The winner of the 2012 Anti-Slavery Award is Temedt and its president Ibrahim Ag Idbaltanat for their outstanding dedication and groundbreaking work towards ending slavery in Mali.
Ibrahim Ag Idbaltanat is a passionate, determined human rights defender who has dedicated his life to ending slavery in Mali. His ceaseless efforts to expose and denounce slavery practices have broken the silence that surrounded slavery practices. Under his leadership, thousands of people of slave descent have joined the anti-slavery movement.
Ibrahim’s engagement in the anti-slavery movement began in 1979 after he became aware of injustices against Tamacheq families of slave descent (in particular the confiscation of their land, cattle and inheritance by their traditional masters). In 1987 he helped establish the organization GARI (of which he is currently serving as President) to empower vulnerable and marginalized groups, principally through micro-credit projects and other socio-economic support.
In 2006, the organization Temedt was created specifically to address descent-based slavery following the murder of a man of slave descent by a traditional master. Ibrahim served as the Vice-President of Temedt for five years and was elected its President in 2011.
In the past six years, Temedt has held awareness-raising campaigns reaching hundreds of thousands (it currently has over 30,000 members), directly helped liberate and support dozens of enslaved people, provided legal support to victims of slavery, trained magistrates on anti-slavery legislation and lobbied for legal reform to criminalize slavery practices.
Due to the nature of his work, which challenges traditional power structures that perpetuate the dominance of slave-owning groups, Ibrahim is considered a threat by many elites. His work has made him many opponents and over the years he has been subject to countless false accusations aimed at undermining his credibility. Yet despite these pressures, Ibrahim has remained a committed, high-profile advocate of justice, equality and human rights for all.
Ibrahim Ag Idbaltant, President of Temedt
People can inherit their slavery status from their parents
©Pete Pattisson / www.petepattisson.com