Even though Mauritania officially abolished enslavement in 1981, old traditions die hard. For millennia, Afro-Mauritanians have been considered members of an enslaved caste by their lighter skinned fellow countrymen. Enslaved Mauritanians typically work as domestic servants or cattle herders for no pay. Although no official figures exist, a 2016 study conducted by anti-enslavement NGOs estimated that up to 43,000 people are held in bondage in that country. End Slavery Now previously profiled abolitionist politician Biram Dah Abeid, currently imprisoned in Mauritania.

Even though Mauritania is halfway around the world in Northwest Africa, its practices have an impact here in the United States. Amadou Sou, a father of five who has lived in the United States since seeking asylum in 1991, is facing deportation back to Mauritania. He has lived in Lockland, Ohio for the past 12 years. Meanwhile two more men, both of Cincinnati, are also facing deportation, enslavement, and death. One of the two men, Issa Sou, said of Mauritanian enslavers "they will kill us all."

To learn more about the situation in Mauritania, including efforts on the ground to eradicate enslavement, click the button above.   

Forms of Abolition:
Awareness, Rescue

Forms of Slavery:
Domestic Servitude, Forced Labor