World must end all forms of enslavement – UNFPA Boss

DR Natalia Kenam, United Nations-Under Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has called for an end to all forms of enslavement anywhere around the globe.

According to her, though slavery may have ended more than some 400 years ago, thousands are still under enslavement in the world. 

“Slavery is not a thing. It is an unjust act which is enslavement. To be enslaved means that your human rights are being insulted. 

No one is a slave. At the time of birth, we are all equal no matter where you come from. The act of enslavement is what needs to be repaired. 

The sad truth is that even today, people are being held in enslaved world. People are trafficked against their will (and that must end),” she said.

She was speaking with the media after visiting the AssinManso Slave River Site in the Central Region; one the 63 slave markets in the country during the transatlantic slave trade. 

The visit which afforded DrKanem, a Panamanian, the opportunity to ‘connect with the spirit of her ancestors’ also forms part of activities lined up for a high-level Diaspora Forum slated for tomorrow. 

DrKanem is in the country with the Vice President of Costa Rica, MrsEpsy Campbell Barr, to reciprocate a visit Ghana paid the country representing Africa at last year’s International Day for People of African Descent, dubbed the Return Mission. 

According to DrKenam, unlike during the slavery days, it is only for one person to convince the other through a third party that he or she is supposed to be servant. 

“People are not to be bought and sold. Children are not to be exploited for child labour. Women are not to be explored for sexual misdeeds. It is that simple. We are all equal in the eyes of God and under the law.” 

As part of the tour of the site, DrKenam laid a wreath on the graves of three African Americans whose remains were interred there, and visited the river Donkor where they took their last bath before they were transferred.

She also took the symbolic ‘first bath of return’ to welcome her to her root and unscripted her name on the ‘Memorial Wall of Return’ which had the names of 1000s diasporans who had visited the site. 

To her, the experience was humbling but as she puts it, slavery is an “unjust act.” 


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