The African Union Human Rights Memorial

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Maison des Esclaves 
Photo: Eloi Coly

Maison des Esclaves, the House of Slaves, located on the small Gorée Island off the coast of Senegal is a museum and a memorial to the Atlantic slave trade. Built in 1776 the house was used by slave traders that tracked and captured people from across Africa to hold as captives at this site before they were shipped across the Atlantic into slavery. Maison des Esclaves came to be known as the final exit point from where there was no return. Slaves were trafficked through Gorée Island until 1848 when France, who had administrative control over the island, abolished slavery. In 1962 the house was reopened as a museum through the efforts of Boubacar Joseph Ndiaye, and in 1978 UNESCO listed Gorée Island as a World Heritage Site.

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