Human Rights Day 2011 : Mauritania

Promoting citizen participation of the communities of the descendants of former slaves in Mauritania

On World Human Rights Day 2011, ACORD would like to pay tribute to those who defend human rights, particularly in Africa, but above to make heard the voice of communities whose human rights are still denied.

In Mauritania, the descendants of the former slaves, particularly women, are victims of discrimination rooted in cultural traditions and descent-based despite the abolition of slavery. The main problem is their economic and political empowerment. The lack of information about their rights and responsibilities, illiteracy and poverty make them hostages of their former masters who often manipulate their civic expression.

On the political side, they are usually disqualified especially for elected positions as they have little comparative advantage because of their illiteracy and poverty that are deeply rooted primarily because of their social exclusion and because of the stratification of the communities who contributes to their marginalization.

ACORD works with the communities of the wilaya of Hodh El Gharbi to improve their living conditions and livelihood, to facilitate democratic participation and political representation of communities of descendants of former slaves and to build inter-communal peace. Our commitment to these communities is to improve their ability to question citizenship, the accountability of elected officials, and thus contributing to the promotion of democratic dialogue and participation of all groups, including youth and women, at all democratic processes in the region.

Our work in this area is supported since severals years by the European Commission and since December 2011 by the United Nations Fund for Democracy through the launch of a new project entitled "Strengthening the political participation of the communities of former slaves in Mauritania."

View information about our work in Mauritania.

See ACORD`s vision in Africa.