The Aapravasi Ghat, the remains of an Immigration Depot built in 1849, is located in Port-Louis, the capital of Mauritius, where the modern indentured labour diaspora began. After the abolition of slavery in the British colonies in 1833, the British Government selected Mauritius as the first site for what it called the “Great Experiment”, i.e. the use of indentured labour to replace slaves.

The indentured labour system consisted of recruiting a workforce on contracts for one to five years. Its success led other colonial powers to adopt the indenture system as from 1838.

Between 1834 and 1920, indentured labourers arrived at Aapravasi Ghat from China, the Comoros, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, South East Asia and Yemen to work on sugar cane plantations in Mauritius or to be transhipped to other parts of the World, such as Reunion, southern and eastern Africa or the Caribbean.

The largest contingent, in total 462,000, was received in Mauritius. The buildings and especially the steps of the Aapravasi Ghat are among the earliest explicit manifestations and internationally recognised symbols of one of the greatest migrations in history.

The success of the Mauritian experiment led to the migration of a total of more than 2.2 million indentured labourers around the world, including the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific and South-East Asia.

Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund

The institution is a parastatal body mandated to:

  • Establish, administer, manage, promote and maintain the Aapravasi Ghat as a national, regional and international heritage site;
  • Preserve, restore and manage Aapravasi Ghat and related sites;
  • Set up a museum and create public awareness of the history of indentured labour;
  • Promote social and cultural aspects of the Aapravasi Ghat and related sites;
  • Encourage and support projects and publications related to indentured labour;
  • Establish links with appropriate national, regional and international organisations in line with the objects of the Act;
  • Encourage and support interdisciplinary scientific research related to indentured labour and to the Aapravasi Ghat and related sites.

Beekrumsing Ramlallah Interpretation Centre (BRIC)

The Centre is one of the rare places dedicated to indenture in the world. Through its dynamic and modern exhibition, the centre presents the establishment and development of the indentured system as well as the experience of indentured labourers at the immigration depot in Mauritius.