314414 43: Slave herdsmen water animals at an oasis June 15, 1997 near Tiguent, Mauritania. Over ninety thousand blacks remain enslaved in the Western African nation, despite a 1983 government edict abolishing the practice of slavery. (Photo by Malcolm Linton/Liaison) | Malcolm Linton via Getty Images
The United Nations envoy on modern-day slavery said on Thursday Mauritania had agreed to adopt a roadmap for eradicating the trade, which campaigners say remains widespread in the west African nation.
The country was the last in the world to abolish slavery, in 1981, and since 2012 its practice has been officially designated a crime, but campaigners say the government has failed in the past to acknowledge the extent of the trade, with no official data available.
Gulnara Shahinian, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on contemporary slavery, announced as she ended a four-day visit that Mauritania would adopt a roadmap on March 6 which had been prepared with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.