20th Anniversary of the UNESCO Slave Route Project

April 23, 2014, UNESCO, celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the Slave Route Project, launched in 1994 in Ouidah (Benin) to promote the achievements and prospects of this project, which are more relevant than ever to UNESCO’s mandate.
The main objectives of the project are to ‘break the silence’ on the slave trade, slavery and their consequences, to highlight the resulting global transformations and to promote intercultural dialogue and the shared heritage born of this human tragedy. Through a holistic and reconciliatory approach and its multisectoral and interdisciplinary activities, the project has actively contributed to the ongoing debate regarding the appropriate recognition of these events and the management of this common heritage in modern societies.
The project has had a significant impact and contributed to the recognition of the slave trade and slavery as a crime against humanity by the international community in 2001.
To commemorate the anniversary, on our island, the Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO will be distributing educational and reference materials developed by UNESCO on this pertinent topic, slave trade and slavery to the Elementary and Secondary School boards, which can be used in schools to supplement and aid teaching of this subject.
Moreover, to celebrate this 20th anniversary, the St. Maarten Archaeological Center (SIMARC) Youth and Science Program, headed by Dr. Jay B. Haviser is developing a short film about Slave Route Heritage on St. Maarten entitled: UNESCO 20th Anniversary of the Slave Route Project a recognition video, which will be finalized in September, 2014.

Whilst in April 2015, the Youth Parliament, directed by Mrs. Connie-Gumbs Francis will be holding a debate on human trafficking and its relations to slave trade in honor of this 20th anniversary.
The Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO applauds these initiatives by SIMARC and the students of the Youth and Science Program, and the Youth Parliament in bringing awareness of this pertinent topic, the slave trade and slavery.
The Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO would also like to recognize St. Maarten’s cooperation in other directly related projects to the UNESCO Slave Route Project, which include: our contribution to the ‘Guide to Slave Route Sites of Memory in the Caribbean’ a UNESCO book, edited by A. Cummins and T. Inniss, and the participation of SIMARC in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Route Project called EUROTAST, including various publications and lectures about the slave trade in the Caribbean, Europe and West Africa, as well as an International Symposium held at the University of St. Martin last year.
If other organizations are interested in also receiving copies of educational and reference materials developed by UNESCO. Please contact Ms. Marcellia Henry, #5203051, he************@gm***.com