Last week, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee would be removed from Richmond.
However, a judge has since granted a temporary injunction stopping the removal.
Stock-car racing organizers Nascar announced on June 10 it was banning Confederate flags, frequently seen at races.
President Trump meanwhile rejected calls to rename military bases named after Confederate generals, saying they remain part of America’s heritage.
The president tweeted: “The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”
On June, President Trump renewed threats to take federal action against local protesters occupying public spaces.
In a pointed exchange on Twitter, the president demanded that the mayor of Seattle “take back your city” from protesters, whom he called anarchists and domestic terrorists.
Harvard University is planning to remove the word “master” from its academic titles following protests from students who claimed the title had echoes of slavery.
House masters, in charge of residential halls at the university, will become known as “faculty deans”.
Harvard Law School is also deciding whether to change its official seal, because of links to slavery.
Student campuses have faced a series of protests over allegations of racism.
Harvard has not accepted that the use of “master” represented a link to slavery, but it has accepted campaigners’ calls for a name change.
It will mean changing the job titles of 24 members of staff – but will not affect other uses of “master”, such as a master’s level degree.
Student campaigners are also calling for a change in the official seal of Harvard Law School, with a sit-in being held this week.
The seal includes the coat of arms of 18th Century college donor Isaac Royall, who as well as establishing the college’s first professorship in law, was a notoriously brutal slaveholder.
A decision on whether to change the seal is expected to be made soon.
Disputes about race and identity have affected many campuses.
Last month, Amherst College, in Massachusetts, accepted student demands to drop links with its informal mascot, Jeffery Amherst, an 18th Century general accused of advocating infecting Native Americans with smallpox.
The protests are part of a wider international campaign challenging historical titles, statues and emblems.
According to Global Slavery Index 2013 – ranking 162 countries – nearly 30 million people around the world are living as slaves.
The index says India has the highest number of people living in conditions of slavery at nearly 14 million.
However, Mauritania has the highest proportional figure with about 4% of its population enslaved.
The report’s authors hope it will help governments tackle what they call a “hidden crime”.
Nearly 30 million people around the world are living as slaves
The index was compiled by Australian-based rights organization Walk Free Foundation (WFF) using a definition of modern slavery that includes debt bondage, forced marriage and human trafficking.
“A lot of governments won’t like hearing what we have to say,” WFF chief executive Nick Grono told AFP news agency.
“Those governments that want to engage with us, we will be very open to engaging and looking at ways in which we can better measure the issue of modern slavery.”
The organization’s estimate of 29.8 million slaves worldwide is higher than other attempts to quantify modern slavery. The International Labour Organization estimates that almost 21 million people are victims of forced labor.
India, China, Pakistan and Nigeria have the highest numbers of people enslaved, the charity said.
Together with five other countries, they account for three-quarters of the total estimated number of people in modern slavery worldwide.
The report said India’s ranking was mostly due to the exploitation of Indians citizens within the country itself.
While the highest proportion of slaves is in Mauritania, with many people inheriting slave status from their ancestors, Haiti is second in the index and Pakistan is third.
The new survey has the backing of world figures including former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ex-British PM Tony Blair.
Hillary Clinton said that although the index was not perfect, it provided a starting point, according to the Associated Press.
“I urge leaders around the world to view this index as a call to action, and to stay focused on the work of responding to this crime.”
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