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17 August 2018

King's hosts discussion of slavery in Mauritania

The Dickson Poon School of Law and Minority Rights Group International co-organised a panel discussion on August 1, 2018 on the challenges of tackling slavery in Mauritania.


The Dickson Poon School of Law and Minority Rights Group International co-organised a panel discussion on August 1, 2018 on the challenges of tackling slavery in Mauritania.

The event opened with the presentation of the documentary Mauritanie: Esclaves et discriminées: l’émancipation des femmes harratines. This documentary collects testimonies of victims who struggle to get access to their most basic rights, as well as of SOS Esclaves, one of the organisations working to empower them. The project was produced by Minority Rights Group International with the support from the European Union.

During the panel discussion that followed the screening (moderated by Jennifer Castello, Legal Officer at Minority Rights Group International), speakers reflected on the legal framework prohibiting slavery in Mauritania and its enforcement. Salimata Lam (National Coordinator at SOS Esclaves) welcomed the legislative reforms criminalising slavery and highlighted the need for better enforcement of the domestic and international law protecting victims and prosecuting offenders. Sarah Mathewson (Africa Programme Director at Anti-Slavery International) presented the work her organisation carries out on the ground, empowering victims through the creation of economic activity and social networks. Dr Rosana Garciandia (Research Associate at King’s College London) addressed the audience on the international obligations of the Mauritanian State to respect the prohibition of slavery and to proceed with due diligence in the protection of victims and in the investigation and prosecution of slavery offences.

The event was organised alongside King’s College London’s ongoing research project on “State responsibility for modern slavery”, led by Dr Philippa Webb and Dr Garciandia in partnership with the United Nations University and with the support of the British Academy’s Tackling the UK’s International Challenges Programme.

If you missed the event, you can watch Anti-Slavery International's Facebook livestream here.