Mauritania commits to ending modern slavery

February 9, 2016

Mauritania has ratified the 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, reinforcing the global movement against forced labour, in all its forms, including slavery and human trafficking.

Image: Richat Structure, Mauritania


Mauritania has followed Niger, Norway and the United Kingdom as one of the first countries to formally commit to implement the ILO’s Forced Labour Protocol.

Hamoud Ould T’Feil Ould Bowbe, Mauritania’s Director General of Labour, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to stamping out forced labour: “It goes without saying that the Protocol will strengthen and supplement the framework for penalizing slave or similar forced labour practices, in particular by promoting access to rights, public information and awareness raising among those at risk, including minors, and by developing training which will enable professionals to identify and protect victims.”

Since independence in 1961, Mauritania has ratified the Forced Labour Convention (No. 29) 1930, and in 1997, the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No. 105), 1957. Since then, Mauritania has continued to strengthen the legislative framework to fight against forced labour enacting a law on suppression of trafficking in 2003, and others in 2007 and 2015 criminalizing slavery and slavery-like practices.

Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa of the ILO, Aeneas Chapinga Chuma said that “the Regional Office for Africa welcomes Mauritania’s renewed efforts towards combatting slavery-like practices. The ratification of the ILO Protocol is a first concrete step in putting in place the legal framework to protect people from the scourge of human exploitation and forced labour. We commend Niger and Mauritania for becoming the first African countries to ratify the ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention.”

Mauritania is also a pilot country under the Bridge project which aims to strengthen the capacity of the relevant ministries and stakeholders to develop, implement and monitor policies and national action plans on forced labour, provide capacity building to improve law enforcement, and support public awareness campaigns to address all forms of forced labour. This is part of a four-year project funded by the US Department of Labour.