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Aapravasi Ghat
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 1834-1920
Date of Inscription: 2006
Location: frica, Mauritius, Port Louis Distric
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Description: The modern indentured labour diaspora began in the 1,640 m2 site of Aapravasi Ghat, which lies in the district of Port Louis. The island of Mauritius was selected by the British Government in 1834 to be the primary site for what they called “the great experiment” for using free labour instead of slaves. Roughly half a million indentured labourers landed in Aapravasi Ghat from India between 1834 and 1920, coming to work in Mauritius’ sugar plantations, or for a transfer to Reunion Island, Australia, southern and eastern Africa or the Caribbean. The Aapravasi Ghat construction is among the earliest explicit demonstrations of what soon became a global economic system and one history’s greatest migrations. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  The Immigration Depot in Mauritius (Hindi: Aapravasi Ghat) is a dilapidated complex of buildings in Port Louis, which contains scarce remains of the island's first facility to receive indentured labourers from India. Descendants of these immigrants constitute 68 percent of Mauritius' population. Following the abolition of slavery, the British Empire put into execution an ambitional scheme of replacing African slaves with indentured labourers from other countries, primarily India. The island of Mauritius was the first place where the scheme was implemented. A large portion of the island's population arrived there through a flight of 14 wharf steps, which acquired a symbolical meaning of an entry to a new way of life. From the complex founded in 1849, only about 15% still subsists, including the entrance gateway and hospital block, immigration sheds, service quarters, and the above-mentioned wharf steps. Citing "the undesirable additions of the 1990s" and lack of documentation for comparable sites in Réunion, Trinidad, Durban, the ICOMOS refused to recognize the outstanding universal value of the Aapravasi Ghat in April 2006. The 2006 session of the World Heritage Committee, however, overruled the expert recommendation and inscribed the patrimony on the World Heritage List as "the site where the modern indentured labour diaspora began". --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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