Chattel slavery is still going on in Mauritania despite the government's claim to have abolished it. Most researchers and activists do not take this claim seriously.
From Websters online dictionary:
"Slavery was abolished officially three times in the country, most recently by the post-independence government in 1980."
Article dated November 15, 2001:
"Slavery has officially been banned in Mauritania three times, once by the colonial French rulers in 1905, a second time in Mauritania's first post-colonial constitution, in 1960, and a third time, in 1981, by the military government."
Article dated November 25, 2005:
"For centuries, black Mauritanians have been born into slavery and treated as the property of their slave holders - a practice known as chattel slavery. Although slavery in Mauritania has been technically outlawed four times, the practice continues to thrive thanks to the Mauritanian government's complicity."
Article dated February 29, 2008:
"The night of Aug. 8, 2007, seemed like a night for celebration in Mauritania, a vast desert country on Africa's northwest coast.
Radio, television and newspapers all proclaimed the end of slavery. Slave-owning was criminalized, and overnight, half a million people — a fifth of the country's population — were officially freed from bondage.
But there was a problem. Those half-million newly free people didn't own radios. They didn't own televisions. They can't read either. And the news — if they heard it — meant little anyway.
In Mauritania, despite good intentions and high-minded words, slavery is still thriving, as it has for 800 years. It is just taking new forms.
Dark-skinned men, women and children known as Haratine carry out orders under the threat of being beaten. They work as labourers and shepherds, as servants and cooks, as nursemaids and security guards. They are penniless and uneducated. Their masters are pale-skinned, Arab-speaking Moors."
From May 28, 2009:
"An estimated 600,000 people are currently held as slaves in the African nation of Mauritania, in spite of a 2007 law criminalising the practice."
From this information it is apparent that slavery in Mauritania has not been abolished. The government puts forth paperwork laws abolishing it that are not enforced. Mauritania might push through another paper law banning chattel slavery again but they are yet to demonstrate a serious effort to abolish it.
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