For Immediate Release

Church of Scientology Amsterdam Celebrates 150th Anniversary of Abolition of Dutch Slave Trade

Marking 150th anniversary of Dutch abolition with human rights education.

July 1 marked the 150th anniversary of the abolition of the Dutch slave trade. Each year, the day is celebrated in Amsterdam with a parade and a festival known as “Keti Koti,” which means “cut the shackles” in the native language of Surinam, the former Dutch Guiana.

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Volunteers from the Church of Scientology of Amsterdam joined in the festivities with a human rights education booth to promote awareness of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which includes the following statement: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall by prohibited in all forms.”

The Scientologists drew attention to a startling fact: that more individuals are trafficked into slavery now than in the height of the slave trade.

The United Nations reports:

  • More than 250,000 children are currently exploited as child soldiers in as many as 30 areas of conflict around the world.

  • An estimated 5.7 million children are victims of forced and bonded labor known as debt bondage and 1.2 million are victims of child trafficking.

  • As many as 1 million children, mainly girls, are forced into prostitution or child pornography.

According to Ndioro Ndlay, Deputy Director General of the United Nations International Organization of Migration, “Despairingly credible comparisons of scale and suffering may be drawn with the trans-Atlantic trade in Africans in the Americas in which more than 12 million people were forcibly transported over the ocean in four hundred years. It is to our great shame that if today’s statistics are correct, and 700,000 people are now being trafficked across borders into slavery annually, we will have equaled that total in a mere 20 years.”

Scientologists in Holland and in Scientology Churches and Missions on five continents engage in collaborative efforts with government agencies and nongovernmental organizations to bring about broad-scale awareness and implementation of the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world’s premier human rights document.

The Church of Scientology has published a brochure, Scientology: How We Help—United for Human Rights, Making Human Rights a Global Reality, to meet requests for more information about the human rights education and awareness initiative Scientology supports. To read a copy of the brochure or learn more, visit www.Scientology.org/humanrights.

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Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream,” and the Scientology religion is based on the principles of human rights. The Code of a Scientologist calls on all members of the religion to dedicate themselves “to support true humanitarian endeavors in the field of human rights.”

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