UK government, royal family called on to investigate transatlantic slavery links Transatlantic
UN experts have called for the British government and royal family to investigate their historical links to transatlantic slavery and take steps for restorative justice.
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International calls came after an independent academic research into The Guardian's past as the owner, Scott Trust on Tuesday apologized for the role the newspaper’s founders had in transatlantic slavery.
The Guardian's owner also announced a decade-long, multimillion-pound program of restorative justice. This came at a time when the world marked the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade on Saturday.
Beginning in the 15th century, the slave trade was in place until the Slave Trade Act 1807, also known as the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in the British Empire. But slaves in the colonies continued for years even after the act.
Since England's government and the monarchy had been "deeply involved" in the creation of the transatlantic slave trade for centuries, Britain's Royal Family has been widely accused of taking part in it and has been called by many to make an official apology.
According to The Guardian, its steps on the role in one of the darkest chapters in history, were welcomed by UN experts and campaigners have called for other institutions to follow suit.
"...The British state has refused to apologize to Africans and people of African descent for the role they played in the trafficking and chattel enslavement of millions of Africans in the Caribbean, simply uttering meaningless statements of regret, remorse, and deep sorrow, with a former UK PM even telling us to get over the past and move on," said Verene Shepherd, the chair of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Dominique Day, from the UN working group of experts on people of African descent, said that the legacy of systemic racism created by the trade and trafficking in enslaved Africans is "undeniable in institutions and individual mindsets throughout Britain."
"For example, the enslavers and profiteers who crafted the media’s role as an indispensable public servant also cemented its role driving a culture of denial that perpetuates systemic racism until today," he added.
Actor and campaigner David Harewood said: "It’s important that those who benefited from this awful trade have the courage to join an open and difficult discussion with the descendants of those who were traded."
"Talking honestly" about the past will ensure a more accurate representation of the history, said Miles Greenwood, the lead curator at the International Slavery Museum.
The transatlantic slave trade lasted for more than 400 years and victimized more than 15 million Black men, women and children.