Hereditary Slavery Shackles Mauritania

Shaul M. Gabbay


This paper exposes the scourge of slavery that continues to thrive in the country of Mauritania in modern times. Though the practice is formally abolished and illegal, and the government continues to claim slavery has been eradicated, the truth lies elsewhere. 90,000 dark-skinned slaves, often referred to as Black Moors, continue to live deplorable lives in servitude to their lighter-skinned masters. The Mauritanian government is helping the scourge of slavery endure by denying its existence and providing it cover. Their task is made easier as the face of slavery changes and becomes hidden in the throes of modern commerce, making it more difficult for an outsider to differentiate between a low-income wage earner and a slave. Other situations are painfully identifiable, such as conducting human trafficking for purposes of prostitution. In all situations, women and children make up the vast majority of indentured servants. Due to a forced dearth of educational opportunity, slaves are often illiterate and therefore largely unable to emancipate themselves without outside help. Deeply entrenched belief systems, practices, and governmental and societal structures that exist in Mauritania secure an environment that allows slavery to continue to thrive. In addition to the Mauritanian government, businesses, educational facilities, NGO’s, and members of society at every level must take decisive action to eradicate the practice and change the beliefs that hold it in place. Foreign governments and businesses hold great power in their willingness to engage with Mauritanian leaders. By withholding financial aid and business deals international players have the opportunity to hasten the eradication of slavery in Mauritania This paper examines the depth of the slavery problem and recommends multiple steps for its elimination.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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