Dec. 2 marks the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

In case you’ve forgotten, slavery continues to thrive throughout the world- mainly in the form of human trafficking. It’s a pervasive epidemic that few really know much about. That’s why the United Nations set December 2 as the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

While most Americans are at least somewhat knowledgeable about the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade that disbursed millions of Africans to Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas, the awareness of modern-day slavery has not seemed to reach the masses.

theGrio: Modern slavery still thriving internationally

Frederick Douglass, the well-known writer and adviser to President Abraham Lincoln delivered considerable contributions to the abolitionist movement in his time before he died in 1895 around the age of 77. But his death has not erased his legacy.

Under the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation (FDFF), the Nettie Washington Douglass (great-great granddaughter of Frederick Douglass) and Kenneth Morris, Jr. (great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass) have continued the fight against slavery, especially in it’s modern form.

The Foundation joins the United Nations in commemorating the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

“4,000,000 people in this country were freed from slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation and the ensuing Civil War,” stated Morris, FDFF’s president.

“Hundreds of thousands sacrificed their lives for freedom during that war and still many are not free.”

The international trade of human trafficking has become the fastest growing crime in the world. The UN reports that the global enterprise has an estimated total market value of almost 12.3 million people are forced into servitude, as sex slaves and workers, and most of them are women and girls, according to the International Labor Organization.

Recently, a Nigerian immigrant living in Atlanta was sentenced to 140 months in prison after abusing two teenage girls she had brought to the United States from Nigeria.

theGrio: Nigerian woman gets prison for enslaving 2 women

The Frederick Douglass Foundation approved of the sentencing as Morris described the case as evidence “that slavery still thrives in our midst.”

Though slavery is one of the world’s oldest institutions, many experts and activists say it can be drastically reduced with greater awareness, more international dialogue and effective legal actions.