You exploited us, now pay for it, former colonies ask colonisers

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Former colonies seek compensation
London, Oct 18: As many as 14 Caribbean states have begun a legal bid against Great Britain, France and the Netherlands seeking compensation for the horrendous legacy of the Atlantic slave trade, said a report.

The countries, comprising members of the Caricom, a group of 12 former British colonies besides Haiti and Suriname, former colonies of France and the Netherlands, have roped in Leigh Day, a British firm to fight the legal battle seeking compensation. More then 60 million people of African origin were forced into slavery during the human trade.

The amount of compensation has not been known yet.

Portuguese traders had first set up sub-Saharan Africa's first permanent slave trading post in 1492 and by the 18th century, the British and the Dutch took charge of the post and took several thousands of Africans to plantations in the Americas.

The aim is to rectify the 'historical wrong' that was committed ages ago

It was only in 1807 that the British were forced to stop forcing Africans into slavery after anti-slavery activists refused to give up their struggle against the evil practice. It, however, took some more time for the British to outlaw slavery and some estimates say 60 million people were forced into slavery during that time.

The Caricom has said in its lawsuit that slavery put the region back by many years and it was still struggling to overcome the plight. The countries have asserted that the "historic wrong" needs to be rectified through developmental benefit of the Caribbean people.

Leigh Day recently made the UK government pay for several Kenyans who were tortured by the Britishers during the Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s.

OneIndia News

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