iAbolish.org | American Anti-Slavery Group

Contemporary Child Slavery in Mauritania

By Libbie Snyder

For the past 800 years, child slaves in Mauritania have been as invisible in their own community as the country’s institution of slavery has been to international eyes.  In Mauritania today, an estimated one million of the population live as slaves and approximately half of slaves are children.  Slavery in Mauritania is unique not only for its centuries-old continuation, but also for its deep-rooted acceptance in the minds of the slaves.  Child slavery is fundamentally ingrained into a hierarchical social structure whereby slaves are born, raised, and die all the while accepting their inherited status.  Unlike the Atlantic slave trade, little violence is necessary to maintain Mauritanian slaves’ subordination, as few question their position or even contemplate escape.  As a result, child slaves in Mauritania experience greater independence and less violent treatment than slaves in different societies, such as Sudan.  However, Mauritania’s slavery is unique for its quality of acceptance among all members of society so that escaped or freed slaves are not welcomed and face limited to zero opportunities for success or advancement.  Ultimately, enslavement in Mauritania is more of a mental mindset than a physical constraint.  This paper will analyze the various forces that maintain child slavery; these include the country’s social structure, corruption in the government, religious doctrine, racism, heredity, and attitudes of the slaves themselves.  The combination of these factors interacting in an 800-year old system results in what one abolitionist described as “what the American plantation owners dreamed of—the breeding of perfectly submissive slaves”.


Jihad Slavery Returns – The West Eager to Avert its Eyes

by Charles Jacobs

September 30, 2014

"Narin" was abducted and enslaved in Iraq by ISIS jihadis and then escaped. She used a pseudonym with the reporter because: many of her relatives, practitioners of an ancient Zoroastrian faith, are held captives by the Islamic State. Her community in Eastern Iraq suffered a jihadi blitzkrieg: villages were surrounded, men, including her brother, were murdered and the women and children were carted off as slaves to be converted to Islam and given as "wives" to the jihadists. "Narin" escaped when her captors were at prayer.


Dr. Jacobs speaks truth about jihad in Sudan

October 7, 2010 - Dr. Charles Jacobs, a co-founder and President of the American Anti-Slavery Group speaks at 2010 Sudan Freedom Walk rally in Washington DC.

Tom Gross: The UN's willful ignorance of modern day slavery

Tom Gross: The UN’s willful ignorance of modern-day slavery

 Tom Gross, National Post | Feb 25, 2013 12:01 AM ETTom Gross, left, moderates a panel at the Geneva Summit.



The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) begins its annual session in Geneva today by once again disgracing itself through the appointment of the West African country of Mauritania as its vice-president for the next year.

The UNHRC is the organization that, in the past, has cozied up to the Gaddafi and Assad regimes in Libya and Syria; that praised Sri Lanka’s human-rights record shortly after that country’s military killed more than 40,000 Tamil civilians; and that still exhibits at the entrance to its meeting hall, two pieces of art, one donated by Egypt’s Mubarak regime, the other with a plaque that reads, “A statue of Nemesis, Goddess of justice, donated by the Syrian government.”

It also appointed Alfred De Zayas as one of its leading advisors last December, despite the fact that his books on the Second World War portray Germans as victims and the Allies as perpetrators of “genocide.” De Zayas, while not denying the Holocaust himself, has nonetheless become a hero to many Holocaust deniers, and his sayings are featured on many of their websites. He has called for Israel to be expelled from the UN, while defending the ruthless Iranian regime.

And now Mauritania has been chosen by the UNHRC to help preside over worldwide human rights for the next 12 months. Mauritania, although all-but ignored by mainstream human-rights groups, is a country that allows 20% of its citizens, about 800,000 people, some as young as 10, to live as slaves.

2010 Sudan Freedom Walk Rally in DC

October 7, 2010

Sudanese Americans and their supporters gathered on the front lawn of the Capitol in Washington DC to rally for democracy and freedom from genocide and slavery in Sudan.

The rally is a culmination of the Sudan Freedom Walk – an initiative spearheaded by an escaped slave Simon Deng and the recently deceased NBA star Manute Bol in 2006.  2010 Sudan Freedom Walk aims to focus the world’s attention on the referendum in January of 2011 in which the people of Southern Sudan will determine their future as an independent state or as a part of the unified Sudan. The initiative’s organizers and participants demand that the US government and the international community ensure the vote is free and fair. Besides Simon, other speakers included Dr. Abdel Gabar Adam, Dr. Charles Jacobs, Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, Neimat Ahmadi, the world-famous Sudanese rap artist Emmanuel Jal, and leaders of the Sudanese Diaspora in the US.


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