Commemorating the abolition of slavery
At a reception held in honour of the Committee for the Memory of Slavery on Monday 30 January 2006, the President expressed the wish “that, starting this year, Metropolitan France should honour the memory of the victims of slavery and commemorate its abolition”. The date chosen for this commemoration is 10 May, “the anniversary of the adoption by the Senate (...) of the law recognising slave trading and slavery as crimes against humanity”.
In his speech, Jacques Chirac highlighted the fact that, “in human history, slavery is a wound, a tragedy which has caused enormous suffering on every continent”. Mr Chirac reminded the audience that “the Republic is incompatible with slavery. Parliament was fully mindful of this historical reality when, in 2001, France became the first country to pass a law recognising slavery as a crime against humanity”.
The President also praised the work done by Maryse Condé, president of the Committee for the Memory of Slavery.
Over and above the commemoration of its abolition, he stated that “slavery must be given its rightful place in primary and secondary school curricula”.