Mauritania commits to ending modern-day slavery

by Vins
Published: Updated:

On March 14, 2016, Mauritania ratified a 2014 protocol written by the United Nations in an effort to end a long history of slavery in their country.

Joining Niger, Norway, and the United Kingdom, Mauritania is the fourth country to approve the protocol, which aims to abolish forced labour and trafficking. The country will have to change its laws and enforce them uniformly and investigate claims thoroughly in order for change to occur. In 1980, slavery was abolished and then in 2007, it was criminalized. Despite this, the Global Slavery Index (2014) indicated that Mauritania still has a staggering 4 per cent of its population trapped in slavery, which is about 160, 000 people. Also, according to the GSI, Mauritania has the highest percentage of their population in slavery in the world.

As of March 16, 2016, no corporate media have covered this story. Secondary media sources that have covered this include: Thomson Reuters Foundation (a version of this appeared in UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization)) and GIN (Global Information Network). A version of that article appeared in Frost Illustrated and Africa News.


Emma Batha, “Mauritania commits to ending modern-day slavery,” Reuters, March 14, 2016,

Global Information Network, “Mauritania ratifies pact to end modern-day slavery” Global Information Network, March 14, 2016,

Global Slavery Index, “The Global Slavery Index” The Global Slavery Index, 2014,

Background Source:

NPR, “Slavery Lives on in Mauritania” NPR, August 28, 2001,

Student Researcher: Emily Pasiuk (University of Regina)

Faculty Evaluator: Patricia Elliott (University of Regina)