Mauritanian legislature criminalises slavery
The Mauritanian parliament unanimously approved a bill on Wednesday (August 8th) that criminalises the practice of slavery. Under the new legislation, keeping slaves is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, while anyone found guilty of promoting slavery could face two years in jail. Although slavery was officially banned in the country in 1981, it is still widespread in some parts of Mauritania, especially in the countryside. A Mauritanian anti-slavery group, SOS Slavery, estimates that 600,000 people, or as much as 20% of the population, are slaves.
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