Millions still living in servitude, slavery worldwide: UN

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Details from the permanent memorial in acknowledgement of the tragedy and in consideration of the legacy of slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

The racism that prevails in today's societies and seen in "untold acts" of discrimination, bias and prejudice can be traced back to slavery, according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General.

Jan Eliasson made the remarks during an event on Tuesday marking the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

It's been 200 years since millions of Africans were forcibly removed from their families, villages and homelands and transported by boat across the Atlantic to be sold as slaves.

Describing slavery as "one of the most appalling injustices in human history" and the transatlantic slave trade as a "vile human commerce", the UN Deputy Secretary-General urged people to reject and pursue the struggle against all forms of contemporary slavery.

Here's Jan Eliasson:

"Forced labour, bonded labour, child labour, human trafficking and forced prostitution are serious human rights violations rooted in a glaring lack of respect and regard for fellow human beings.  They are an affront to the UN Charter and its reaffirmation in "the dignity and worth of human person".

Mr Eliasson also recalled the "millions still living in servitude and slavery around the world".

Duration: 1'02″

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