Blog: Commemorating the abolition of the slave trade

Today is an opportunity for all of UNISON to reaffirm its commitment to embracing diversity, promoting inclusivity, and actively confronting racism

Christina McAnea, arms folded, in front of conference stage - 'Fighting for our future'

In 1807, the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was signed into law. For UNISON, the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, marked on 23 August each year, is a significant occasion to remember and reflect upon the enormous impact of the slave trade on Black communities around the world.

With our unwavering commitment to social justice and equality, UNISON recognises the importance of this day for our members and staff.

We honour the memory of those who fought against the abhorrent system of slavery, and remember all the courageous figures – activists, leaders and others – who paved the way for the abolition of such a dehumanising system.

Today, we face the urgent challenges of modern slavery and racial inequality. While commemorating the abolition of the slave trade is an act of remembrance, it also serves as a call to continue our hard work in educating, raising awareness and challenging injustices.

By understanding the struggles and victories of those who came before us, and by recognising the parallels between historical slavery and present-day exploitation, we learn how to harness the potential for change, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Today is the chance for our UNISON branches, regions and nations to reaffirm their commitment to embracing diversity, promoting inclusivity, and actively confronting racism.

We must always remember our shared mission, as UNISON allies in the fight for justice and equality.