"An estimated 10% to 20% of Mauritania’s 3.4 million people are enslaved — in “real slavery,” according to the United Nations’ special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Gulnara Shahinian. If that’s not unbelievable enough, consider that Mauritania was the last country in the world to abolish slavery. That happened in 1981, nearly 120 years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States. It wasn’t until five years ago, in 2007, that Mauritania passed a law that criminalized the act of owning another person. So far, only one case has been successfully prosecuted."In a follow up, The Guardian suggested this isn't a situation which is likely to change soon:
"Escape is no guarantee of freedom. When Ahmeid went to her local magistrate, her mother testified against her. Her uncle beat her savagely. After weeks shuttling between sympathisers, she found herself crouching in a two-storey building in Nouakchott late one evening as truckloads of policemen stormed an anti-slavery organisation where she had been sheltering. The group's leader, Birame Ould Abeid, and three others were jailed after publicly burning religious texts that have been used to justify slavery, and calling for black Moors and black Africans to unite."They later published a rebuttle which wasn't received particularly by readers.