Anti-Slavery International

Winning freedom, and protection from abuse for thousands of West Africans born into slavery.

There are conservatively estimated to be around 200,000 people in slavery in Niger, Mali and Mauritania. There are also much larger numbers who have recently emerged from slavery and who suffer from the stigma of being identified as a member of the slave castes and are subject to severe discrimination. Anti-Slavery International will challenge governments to change the law and protect their citizens, while also supporting those making the first difficult steps to freedom. With your help there can be an end to slavery in West Africa.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 6:59 PM, 7 November 2011 to 6:59 PM, 7 November 2011

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1049160)

Amount raised

£5

Donations

1

    Categories

  • Human Rights/AdvocacyHuman Rights/Advocacy

    Helping

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Location

Situation

For the many thousands born into slavery, and forced to work without pay, as cattle herders, land workers or domestic servants they will remain slaves until they die. Their children are the property of their masters and can be sold, given as gifts or dowries or trafficked. Girls are forced to marry at a very early age, to maximise their child-bearing potential and violence, rape, and threats used by their masters to control them. We know that change is possible. In October 2008 as a result of a groundbreaking case, brought principally as a result of an initiative by our West Africa Programme Co-ordinator, Niger has been found guilty of failing to protect Ms Hadijatou Mani from slavery and ordered to pay her compensation. Born to a woman who was herself a slave, Hadijatou was forcibly taken from her mother when she was 12 and sold to a "master", Souleymane Naroua, to work in his fields. She was 13 the first time he raped her; he was 63. Over the next 10 years she suffered continuous sexual abuse and beatings and bore him three children. Thousands of ordinary people like Hadijatou suffer these sorts of abuses across West Africa. However Hadijatou’s case is particularly important as it sets a legal precedent which is also binding in neighbouring West African states where slavery is also still an issue. Research has started on identifying the scale and impact of slavery within Mali, Mauritania and Niger. When published leaders will be unable to deny the problem, so providing the foundation for change and the realisation of human rights for all citizens irrespective of descent. Other aspects of the project will include practical support for those leaving slavery through micro-credit systems and skills development to allow former slaves to earn an independent living. While most of the funding for this work has been secured we need £25,000 to ensure that we are able to continue to bring legal test cases like that of Hadijatou Mani. Local partner organisations whom Anti-Slavery International has developed strong working relationships over the years, will play a key role in the delivery of the project.

Solution