It is high time that compensation be paid by those who profiteered by turning people into merchandise. Europe and the West have an obligation, not only to apologize for these wrongs, but to embark on comprehensive social justice programs to counter the long-standing effects of previous atrocities. Apologies are commendable but pragmatic steps must also be taken.
There are many practical issues with issuing reparations for the grotesque suffering of forebearers. The question of who would qualify is ambiguous, the criteria for quantifying monetary compensation is subjective, and such decisions are often made at the expense of people who never themselves practiced or endorsed slavery. Clumsily redressing what cannot be righted poses the danger of only making things worse.