BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, October 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Subcommittee on human rights held on Monday afternoon a hearing on Contemporary Forms of Slavery in the Sahel region. The invited speakers were: Biram Dah Abeid, Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in Mauritania (IRA), Jean-Marie Kagabo, Programme officer, International Labour Organization (ILO) and Sarah Mathewson, Coordinator, Africa Programme, Anti-Slavery International.
Biram Dah Abeid testified about the slavery in Mauritania, emphasising the climate of total impunity despite the legislation adopted in 2007 that criminalises this practice, adding that activists fighting against slavery are also subject to punishment and prison. The ILO programme officer emphasized the need for a real and correct assessment of the slavery spread in Mauritania, for a global strategy to tackle this problem along with programmes of reinsertion of the victims. The coordinator for the Africa Programme described the social and economic problems related to slavery, including for the group of those with slavery origins, who are marginalised, discriminated and extremely poor.