Slavery prejudice still applied to tribal peoples

August 22, 2007

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Survival will release a report tomorrow comparing arguments justifying the eviction of the Kalahari Bushmen with those used to defend the transatlantic slave trade. The report marks the UN Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘It's disturbing how closely the Botswana government's defence of its policy mirrors historical arguments for the transatlantic slave trade. In both cases, the proponents see the victims as fundamentally inferior, and claim it is their duty to 'civilise' them.’

The report compares, for example, a claim by West India planters and merchants in 1833 that slavery was, ‘indispensably necessary to the desired object of raising the Negro in the scale of society’, with a Botswana government minister’s claim that removing the Bushmen from their land would, ‘elevate them to another state’.

Download the report

For further information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]