Mauritania has ratified the 2014 protocol to the Forced Labour Convention (1930), making it the second African country to commit to implementing the protocol.
It joins the likes of Niger, Norway and the United Kingdom which were the first countries to ratify the protocol aimed at fighting forced labour in all its forms, including human trafficking.
Mauritania’s Director General of Labour, Hamoud Ould T’Feil Ould Bowbe, who stressed his country’s preparedness to end forced labour said the protocol “will strengthen and supplement the framework for penalizing slave or similar forced labour practices.”
Slavery was abolished in Mauritania in 1980 and criminalised in 2007. But a 2009 report of the ILO Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slave concluded that de facto slavery continued to exist in the country.
The ILO’s Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa, Aeneas Chapinga Chuma welcomed Mauritania’s “renewed efforts towards combating slavery-like practices” adding that the ratification of the ILO convention “is a first concrete step in putting in place the legal framework to protect people from the scourge of human exploitation and forced labour.”
The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates there are 21 million victims of forced labour across the world who generate approximately $150 billion in illicit profits annually.
Adopted in 2014, the convention requires states to take effective measures to prevent, protect and ensure victims of forced labour have access to justice and compensation.