Today marks the anniversary of United Nations adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was a momentous achievement in 1948 to craft a charter of rights that should apply to every person on the planet. The declaration is widely accepted as the foundation of international human rights law.
The persistence of slavery in modern times was clearly on the minds of delegates as they crafted the declaration just three years after the end of World War II. They put freedom from slavery fourth on the list of 30 basic rights.
Article 4: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
The second part of Article 4 has been achieved. Slavery is illegal everywhere. But the first part remains a work in progress. Tens of millions are still enslaved around the globe.
Free the Slaves exists to help finish the job that earlier abolitionists and human rights activists started. Find out how you can help in the Take Action section of our website. Mobilize your friends, family, faith community, neighbors, coworkers and classmates. Use our books, videos, fact sheets and fundraising tools to run your own mini-campaign.
We need you! There’s a role for everyone.
Learn more about the focus of this year’s U.N. commemoration of Human Rights Day here.