Slavery in Mauritania
Mauritanian government is keen to keep slavery hidden from the international public

January 2019 Joint submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women – on the UK

This joint submission to the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women by five civil society organisations: Anti-Slavery International, the Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit (ATLEU), the Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group (ATMG), the Human Trafficking Foundation (HTF), and Kalayaan, outlines gaps in UK’s response to modern slavery: including the identification, protection and support provided to victims; barriers in access to legal advice, justice and remedy; and flaws in the legal and policy framework relating to migrant domestic workers, which renders them particularly vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.


February 2019 submission to the UN Human Rights Committee on Niger

A joint submission by Anti-Slavery International and Timidria to the UN Human Rights Committee (hereafter the Committee) ahead of its examination of Niger’s second periodic report to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It provides information on descent-based slavery, the wahaya (so-called 5th wife) practice, worst forms of child labour in Niger including forced child begging of talibés (children who study at residential Quranic schools, daaras) and child domestic work, and stigma and discrimination against people of slave descent


Joint submission for the Universal Periodic Review of Mauritania, 23rd Session, October – November 2015

March 2015. Anti-Slavery International, Minority Rights Group International & SOS-Esclaves


Enforcing Mauritania’s Anti-Slavery Legislation: The Continued Failure of the Justice System to Prevent, Protect and Punish

Mauritania report coverAnti-Slavery International, Minority Rights Group International (MRG), Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)
Outlines the systematic failures of Mauritania’s justice system to provide redress to slavery victims.

Download PDF English version: Enforcing Mauritanias Anti-Slavery Legislation
Download PDF French version: Enforcing Mauritanias Anti-Slavery Legislation (355.67KB)
Download PDF Arabic version: Enforcing Mauritanias Anti-Slavery Legislation (422.73KB)


WAHAYA: Domestic and sexual slavery in Niger

wahaya niger report cover2012. Anti-Slavery International, Galy Kadir Abdelkader, Moussa Zangaou.
This report focuses on the ‘wahaya’ practice in Niger, whereby girls and women of ‘slave caste’ are bought and sold as unofficial wives. They are referred to as ‘fifth wives’, as they are additional to the four wives permitted to Niger, but they are not officially married to their master and therefore have none of the legal rights and protection to which legal wives would have recourse. ‘Wahaya’ are essentially slaves used for domestic labour and sexual gratification.
The report presents testimonies from individual wahaya to expose the shocking realities of the practice and calls for efforts to end these forced unions.

Download PDF: WAHAYA. Domestic and sexual slavery in Niger


Mauritania Land Report: Programme de prevention et de resolution des conflicts fonciers intercommunautaires en Mauritanie.

2011. Anti-Slavery International.
Traditionnellement, les mauritaniens d’ascendance esclave (principalement les Haratines) ont été privés du droit de posséder des terres ; un grand nombre de Haratines continue à travailler les terres des clans de leurs anciens maîtres. Pendant les années 80, les réformes aux lois foncières furent introduites envisageant l’appropriation et la redistribution des terres par l’Etat, en vue de permettre aux Haratines de réclamer les droits sur les terres qu’ils cultivaient. Toutefois, à cause de l’application incomplète et biaisée des réformes, les terres affectées par l’Etat appartenaient surtout aux communautés ordinaires, et celles-ci furent redistribuées aux élites beidanes. Ensuite, après les expulsions de 1989, les terres des négro-mauritaniens forcés à quitter le pays furent souvent accordées aux Haratines.

Aujourd’hui, alors qu’un nombre croissant de personnes d’ascendance esclave cherche à posséder des terres, et alors que les réfugiés négro-mauritaniens retournent pour réclamer leurs propriétés foncières, les droits à la terre sont plus conflictuels que jamais. Ce rapport analyse l’échec des réformes foncières, les divers types de conflits fonciers qui existent, et les mesures qui pourraient prévenir et résoudre de tels conflits.


Arrested Development: Discrimination and slavery in the 21st Century

arrested development report cover2008 . Anti-Slavery International, Mike Kaye. 
Discrimination is a pivotal part of slavery because it allows people to disengage their humanity and justify or tolerate the violation of other people’s human rights. Discrimination also limits certain groups’ access to education, jobs and healthcare, leaving them to subsist at the margins of society where they are extremely vulnerable to enslavement as they look for ways to provide for themselves and their families. This publication highlights what action needs to be taken by governments and other international agencies to ensure that every human being – without exception – should be able to live a life free from slavery. ISBN:978 0 900918 66 7

Download PDF: Arrested Development


1807-2007: Over 200 years of campaigning against slavery

1807 report cover2005. Anti-Slavery International, Mike Kaye. 
This publication gives an overview of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and considers the factors that led isolated voices of protest to develop into a popular movement in less than 20 years, helping to bring about the abolition of the slave trade in 1807. It also traces how after the end of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, new forms of slavery began to manifest themselves and how they were challenged through popular campaigns and the development of international standards to prohibit them. It also considers what action needs to be taken to free the millions of people in slavery today. ISBN 0 900918 61 6

Download PDF: 1807-2007: Over 200 years of campaigning against slavery


The Cocoa Industry in West Africa: A history of exploitation

cocoa in west africa report2004. Anti-Slavery International. 
This report provides an in-depth analysis of how cocoa is produced and how child and slave labour enter its chain of production. It relates the history of cocoa production and explores how this commodity fits within a global market. Drawing on a wide range of sources, it concludes with recommendations for consumers, the chocolate industry and governments on actions needed to address this serious problem.

Download PDF: Cocoa Report 2004


Slavery in Niger: Historical, legal and contemporary perspectives

slavery in niger report2004. Anti-Slavery International, Association Timidria.
Study on slavery in Niger.
Also available as a PDF download in French

Download PDF: Slavery in Niger


Abolishing Slavery and its Contemporary Forms: Weissbrodt Report

Paper prepared by David Weissbrodt and Anti-Slavery International.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 2002
Ref: HR/PUB/02/4


Poverty, Development and the Elimination of Slavery

poverty, development and the elimination of slavery report coverOctober 2007 . Anti Slavery International, Mike Kaye, Aidan McQuade
Discussion paper

Download PDF: Poverty, Development and the Elimination of Slavery