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A roadmap to where? Law school workshop condemns Mauritania over slavery strategy

November 18, 2014

The law school’s Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Workshop has completed its examination of Mauritania’s strategy to combat slavery with a highly critical report. Mauritania’s strategy, a Roadmap to Combat Slavery published in March of 2014, was explicitly based on recommendations from the UN’s Special Rapporteur on slavery. While the Special Rapporteur called for a comprehensive and coherent strategy, Mauritania’s Roadmap is, according to the report’s finding, a partial and incoherent set of proposed actions, the implementation of which is spread among an alarmingly large number of government departments and agencies and over a diffuse timeframe. The report concludes that “the optimism trumpeted in the Roadmap and endorsed by the Special Rapporteur is misplaced.”

This report is the product of work undertaken by law students in the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Workshop in association with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation in The Hague. At the suggestion of UNPO, the Workshop selected for investigation and legal analysis the situation of the Haratin, an ethnic group suffering particularly from slavery in Mauritania and also a UNPO member. The report will be used by UNPO in promoting the interests of the Haratin in international fora and will be sent to a number international human rights bodies, including the Special Rapporteur on slavery.

Professor John Grant, who supervised the workshop, said: “This is a remarkable report by a remarkable group of students. Mauritania ranks first – worst – in the Global Slavery Index and has done for years, and the report exposes, through rigorous analysis, the flaws in its feeble plans to combat slavery.”

The workshop members are (top row, L to R) Annie Szvetecz, Jong Sun Park, George MacDonald, Aaron Baxter, Christina Gonzales (bottom row) editors Samantha MacBeth and Shannon Garcia flanking Professor Grant.

The executive summary.

The full report.

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