Mauritius: UNESCO approves International Indentured Labour Route Project

Port-Louis, Mauritius (PANA) - Mauritian Arts and Culture Minister Mookhesswur Choonee Friday announced that the International Indentured Labour Route Project centered around "Aapravasi Ghat", has been approved by UNESCO.

Aapravasi Ghat in Port-Louis symbolises the story of some 500,000 Indentured Labourers, the vast majority from India who were recruited to work on the sugar cane plantations in Mauritius after the abolition of slavery.

The Minister said ''Aapravasi Ghat'' is one of the oldest surviving entry and transit points associated with indentured labour, a system where by young people paid for their passage to the New World by working for an employer for a certain number of years.

''More than 2.2 million indentured labourers were mobilised mostly from India to more than 26 countries in various parts of the world making it one of the greatest mass movement of the diaspora worldwide.

''Consequently, the International Indentured Labour Route Project will complement the Slave Route Project since both relate to the movement of a mass of people across continents,'' he said.

Choonee said that the process of Indentured Labour deserves to be studied in a more systematic, scientific and global manner.

''This project will contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of the movement of millions of peoples and cultures in that age; highlight the global transformations and culture interactions that have resulted from this history; and contribute to a culture of peace by promoting reflection on culture pluralism, intercultural dialogue, sustainable development and peace,'' he emphasised.
PANA reported that the International Indentured Labour Route Project is being established under the "Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund" to conduct research and document the indenture experience in Mauritius and in other countries where the system existed; and set up national and international links with other countries.

About 70% of the Mauritian population are of Indian origin.
-0- PANA NA/SEG 31Oct2014

31 october 2014 08:46:46

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