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Grandchildren of British slave owners call on UK government to apologize

The descendants of some British slave owners have launched an activist group, calling on the UK government to extend an official apology for slavery and launch a reparative justice program in recognition of the “ongoing consequences of this crime against humanity.”

The Heirs of Slavery movement has been created to urge the British government to acknowledge its role in the abuse and transportation of 3.1 million enslaved Africans across the Atlantic.

The group includes journalists, a publisher, a schoolteacher, a retired social worker and a second cousin of King Charles and a direct descendant of the Victorian prime minister William Gladstone.

“It is a history that we have all examined and acknowledged publicly. There are wrongs in today’s world that derive from the exploitation of African people and their descendants by Britain and other former colonial powers. We believe it’s important to acknowledge this crime against humanity and address its ongoing consequences,” the group said on Monday.

The movement is seeking “apology, dialogue, reconciliation and reparative justice” whilst encouraging others who have similarly examined their family history to consider how personal charitable donations can help the futures of people in the Caribbean and Britain.

“But our main purpose is to lend our voices as heirs of those involved in the business of slavery to support campaigns for institutional and national reparative justice,” it said.

The group welcomed the Dutch government’s recent apology for the Netherlands’ historic role in slavery and noted its establishment of a reparations fund to tackle the legacy of slavery in the Netherlands and its former colonies.

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