A message from David Lammy MP

In 2010 David Lammy MP recorded this message of support for the International Slavery Museum.


"My name is David Lammy and in 2007, Tony Blair asked me, as the Minister for Culture if I would steer through the country our preparation for the abolition of the slave trade which happened in 1807. I was very proud to do that, it was a deep honour for me as a descendant of slaves. It was wonderful to do that and to think about this country's contribution to bringing about that terrible terrible trade.

One of the things that came out of that was the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, a tremendous resource not just for Liverpool and not just for this country but for the world. We can come together in that museum thinking about the many historic issues of slavery but also looking to the future - reminding new generations why we should stand up against oppression, stand up against genocide, stand up against violence against human beings.

We brought the slave trade to end in this country because great men and women stood up. Free slaves like Olaudah Equiano stood up and said no this must end and great parliamentarians like William Wilberforce stood up. But actually ordinary men and women across the country boycotting things like sugar that came from the trade and stood up and said enough is enough the human dignity and human rights of the human being are fundamentally important. And in a sense it is that moment that leads us to this point when we take the rights of children, of women, of ethnic minority so important and so seriously in this country and we still have a lot to learn.

Sadly we have much to learn because slavery still exists, women and children are still trafficked across Europe and across all of our continents. People still pay for young slaves and for sex and there is still a lot of work to do to end this evil trafficking of people. And very sadly genocide is still with us. From time to time, in different countries we can think of Rwanda, we can think of Dafur, these terrible acts which man can commit on one another are committed which takes us back to that time.

And that's why it is so important that on August 23 across the world people come together. To remember the emancipation of those slaves to remember those horrific times, to honour the lives lost and to pay respect to the people who stood up and said no and to re-double our efforts in the modern age. To stand on the shoulders of those giants that we too can once and for all bring this evil practice to an end.

So I congratulate you for being here today, for listening to me, but more importantly to continue the fight to end slavery. Thank you."