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Help end slavery in Mauritania

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After reading CNN’s special report on Mauritania, “Slavery’s Last Stronghold,” it may seem like little can be done to end slavery in this West African country, where an estimated 10% to 20% of people are enslaved.

That’s far from true, however. You can be part of the solution. Here’s how:

Anti-Slavery International has set up a special donations page for a training center for escaped slaves in Mauritania’s capital, which is run by SOS Slaves. The school, which is featured in the CNN project, teaches about 30 women to sew, cook, braid hair and dye fabric. The hope is that these escaped slaves and their children one day will open their own businesses.

The United Nations also runs slavery-related programs in Mauritania, including a shelter for people who recently have escaped from slavery. Additionally, the UN lobbies the Mauritanian government to enforce a law that criminalized slavery and to address slavery cases. See the UN Trust Fund site for more details. Donations can be earmarked for Mauritania.

You can also send general donations to SOS Slaves, which has been fighting against slavery in Mauritania since 1995, through Anti-Slavery International’s website. That group, in collaboration with international partners, is working to hire attorneys who can represent slaves in court. They also help people escape from slavery, including Moulkheir Mint Yarba, who we featured. E-mail supporter@antislavery.org if you have questions about sending donations for SOS Slaves in particular.

Anti-Slavery International also runs programs in Mauritania that aim to push for the law against slavery to be enforced. The London-based group hires attorneys to represent slaves in court; lobbies the government; runs micro-credit programs for women who are former slaves; and supports the work of non-governmental organizations on the ground.

Read more…

 

MrsKnoetal

5 Comment

  1. How can a country that still has SLAVERY be receiving aid and assistance from the United States of America?

    How can a country that hold Black people/Black Africans in SLAVERY, be “the chair of the African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council”?

    How can a country that practices SLAVERY, “holds a seat on the UN Human Rights Council” and be “is a candidate for the UN Security Council’s 2012-2013 term”?

    Why was the United States “providing election-related assistance for voter education, and mobilizing considerable amounts of development assistance in the run-up to the 2007 elections” for a country that enslaves its people/practices SLAVERY?

    Why did, “the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) re-launched their development programs in Mauritania” for a country that practices SLAVERY?

    Why is it that, the United States, “now engages with Mauritania on a wide array of issues, including counterterrorism, food security, trade promotion”, even though this country practices SLAVERY?

    ================================

    re: The United States Department of State
    ‘Diplomacy In Action’
    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5467.htm

    FOREIGN RELATIONS AND U.S. – MAURITANIA RELATIONS
    Mauritania is the chair of the African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council through March 2012, and President Aziz’s leadership of AU High-Level Panels on Cote d’Ivoire and Libya has lifted the country’s international profile. Mauritania holds a seat on the UN Human Rights Council and is a candidate for the UN Security Council’s 2012-2013 term. Mauritania is a member of the Arab League but not of ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States.

    The U.S. was the first country to recognize Mauritania’s independence in 1960, followed by France. Mauritania broke diplomatic and consular relations with the U.S. during the 1967 Middle East war but restored them 2 years later. Since then, U.S. aid and cooperation with Mauritania have varied in response to political conditions.

    The United States condemned the 2005 coup and the unconstitutional assumption of power by the Military Council for Justice and Democracy, and called for a return to a constitutional government through free and fair elections as soon as possible. The U.S. Government supported Mauritania’s transition to democracy, providing election-related assistance for voter education, and mobilizing considerable amounts of development assistance in the run-up to the 2007 elections.

    The United States strongly condemned the 2008 military coup and applied sanctions while working with the international community under the framework of the Dakar Accord peace process. Mauritanian leaders reached an agreement on June 4, 2009, paving the way for a return to constitutionality.

    The international community accepted President Aziz’s victory in the July 18, 2009 election as reflecting the general will of the Mauritanian people. Following the certification of this election by foreign observers, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) re-launched their development programs in Mauritania, which had been suspended following the coup. Bilateral U.S. sanctions were lifted in October 2009.

    The United States now engages with Mauritania on a wide array of issues, including counterterrorism, food security, trade promotion, and efforts to strengthen human rights and the rule of law. The Departments of State and Defense, as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), are currently represented at the U.S. Embassy in Nouakchot . . .

    ========================================

    Let’s all write the United States Department of State and ask why:

    Secretary of State,
    Hillary Clinton
    U.S. Department of State
    2201 C Street NW
    Washington, DC 20520

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