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International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade – March 25, 2023

The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is honored on March 25. It was observed for the first time in 2008. The day honors and recalls the more than 15 million people who were brutalized for over 400 years as a result of a slave system. The Panamanian port city of Portobelo is a key entry site during the transatlantic slave trade for enslaved Africans who would then be transported to various locations if they survive the treacherous ocean voyages. Despite its abolition, slavery still exists today in various ways.

History of International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

The transatlantic slave trade was the world’s largest forced migration and unquestionably one of the cruelest. Over 400 years, a massive exodus of Africans spread over the globe in a way that had never been seen before or recorded in human history. Between 1501 and 1830, a ratio of four to one African to European crossed the Atlantic, making the American population more of an extension of Africans than Europeans.

During the 16th century and up to the 19th century, approximately 15 to 20 million individuals were carried against their will from Africa to Central, South, North America, as well as Europe. The transatlantic slave trade was a profitable triangular commerce between Europe, the Americas, and West Africa. It provided the foundation for most of Britain’s prosperity. Slaves were traded as men, women, and children in various slave trading systems. During the travels, up to 2.4 million slaves died, with millions more dying soon after. Slaves were sold to serve as domestic servants, on plantations, mines, and rice fields.

Britain was the first country to establish legislation prohibiting the slave trade in 1807, and by 1815, the British had persuaded the Netherlands, Spain, France, and Portugal to follow suit. Slave trading was made illegal in the United States nearly five years later, in 1820, and was eventually abolished in 1865.

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade timeline

1619
Arrival on Virginia Shores

A Dutchman forces the first captives onto Virginia's shores.

1776
Signs of Segregation

Slaves, Africans, and African Americans are not included in the Declaration of Independence.

1865
Slavery is Abolished in America

Slavery is abolished in the United States.

1950s and 1960s
Anti-segregation March

Civil rights leaders lead anti-segregation marches across the country.

2013
Slavery in the 21st Century

Approximately 25 to 40 million people are still enslaved, the majority of these in Asia.

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade FAQs

Who started enslaving Africans?

The Portuguese.

Is there a day for Anti-slavery?

There is, indeed. October 18 is Anti-Slavery Day.

Who created slavery?

Sumer or Sumeria is believed to be the birthplace of slavery.

How to Observe International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

  1. Spread awareness

    Make use of your platform and voice to raise awareness about the perils of racism and discrimination in today's world. Use the hashtag #rememberanceofvictimsoftransatlanticslavetrade to share posts and facts concerning racism.

  2. Make donations

    With a sad heart, we must also accept that, despite the abolition of slavery, it continues to exist in modern forms. You may donate or learn more about how to help victims of modern-day slavery by visiting the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.

  3. Visit the Ark of Return

    Visit The Ark of Return, a permanent memorial honoring slavery and the transatlantic slave trade victims. The visible reminder that slavery's legacy, such as prejudice and inequality, continues to have an impact on us.

5 Facts Worth Knowing About The Slave Trade

  1. A long journey

    Journeying from Africa to America took approximately seven weeks.

  2. Beginning of the Atlantic slave trade

    In the 1440s, the Atlantic slave trade began.

  3. Slaves were used on plantations

    Enslaved Africans were taken to Portugal or Atlantic islands like Madeira to labor in agriculture.

  4. The first beneficiaries

    The Portuguese were the first to embark on and make huge profits from the slave trade.

  5. West Central Africa

    About 40% of people taken into slavery were from West-Central Africa.

Why International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is Important

  1. It teaches us about a sad past

    Learning about the dehumanizing treatments and effects of slavery will prompt us to action. The future can only be better if we learn from the mistakes of the past. This will lead to the wholeness and healing that the world so desperately needs.

  2. It honors the victims of the slave trade

    The event commemorates and pays respect to the millions of lives lost to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. It also emphasizes the prevalence of modern-day slavery and the need to eradicate it.

  3. It helps to promote awareness

    Even though slavery has been abolished for over 400 years, its legacy lives on. This day brings attention to the events that occurred and how retribution can be carried out. It also raises awareness about the negative effects of racism and prejudice.

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade dates

YearDateDay
2023March 25Saturday
2024March 25Monday
2025March 25Tuesday
2026March 25Wednesday
2027March 25Thursday

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