobs profusely.
A Portuguese slave ship that left Mozambique in 1794 bound for Brazil had hardly rounded the treacherous Cape of Good Hope when it broke apart violently on two reefs only 100 yards from shore.
The Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave recently generated international discussion about the barbarity of slavery, but it is not alone in the attempt to break the silence around the 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade and to “shed light” on the lasting historical consequences.
The southern Indian city Hyderabad is witnessing a construction boom as it prepares to become the joint capital of two states - Andhra Pradesh and the soon to be formed Telangana. Buildings are coming up in almost every neighbourhood.
The upcoming mega sporting events in Brazil are paving a new route for slave labour among those migrating from rural areas to the cities in search of work.
The number of international migrants continues its inexorable climb even as reports of slave-like conditions continue to proliferate.
As Caribbean countries prepare to observe Emancipation Day on Aug. 1, they are also caught up in an ongoing debate over reparations for slavery.
Say "Africa" and myriad images flood our minds. Like its landscape and peoples, the continent's history is rich and diverse. While numerous books have been written and films made on the African slave trade in the West, a lesser-known aspect of the continent’s history lies in India.
That Liverpool was once the uncontested centre of the world slave trade, accounting for 40 percent, is well documented in the International Slavery Museum in the port where slave ships docked.