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23 January 2014

United Nations Special Rapporteur on slavery, Gulnara Shahinian, will undertake a follow-up mission to Mauritania from 27 to 30 January 2014, to assess new developments since her first country visit in 2009 and the initiatives taken by the Government in response to her recommendations*.

“This visit will allow me to discuss the adoption of the road map to ending slavery in Mauritania, which was prepared in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,” Ms. Shahinian said.

“Its adoption and implementation would be a milestone towards the eradication of slavery in the country,” stressed the independent expert charged by the United Nations Human Rights Council to monitor contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences.

The Special Rapporteur’s mandate on contemporary forms of slavery includes issues such as forced and bonded labour, worst forms of child labour, servile marriages and domestic servitude.

During her four-day visit to Nouakchott, Ms. Shahinian will hold discussions with government representatives, as well as non-governmental organizations, trade unions, community members and others working in the area of combatting all forms of slavery.  The Special Rapporteur is visiting Mauritania at the invitation of the Government.

The visit’s findings and recommendations will be presented at a forthcoming session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in September 2014.

A press conference will be held in Nouakchott at the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur’s visit - on Thursday, 30 January 2014 with additional information to follow.

(*) Check the 2010 report on Mauritania by the Special Rapporteur Gulnara Shahinian: Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. 

Gulnara Shahinian was appointed as the first Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences in May 2008. She is a lawyer with extensive experience as an expert consultant for various United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe, OSCE and government bodies on children’s rights, gender, migration and trafficking. Ms Shahinian is also a former trustee of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary forms of Slavery. Learn more, log on to:

United Nations Human Rights, Country page – Mauritania:

For further information and media inquiries, please contact:
In Nouakchott (during the visit): Mr. Paul Jatho (+222 44272666/
In Geneva (before and after the visit): Mr. Khaled Hassine (+41 22 917 93 67 or +41(0) 79 444 51 72 or write to

For media inquiries related to other United Nations independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, United Nations Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 /  

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