Mauritania: The face of modern slavery

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Society & You - Social Critic
Monday, 23 April 2012 19:33

Although Mauritania officially abolished slavery in 1981 and his practice became a crime in 2007, slavery is still a common phenomenon in the country. A CNN special report entitled "The Last Castle of slavery" [in] reveals that an estimated 10% to 20% of the population lives in slavery and has only been one conviction since the practice was criminalized in 2007.

The government of Mauritania , a country of the Maghreb region in West Africa, usually denies the existence of slavery in the nation.

Responding on CNN special report, Erin Pettigrew, an expert in Mauritania, says [in] the complexity of the problem:

Slave traders in Gorée, Senegal, eighteenth century. Image by Jacques Grasset de Saint-Sauveur (public domain).

I've been working inside and outside Mauritania the last eight years and this problem of 'slavery' is one that I am still struggling to understand. I certainly feel sorry for someone else every time I see a black boy working in someone's home, whether blacks or Arabs in Mauritania these labor relations and pay are not entirely clear to me. Also, clan and lineage affiliations someone sometimes are difficult to organize and this is what most people use to justify the history and current reality of abusive labor practices. The extreme economic inequalities in Mauritania play a large role in the preservation of these relationships. What about the role of government and external intervention in all this? Well, I doubt much to comment.

After reading the CNN report, Abby asked his friend [in] about slavery in Mauritania. This was his response:

The film certainly much misrepresented. Nothing you said is actually incorrect, but highlighted some abuses, ignored much of the context and made it seem much worse than it is. Many families of white Moors had a family of black Moors "belonged to them." They would cook and would work, etc and while I'm sure there were many cases of abuse, the system worked because of the lack of economic alternatives, not cruelty. No industry benefited economically from slavery. All that was mentioned, but certainly not emphasized in the documentary was probably because the reporters spent a total of 8 days in Mauritania. PC Mauritania was difficult because it was a poor country without many luxuries, but in some ways it was easier than in Morocco. The people were well received and had fewer preconceived notions about tourism. The abuses were minor and were closer communities. Mauritania lodged serious problems, corrupt government, desertification, lack of water / well enough, poor educational system, etc.. Slavery is over when these problems are fixed, not when CNN documentary conveys a realization that poor.

How and why is there still slavery in Mauritania? Steve Davis explains [in]:

The country supposedly abolished slavery in 1981. Yes, that is, in 1981! However, it is still widely practiced, although the government denies its existence. In fact, the country became a crime of slavery in 2007. How and why slavery still exists in 2012? Here some of the reasons,
the government does little to discourage them.

It is difficult to enforce the laws because the country is vast and empty in the vast Sahara desert. Local Islamic leaders (Imams) speak openly in favor of slavery.

Racism is rampant, people with fair skin as the property has historically had a dark-skinned people in the country. The "white Moors" are Berbers [ethnic groups in the Maghreb]-skinned Arabic speakers. They are the powerful class of the country and have traditionally had slaves. The "black Moors" are dark-skinned people who speak Arabic. They historically have been enslaved by white Moors.

The population is poorly educated. Most slaves did not even understand that they are enslaved. For most of the slaves in Mauritania the idea of ​​being treated as property purchased and is normal and has been for centuries.

Women Progress4 wonders if this is a situation of "out of sight, out of mind" [in]:

Perhaps it is because the average person had or heard about this country that justice is not blatant news today-indeed, their eyes see and your heart feels like, do you?? Slaves are people who deserve ALL basic human rights, especially freedom. Kevin Bales said that "Slavery is to steal, steal a life, theft, and theft of any property or product, to theft of a child born of a slave-and he's right. These men, women and children in captivity, physical and psychological. Their minds are not filled with hopes and dreams, but thoughts of oppression and conflict.

I knew that slavery still existed in the headlines of prostitution, child labor, etc. (Because categorize arranged in columns makes us feel better), but the time when governments were blind (and falling in Mauritania), I really think that the time spent. No matter how we try to soften the blow with euphemisms our sophisticated, while you people are seen as property, slavery exists!

Recently, two sisters escaped from their masters walking through the Sahara desert. Lissnup blogs about her ordeal [in]:

With the help of a Tuareg nomad, went first to Bassikounou and after two days, traveling at night to detect and prevent the risk of being forced to return, eventually came to Nema. At an age when many girls are worried about getting your high school diploma, Selama Mint Mbarek of 14 years and mother of a child, born after she was raped while working as a farmer for his former master. Her younger sister, only 10 years, has never experienced the innocence of childhood and was regularly beaten by his master. It was after these acts of corporal punishment the two girls fled. Still, Selama had to convince his sister to escape worth the risk. Despite the dangers of the journey to begin, Selama took her son with her. According to the moving testimony that gave to the press, his master still has under its yoke to his aunt, brothers and cousins.

Ahmed he notes that [in] these stories are like "a drop in the bucket" and that the government in Mauritania is making the blind:

These stories are like a drop in the bucket, as the anti-slavery organizations in Mauritania continue to uncover cases of slavery, but the government is making the blind. It starts any particular program to rescue the slaves of their misery, or to improve the conditions of the enslaved above, those suffering under the heavy boot of poverty, illiteracy and deprivation. The human rights activists, who discover cases of slavery, are under attack and imprisonment continuous and the last example is the arrest of activists in eastern Mauritania and put them in the worst conditions, which showed a photograph of the naked and filtered bound in one of the places where held captive.

In June 2011, Aconerly wrote a piece entitled "Beyond the abolition: Ending slavery in Mauritania" [in]:

Slaves in Mauritania do not have the legal right to own property, much less have a name. Nor have the right to custody over their children. The criminalization of slave law of 2007 was met with resistance and ridicule. The director of the Human Rights Commission of the Mauritanian government, Bamariam Koita to defend the fact that so far nobody has been prosecuted under that law. He said no chains or slave market and in 1981 the law that abolished slavery invalidates any claim that there slavery in Mauritania. However, the sr. Koita created a simplistic picture of slavery. In the 2007 article entitled "Slavery: Past and Present," a man, Mohamed, had no name because he was confronted slave-director claims to list the members of his family who were slaves. The chains of slaves are socioeconomic and generational in nature. The fact is that it be a centuries-old tradition of master-slave relationship, according to which "white Moors" key (or Arabs) are ranked higher in black Africans, who live in slavery generations, reinforced by the lack education and economic disenfranchisement.

Below is a sample of tweets about slavery in Mauritania:

@ Munns [in]: For a country like Mauritania not recognize slavery and all the abuse that supports people definitely goes against the din [religion].

@ RedTopShwty [en]: Slavery still exists in the country of Mauritania ... That is terrible. I wish there was something I could do

@ Stef_Muller [en]: @ khanyisile slavery are everywhere, I think the difference is that it is legal in Mauritania (I can not read the article).

The UN Special Rapporteur conducted a mission [in] to Mauritania in 2009 to evaluate the practices of slavery in the country. Other problems with human rights in Mauritania include female genital mutilation, child labor and trafficking.

Written by Ndesanjo Macha · Translated by Adriana Gutierrez · View original post [en] · Comments (0)
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