Global Issues

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• Rape tied to the concept of “Zina” or sinful sexual relations outside marriage. Judges may hold the victim responsible for the rape.

• Source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to conditions of forced labor and sex trafficking.

• Women, men, and children from traditional slave castes are subjected to slavery-related practices rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships.

• Human rights activists and lawyers reported rape victims were stigmatized, persecuted, and even imprisoned.

• Mauritanian women and girls are forced into prostitution in the country or transported to countries in the Middle East.

• Men from Middle Eastern countries used legally contracted “temporary marriages” as a means to sexually exploit young girls and women in Mauritania.



• Boubacar Ould Messaoud is one of the founders of the NGO SOS Esclaves (SOS Slaves), the only NGO in Mauritania specifically focused on eradicating modern-day slavery.


Sources: U.S. Department of State 2010 Human Rights Report, U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2011; U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2008;