March 17th, 2012
08:57 AM ET

Join the conversation: Slavery's last stronghold

[Updated 3:25 p.m. ET March 29] It's clear from the conversation that many are strongly affected by this story. "I get angry that anyone could treat others in the way that has been reported here," wrote one commenter. There were also questions on how to help. Here's a post with suggestions of where to send donations and how to get involved. CNN iReport is also collecting messages of hope for a school of escaped slaves in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott. Read more highlights of the conversation

[Original post] In "Slavery's Last Stronghold," CNN explores a woman's journey from slavery to freedom. Moulkheir Mint Yarba had been one of the estimated 10 to 20 percent of the 3.4 million people in slavery in the African country of Mauritania.

That's 340,000 to 680,000 people in modern-day slavery inside this one country.

If that's not unbelievable enough, consider that Mauritania was the last country in the world to abolish slavery - in 1981, nearly 120 years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States. It wasn’t until 2007 that Mauritania passed a law that criminalized the act of owning another person.

And what's just as shocking as the statistics is the fact that Mauritania's slaves are not necessarily restrained physically, but instead are held in mental shackles. Many don't know what the concept of freedom is.

What do you think? Were you aware the problem still exists in the world today? Why do you think slavery continues in the 21st century? How would you try to explain the concept of freedom to someone who never knew it? Join the conversation below.

soundoff (549 Responses)
  1. robert

    Slavery is rampant in every country, we here in the united states have the most by far working in sweat shops and etc. in such places as China. Modern slavery is sometimes hard to point and hard to define, the best definition that comes to mind is "slave wages". These modern slaves have two choices work or die.

    March 18, 2012 at 3:09 am | Reply
    • Me

      "Slave wages"? No. Slavery is forced servitude. Don't try to change the definition of what REAL slavery is.

      March 18, 2012 at 4:42 am | Reply
      • nojusticed

        I agree with the statement in the article that says the first step is accepting that you are a slave is to admit it. There is a reason it is called slave labor.

        March 18, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
      • bmull

        CNN would serve its readers far better by pointing out that slave labor still exists in the form of feudal servitude in many countries including our friends in Pakistan. Millions of people are born, work, and die on land owned by wealthy familes. If they break the rules or don't pay their "debt" to the landlord they are beaten or killed. If they try to escape the police will arrest and likely beat them for shirking their "debt". The fact that open air slave auctions are no longer held is an almost meaningless distinction.

        March 18, 2012 at 11:12 pm |

        I concur, but these f***EN idiots (slave owners) should be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!!!!!!!!

        March 19, 2012 at 10:35 am |
      • Larry mcDowell

        The US has slavery wages here to... It is called minimum wage... The prices of oil, food, and shelter is constantly rising with very little coming in. Most minimum wage families can't make it right now.

        March 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • fred

        If slavery is forced servitude (and I agree it is), then Mauritania is not "slavery's last stronghold"! Millions of Dalits in India are slaves with no choice of live in poverty and servitude. They have not escape. The problem in Mauritania is awful. Glad to see this problem brought to our attention, but please do not call it slavery's last stronghold. Far from it. The scope of "slavery" in India far exceeds slavery anywhere on the planet!

        March 19, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Scott

      Might be time for a reality check rob.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:09 am | Reply
    • RodentKing

      Robert you have no idea what your talking about.
      The best working conditions in the world are in the USA. Maybe you should get out of your arm chair and travel.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:10 am | Reply
      • HAWAII

        Rodent, over all maybe -but I have worked in OSHA Nightmare Scenarios -and would Never have said a word due to lack of options. The Bottom Rung is a whole other world, my friend.

        March 19, 2012 at 8:37 am |
      • Bill in Mo

        Hawaii, perhaps you should compare these OSHA scenarios.... with even just the pictures shown here.. I think, if you are honest, you will find that even the worst here is nothing compared to what is happening there.

        November 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Prosper

      There are two kind of slavery, the old one and the modern. They only differ in their ways of approaching human being but the result may be the same. The Mauritanian's case is wider overall Saharan belt in Africa and exists too in Asia such in India. I had a difficult experience when I had to free a slave from my supervisee when I was working in Niger. Being a black supervising a light skin man and asking him to free a black was tough. One way to bring up this problem where ever it exists would to pass an international treaty biding countries to open their borders to who ever would like to talk about the issue without making it a shameful situation to the country.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • Felix El Gato

      Muslims invented African slavery.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
      • menoc

        . . . . and Americans improved and ran away with the concept.

        March 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
      • Andrew Owen

        I seem to recall a story about a slave named Moses in Egypt. Isn't that in Africa?

        March 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
      • Yara

        Islam always forbid slavery. Slavery is not a religion issue it's a culture thing.
        It was here in the US for centuries and none of the masters were Muslim.

        March 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
      • Paul

        Ben Yamine, son of Jacob, was sold (as slave) by his brothers
        to the king of Egypt- thousand years before Islam. Read history

        March 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
      • Jeff Evenson

        Muslims did NOT "invent slavery". Whites and blacks had been slaves for Thousands of years before Islam, in Rome and all Rome's territories. No wonder you call yourself "Felix El Gato", as you have a cartoon type prejudiced mind.

        March 21, 2012 at 11:26 am |
      • Ahmed

        Well, i am not here to defend slavery but to add that Egypt, back then, when Moses was enslaved, was neither Arab nor Islamic.

        March 22, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
      • M. Khalid

        Felix, if you really care about abolishing slavery then you will refrain from blaming any religion. Obviously you have other motives and that is the reason of all the vices in this World. By the way, I can write a thesis on slavery and Christian Church's involvement but I will not, since that will deflect the real issue.

        March 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
      • E. Mintz

        Felix, if you really care about abolishing slavery then you will refrain from blaming any religion. Obviously you have other motives and that is the reason of all the vices in this World. By the way, I can write a thesis on slavery and Christian Church's involvement but I will not, since that will deflect the real issue.

        March 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
      • Carl

        The reporter conveniently failed to note that Mauritania is 100% Muslim and that is also the official state religion (according to the CIA Factbook). So we have a phenomenon of Islam abusing their own, as is the case all over the Islamic world. Look at the genocide in Darfur, Sunni versus Shiite violence, Syrian Alawites versus the populace, Saudi Wahabi oppression, etc. etc. Yet the UN "human rights body" conveniently ignores this truly eggregious and inhuman behavior by its Islamic overlords and most Western nations are too cowed by threats of terrorism, eruptions of mass violence or having their oil spigots shut off. So such practices continue unabated.

        November 6, 2012 at 9:00 am |
      • Jojo

        The slave owners are not white? Does not compute...i thought slavery was just racism?

        August 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Manoj Sood

      This is true journalism – when 2 professionals go out into the world and bring our attention to horrors that most us have no idea are actually happening. Horrors like this exist because the rest of the world allows it to happen. How do we allow it to happen? We allow it to happen by our inaction.

      March 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
      • Phil in KC

        I agree. This is the kind of gritty, investigative journalism I expect from CNN. It's good to see they can still deliver this type of story, instead of the pablum and "infotainment" that has become too common.

        March 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
      • Cass

        This is one of the most in depth and touching stories I have ever read. This is true journalism and should be up for a prize. Words cannot express the sadness I felt from reading this story and even though people keep going on about the U.S. having slave labor etc... we can go to college and with hard work we can at least stand a chance. Some people in the world don't have access to running water.

        March 23, 2012 at 2:46 am |
      • Robert

        yes, this is great investigative journalism and great writing too. There was more than once while reading this that I got tears in my eyes.

        And for those of you trying to compare what these slaves and former slaves are going through to minimum wage in the are either just being trolls are have a very warped perception of reality.

        I'm American and currently living in a 3rd world that is much better off than Mauritania, but even here, there are millions of people living in abject poverty that is much worse than the worst of US slums. Unemployment is very high here and the vast majority work for less in a day than a US minimum wage worker gets in an hour.

        March 29, 2012 at 3:50 am |
    • Kelly Joy

      I agree completely slavery does exist in every country sometimes it is more prominently displayed. Read the book Disposable people it recounts a man traveling into Mauritania and exploring how slavery works.

      March 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • Omar

      Robert, I am from from Mauritania. And this is slavery. Maybe you should exchange places with one of my 500,000 compatriot slaves for 24h. I think you ll then change your mind.

      March 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply
      • anna

        I note you say you are 'from' Mauritania, well why dont you go back and help your compatriots to end slavery in your own country instead of sitting here looking in?

        March 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
      • Omar

        Dear Anna,
        I do help my compatriots in many ways, including financially. My work involves lots of traveling in Europe, Canada and the US. I return to Mauritania whenever I have time off. FYI, I was jailed and tortured for 7 months by the Mauritanian gvt for being active in denouncing the mass killings of Afro-Mauritanians

        March 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
      • Omm

        Dear Omar,
        I'm from Mauritania too and would like to ask you a simple question if you return to Mauritania today are you going to be jailed? Let me answer this simple question for you and the answer is no.
        If this is the a real journalism why , do you think they did not talk about slavery that existed (like exactly the one they are talking about here) wthin the black Mauritanian Where slaves and masters are black? Don't you think that to answer this question it will be good to consider two factors : 1-people who try to ruin their country reputation for an eventual favor or gain from some international ngos (like some asylees in this country where asylums were granted based on panoply of lies like : I was jailed because of this or that...etc
        2-journalist eager to build short term reputation truth is not that important when building such a reputation

        March 20, 2012 at 12:40 am |
      • Jamila

        Omm, you are correct. The CNN Reort was a 1-sided distorted incomplete story that outraged most who viewed it and believed all without knowing the real facts that the journalists, somehow never researched on their own . The fact is the entire report was distorted.
        SOS/slaves should be investigated for its immoral scam and self-serving staged opportunistic lie in order to stuff their pockets with no intentions or accountability of ever helping the poor. Mauritania needs real help
        to get genuine medicine instead of the fake chinese-made medicine that is killing children & adults there.
        It's too bad that people believe what they hear. It's the same as destroying a country because someone said they have weapons of mass destruction and everyone believed it. To the CNN Journalists: Truth is Freedom. Do your own thorough Research before you Report. There are many sides to every story. If you are not misled you will not be misleading. There are truths that have been omitted and must be told to your audience.
        Did we find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Did you really talk with present-day slaves in Mauritania or was it unknowingly staged by the opportunists who stand to have financial gain from your report? We, as Americans, should remember that we cannot throw stones at others, if we live in a big glass house. We must thoroughly research all the facts to gain truth and have knowledge. The fact is Mauritania does not have present day slavery. Both Mauritania and USA Had Slavery in their history. There are many so-called slaves who have entered the USA on a bogus premise. Most of them have never been in Mauritania in their lifetime. They are not Mauritanian and they are not slaves. They exploited the system with the slave lie to immigrate to USA & Europe or to change their illegal status. Where's your report about the majority Black non-Arab Slave Masters who existed in Mauritania and all over Africa? This would dispel the myth about Arab slave traders. Why do we have to target race? Can we just get along, love one another, help & educate those who cannot help themselves? Perpetuate Love not hate? Research the real truth.

        March 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
      • Omar

        To Umm and Jamila,
        I do not understand why some Arab Mauritanians get very defensive whenever slavery is mentioned. No one said all Arab-Mauritanians own slaves. But some do, and it's a fact. Those slaves in this reports were not paid to act as slaves. They are real, owned by their masters. The practice has somewhat declined from 2 decades ago, but it's still rampant.
        So, don't think we're attacking the entire Arab race when we mention this. In fact, as you can see in the video, there is an Arab Mauritanian fighting slavery.
        You two mentioned the cast system within the black Mauritanian community. Unlike you 2, I will not lie and defend my community for something wrong. Yes, that system exists in my community and I denounce it everywhere I go.
        I urge you to have the same honnesty and stop defending the fact that Arabs own black slaves.

        Regarding the asylums, yes you will find that some people will abuse it. But that doesn't change the fact that the Mauritanian goverment jailed, tortured and massacred innocent Black-Mauritanians during the genocide. Are you going to deny that too, Jamila?


        March 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
      • Jamila

        Omar you are full of lies. First I am not Mauritanian.I am American 100%. But I know more about present day Mauritania than you. Second 3 of Mauritania's highest government officials are Haritine, descendents of slavery. They are the Justice Minister, Economic Minister, and President of your Parliament. They are strongly against slavery and have upheld its abolishment. If you were in Mauritania voting, and upholding the law, you would know. Are you really Mauritanian? If so you should get off your rear and go there to defend and fight for what you believe then maybe you will know the truth and stop your lies. There was never a massacre in Mauritania. What a fabricated outright lie. You have no credibility and no proof. If you want to be truly free then tell the truth. Perhaps you are an asylee who came here in my country on a slave lie sucking up my tax dollars. Go home to help "Free the Slaves" that you claim exist. You will be of more value there than here. Stop lieing about this bogus job that flies you here, there and everywhere and when you have time off you will go and help. That's a fantasy! Good Luck & look to the truth.

        March 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
      • Jamila

        Omar, If the so-called slaves were still owned by their masters, they would not be interviewing anywhere.
        Yes I believe that they were paid and there is proof of that. I do my research before donating to any cause.
        Yes I've been to Mauritania probably more recently than you. I am not a Mauritanian and not an
        Arab. I, like all of my ancestors, were born in America. I am well-traveled and educated.The slave trade existed in America for 350 years. Most slaves departed from West Africa. Slavery is atrocious anywhere.That's why I did my own research and I am responding to your lies so that innocent tax paying Americans will not be further misled.
        I do know that Birahma, founder of SOS/slaves has stuffed his pockets from donations. Every 3 MONTHS He MARRIES a NEW WIFE. He has upgraded his living standards to a palace-like house, unaffordable by most Americans, and owns many cars. Maybe you are flying to all of these places to collect donations that never go to help the poor population, but stuffs the pockets of SOS/slaves. Why & when were you put in prison? On what basis did you immigrate to the USA? What is your status? Again, There has never been a genocide in the history of Mauritania.
        Genocide happened in Ruwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo Brazzaville, Angola, Uganda & more. This is the real genocide.
        And there were more Black Slave Masters in all of Africa, including Mauritania, than Arab. The Black Slavers traded the Africans to the Americas. Do you deny that?

        March 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
      • hank


        do you have any proof to back up the claims that you've made? i'm interested in finding out more on the subject. thank you

        April 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
    • Leonard Overton

      You left out a 3rd option. Fight back just like the women and Africans in this country, (the USA) and most of the world came to their aid... Just like they would in most of the Arab world. Thats the type of wars we need to be fighting besides all this oil that we seem to have to have... The Arab world needs to send a few men over here to try and trat our women that way... they would last long, or they would changed the way they live.... if only those slave women could spend some time in this country they wouldnt be so easy slapped around when they went back... Have a nice life with your slaves but in the end you will pay dearly for it... Thats one thing you can count on!

      March 18, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Reply
    • Floris

      I don't think you read the article at all.

      March 18, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Reply
    • jackie

      this story hurts my heart. My prayers go out to them all.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:24 am | Reply
    • s.miller

      Those exquisite, closely woven carpets pictured along with the story should sell at high prices all over the world. Is it possible for NGOs to go in, organize the women to make, these and transport them world-wide?

      March 19, 2012 at 1:11 am | Reply
    • Franky

      You do realize that the term "slave wages" is an oxy-moron. By default if you pay someone they are in effect not a slave. Also, slavery does not exist everywhere that's just an idiotic statement. The owner of a sweatshop can't come in and "rape" his employees. YOur whole comment reeks of a complete lack of understanding of this topic , Mauritania's slave system, is slavery in it's truest since and the fact that it exists openly in todays day and age is ridiculous while exploitation of people exists everywhere today, slavery does not. And in most places we atleast know it's wrong and try and do something about it.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:49 am | Reply
    • dave

      duplicate No doubt that slavery in America was brutal and wrong - but the ancestors of American slaves lead lives that are a million times better than the descendants of those Africans who stayed in Africa. The worst place on Earth to be balck is Africa. In America if a black person is the victim of a crime, thenthe odds are pretty high that the perpetrator was black.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:19 am | Reply
    • ann gilbert


      March 19, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
      • Dorothy

        I agree with you Ann. Where is Jackson and Sharpton? Have not heard a word on this from them.

        March 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Steve DuBose

      Ok ok we get it, Don't we have other stories to cover TAKE IT OFF THE WEB SITE ENOUGH ALREADY

      March 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
      • Brad

        Why should they take it off? It makes you feel uncomfortable? Tough s**t, people need to know about this.

        March 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Christina

      You are correct and the level of brainwashing is very high in all countries as well, working to just hand your money back to the same people. Being forced to purchase food devoid of vitamins & minerals from grocery stores, the cash-cow pharmaceutical industry that makes $$$ poisoning people...modern day slavery

      March 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • S

      "we here in the united states have the most"

      The kind of slavery in this article, as it says, is similar to Old Testament times. Every country has some type of oppressing force that forces people to act as "property" for an owner, but I wouldn't classify America as having "the most" slavery. What does that even mean?

      March 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Reply
      • Ahmed

        They call it the old testament for a reason..

        Jesus was already crucified and killed for challenging the old testament..

        April 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
      • Carl

        Absolutely false comparing to the Old Testament. While it sadly did permit slavery, there were rules governing humane behavior and more importantly slavery was not permanent – all were released every seven years.

        November 6, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • M. Khalid

      Human bondage exists not only in Mauritania but also in India and many other countries. These countries have laws prohibiting "slavery," but laws that are not enforced are not worth the paper it's written on. It's time for International bodies with teeth to enforce anti-slavery laws in these nations with severe consequences if not complied and verified by independent bodies. Finally, I am glad that this article is not stereotyping any religion for the vice as we see all the time.

      March 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Reply
    • Andrew

      Slavery is rampant in the USA. Many people are shacked to their ex-spouses having to pay alimony. With a down economy, lost jobs, and other causes of reduced income, they end up giving ALL of their income to their divorced ex-spose FOR LIFE. This is clearly slavery and should be abolished.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • waalee2

      Your right about slavery being practiced in many countries. For example in a Greenhouse in MA there are Chinese slaves working there and most of them are conscripted from China, I"ve spoken to some of them and the guy I was talking to was married with 2 children in China, he was forced to work in the USA and 50% of his earnings go to the Chinese government, 40 % goes to his family and he is allowed to keep 10%, he works 12 hours a day 6 days a week with Sunday Off, he is only allowed off the property with an escort. Slavery did not end in the 1800s in the USA.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Reply
      • Daniel Perez

        That is pretty much my tax liability here in the US. I give most to the government, then my family receives most of the rest. Why am I treated like a "tea party bagger" while you have empathy for these migrant workers?

        November 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • noor

      Ibn Batuta ... Said Said, ... Egypt, Saudi, Arabs have CULTURALLY and RELIGIOUSLY always been coy and comfortable with their SALVE TRADE pioneering and contuum to date.

      All it needs is an EDDICT – Fatwa – from Mufti of Mecca to all Muslims to free and FEED their slaves without cruelty mental or physical or rape ... WORLDWIDE Fatwa !

      In Pakistan it is just as brutal but hidden in obligations of servitude and humans are treated with less dignity than flies on a dog – disdain and cruelty – they would rather kill the dog than the flies and same with the dogs they consider are serving them.

      daughter of a slave!

      March 24, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Reply
    • AC

      This is a laughable assertion. Obviously, you are wealthy or you wouldn't say this. I guess all those Mexican immigrants are coming here because they want to be enslaved?

      January 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • Daniel Perez

      This comment demonstrates why slavery exists in most countries. It is because we are not willing to look at the sources of slavery. When CNN said, "But as one woman’s journey shows, the first step toward freedom is realizing you’re enslaved." they should have continued: You can't realize your enslaved until you realize what ideas enslave your mind. In Mauritania the primary conception the enslaves the mind is Islamic ideology. In the West the primary idea that enslaves the mind is "centralized control of the distribution of wealth". It is not that big business is the answer, but that big government is any less of an enslavement. That is the great myth of our age.

      November 9, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  2. plane ticket out of there

    seems like a plane ticket out of there would be money well spent

    March 18, 2012 at 4:05 am | Reply
    • LivinginVA

      Right, because getting a passport, visa and a plane ticket is within the means of people who have nothing.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:37 am | Reply
    • Michele

      I'm sure the poster meant that in terms of aid, that might be the most efficient mechanism. I might tend to agree.

      March 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
      • Andrew Owen

        Getting a young Muslim man into this country would be a problem at the moment. Even those with the means often can't get visas or have to wait years for background checks.

        March 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  3. truconfession

    Incredible reporting. I have been reading books about north Africa written by Nobel Prize winner John LeClezio, but until I read this article and saw photos, I really didn't have the feel for the people. This book, Desert, is fascinating and about Hartini people. This is such outstanding reporting, somewhat different from the Kony video from DRC. People out of reach of help, safety and a viable legal recourse are only able to flee. . . . but from what I know, there's nowhere they can go.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:13 am | Reply
    • Paula Blose

      Slavery is a blight on human behavior. They are people not animals! I get angry that anyone could treat others in the way that has been reported here. This article is well written, well researched, and makes the reader feel the pain of these people. Shine the light on the indiffernce and apathy of that government. Big changes are made by few people, history shows us that. Well done. May change follow. I am in school for Human Services and hope to work with World Vision Africa one day. Food, shelter, clean water, and decent treatment for all individuals; whether the poorest of the poor or those who have plenty-may it be so.

      March 18, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
      • Michele

        I hope your mission includes getting birth control to these poor women. Nothing enslaves a woman to poverty more than having more children than she can adequately care for. I can't even imagine trying to feed 5 babies in that existence, never mind they were the children of rapes.

        March 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Pono

      I agree, and it compels me to action. Let those who waste meaningless thoughts about who started it and the conditions of our country being bad do what they always do to possibly contribute to this world, NOTHING. Thank you for writing this piece. Be the change......someone is asking for help.

      March 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
    • Abdou

      This article is just one side of the reality. I am from Mauritania and i witnessed the condition in which the slaves live i. It's no words that can express this sad reality in the 21 st century. I am positive that the law voted to eradicate slavery will not be effective because of the lack of pressure from the international community.

      March 18, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Reply
      • John from Mass.

        Abdou, I do agree but, tonight CNN Cable News put your country and its plight out there in the National news and hopefully, its a start. Before Cnn's broadcast, I never even heard of your country. Now, millions have! John from Mass.

        March 18, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
      • Spartaqus

        Dear Abdou, no body care about slavery in this country from the president to the little child. The Law is not enouhg for slavery abolishement inMAuritania. On the other hand, the gays fron CNN said that no body can talk about slavery, this is ot correct cause we have people nodays talking about slavery on social groups like Facebook, You can fiend this article being discassed on FB. There a lot of misundertanding in this article in addition the way CNN teams sneeked into the country.

        March 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • Abdou

        I agree with you on the fact that the president and his government don't care about enforcing the laws. I also agree that the subject is no longer taboo as it used to be. The journalist is right when it comes to the conditions in which they conducted their investigations or interviews. The government is known to follow or infiltrate any organization that defends human rights. We all know that most of the elite moors (governments members included) own slaves and will do everything in their power to stop the enforcement of the law. The justice is corrupted and most judges and lawyer lack the basic of Ethics.

        March 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
      • Omar

        But Spartagus, why do you care so much about the way CNN got in the country?
        The most important thing is that they are covering this, which will help. Maybe a lot more people will now get involved in helping the slaves, educating them etc...These are human beings that need help.

        Who cares about how John Sutters got there. Don't attack the messenger!

        March 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
      • Hammertime

        Spartagus: Are you a slave owner? hmmm!

        March 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
      • Abdou

        HAhahahhh! I am FULANI, black Mauritanian. No i don't own slave even though i am from noble family. I am activist when it comes to injustice, slavery, racism...

        March 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
      • mona

        In Mauritania slavery is not about skin color ,the african population (fulla ,poolar,soninke) owned slave evryone knows that their slave can't eat with their owner from the same plate,can't sit with them ,or buried (put to rest)in the same grave yard which is not the case for arabe(albithan) ,I am not defending slavery practice but I am correcting the fact and asking cnn journalist to investigate the african population then they will know that slavery in Mauritania is not about the skin color.

        March 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  4. Zenek Wrobel

    I salute CNN for doing a professional investigation, real journalism, and putting a spotlight of a horrendous social injustice that is continuing.
    UN Human Rights organizations – you have failed, professionally and morally.


    March 18, 2012 at 4:14 am | Reply
    • Michele

      Agreed on both counts. The UN is a joke. A multi billion dollar thieving joke.

      March 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • DEE

      Zenek, I agree. What is the purpose of a US Ambassador to Mauritania if this is the sum of the people's current rescue. Great work by CNN journalist.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Reply
    • volsocal

      Wish CNN could be so objective about our sitting President.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Reply
      • dave

        wish you would stay on topic - Obama got they guy that the GOP allowed to knock down the World Trade Center and then escape - Republicans are money grubbing traitors

        March 19, 2012 at 8:31 am |
      • Anthony pierce

        Every one has their opinion about our current president but he is far better than the last one. Thank you very much.

        March 19, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • OUMO


      The history of slavery in Mauritania has never been based on skin color. Slavery was abolished by the French Colonists in the beginning of the 20th century. The largest percentage of former slave owners in Mauritania was among the African population( in your CNN article you indicated that Africans have never been slave masters) The fact is that the majority of former Slave owners were among the African races of Salinke, Poular, and Fulani. It is a tradition among these former African slave masters that his African slave cannot sit with his owner on the same rug or sitting area. Furthermore the African slave could not be buried in the same graveyard as his African Master. Among the lower percentage of former Arab Berbers slave masters, it was different because when a former slave got an education and money his social status changed completely. And most often this former slave, through his education and achievements, became Chief of his tribe. I could give names but I choose not to.
      This SOS/slave organizer used a fear tactic. So CNN journalists only interviewed those people selected and paid by SOS/slave leader. It was a staged paid for interview. That is not honest journalism.
      SOS/slave owner, has the intention of getting rich from the sympathy of American taxpayers donations. Anyone with honest intentions to sincerely help the people of Mauritania,

      -–Original Message-–
      From: The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery
      To: apeaceofparadise
      Sent: Mon, Mar 19, 2012 9:20 pm
      Subject: [New comment] Join the conversation: Slavery's last stronghold

      New comment on The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery
      ottomustainecommented on Join the conversation: Slavery's last stronghold.
      in response to Ali:
      This problem is only a problem of poverty… no one in Mauritania like to slave any one ….The CNN article is simplistic also all the commentators are founding good excuse for blaming Islam and the Arab….forgetting all the West centuries of harm to the humanity including slavering countries , continent s and their populations which [...]
      Oh, of course. It's all the West's fault. Don't blame the Arabs who still practice slavery in the 21st century (and not just in Mauritania). Blame the West, which has done more than any civilization in human history to eradicate slavery.
      Reply Comments

      Want less email? Modify your Subscription Options.

      Thanks for flying with

      March 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  5. PS

    America lets take care of our Own, before we even consider, the world.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:33 am | Reply
    • INNJ

      Sadly, I agree

      March 18, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
    • menoc

      You mean the world should not have backed us up when we invaded Afghanistan after 9/11???

      March 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
      • Andrew Owen

        The world should have demanded a complex set of solutions to a complex set of issues. We wouldn't think of preventing crime with a violent solution to every crime if it was on our own soil. Even in the most heinous crimes, we don't punish everyone in the neighborhood for the crimes of a single serial killer. In the case of a violent gang, we wouldn't accept bombing the neighborhood no matter how many drive by shootings there were. But we've made clear that though we acknowledge Abu Graib, civilian casualties, human hunting parties, murdering contracters and rogue soldier, we hold those things to a different standard of humanity. And our enemies are going to treat us at least as poorly.

        March 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • are

      We are the world......

      March 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
      • Andrew Owen

        then our only enemy must be us.

        March 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Mike

      Children in America aren't eating sand to stay alive. How can you say hat we should only take care of our own? Does anyone see he link between enslavement of women and Islam?

      March 18, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Reply
    • dave

      Whatever you do for the least of my brothers you do for me

      March 19, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
  6. Johan S

    Give the women guns, that is the best solution. If the government fails to provide justice, for such clearcut cases let the victims take justice in their own hands.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:35 am | Reply
    • RodentKing

      We should keep our noses out of it, or we will wind up supporting them.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:11 am | Reply
    • MollyBee

      You clearly do not "get" this story.....did you even read it?

      March 18, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • Omar

      Johan, Right now the US government considers the gvt of Mauritania as an ally in the war on "terror". It is outrageous that the US should support such an immoral gvt

      March 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply
      • Marc L from NY

        Unfortunately, in the real world, often times choices are not clear cut between right and wrong. Governments must look at the big picture, and that usually means choosing the lesser of two evils. As ugly as it seems, it is necessary. It is called truth.

        March 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
      • Omar

        Yes I agree. America has to do defend itself. It can do so and still press the mauritanian gvt. It's not an either or proposition. With a little more pressure form the US, Europe and the Arab nations, Mauritania will actively seek solutions to slavery and exclusion of Balck Africans. Right now it doesn't have to because there is very little pressure

        March 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  7. CNN

    Just one line for you CNN. Just Report the Truth not what you want America to hear. Your reporting is up there with Jerry Springer and however
    sometimes he gets it

    March 18, 2012 at 4:37 am | Reply
    • Michele

      Do tell, what is the truth that was not reported here?

      March 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • menoc

      I'd be interested to hear your truth. Let's hear it. .. . . . . Well, I've waited for 50 minutes . . . just what I thought.

      March 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • Omar

      Hey my fellow Mauritanian hiding under the "CNN" user name. You are probably one of those paid "propaganders" sent here by the government of General Aziz. I can smell you from a mile away, like when you massacred thousands of my black brothers and sisters back in the 90's. The times have changed. After all your haneous crimes, the world is about to find out about all the horrible things you did to Black Mauritanians. This is just the beggining. By the way, show us the mass graves!!! We re still waiting!

      March 18, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Reply
      • M. Daheye

        "The Mauritanian gvt pertuated a genocide and massacred thousands of Black Mauritanians" brother Omar the slavery is exist in Mauritania in Arab Community and in African Community (Mattioudo" in Halapolar and in Sonenke. But saying that there were thousands of your fellow african mauritanian massacred in 1990's is a little bit exaggeration. I'm not defending a brutal crimes committed by the Mauritanian gvt which some of those criminals still in power till today, and they have to tried for their crimes. But to have the others sympathize with your just and righteous causes you have to be righteous your self.
        I wish we can be a friends.

        March 18, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
      • Jamila

        What massacre of thousands in Mauritania? This never happened, did it? BIG LIE! Speak the truth with real facts.
        The Truth will set you Free!

        March 19, 2012 at 1:38 am |
      • Omar

        To Dahey,
        Salam Aleyka. I wish we can be friends too. So, you say I am exagerating the number of Blacks that were killed in the genocide? If it was not thousands, what do you think the number was? Please tell me. I'm listening

        March 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
      • Omar

        To Jamila,
        Are you serious saying that a genocide did not happen in Mauritania? At least Mr Dahy aknowledge the fact that blacks were murdered. Him and I disagree with the numbers.
        But you are saying that Blacks were not massacred in the 90's. What about the death camp of Jreida? What about the death camp of Inal. What about the mass graves of Sorry Malle'?
        Were all these the imagination of Black Mauritanians?

        March 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
      • Spartaqus

        Omar, althought I'm anti slavery, I know that this story is a faiked one simply because I know the CNN gays whom did the Job, I meet with them. This don't means that slavery does't existe in Mauritania, but if we want to report on this subjet we need to know about Mauritania sociay. Not all blaks in this country are slave and there no a clear way to differ slave fron ensvalve personne. Beside we can talk about slavery opennely, we don't car. John Sutter, the writer of this article, did't made enough effort to undertand the problem because he sneeked into the country with a fake autorisatio? Locust has nothing to do with slavery

        March 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
      • E. Mintz

        Sayer, It is impossible to respond to an ignorant racist who know's nothing about Islam other than propagating hate. I advise you for your own spiritual benefit, irrelevant of your religion, to read about Islam from non-racist authors without an agenda. It will surprise you that everything you said is wrong.

        March 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
      • Average Joe

        Sayer, It is impossible to respond to an ignorant racist who know's nothing about Islam other than propagating hate. I advise you for your own spiritual benefit, irrelevant of your religion, to read about Islam from non-racist authors without an agenda. It will surprise you that everything you said is wrong.

        March 22, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
      • Average Joe

        Thayer, It is impossible to respond to an ignorant racist who know's nothing about Islam other than propagating hate. I advise you for your own spiritual benefit, irrelevant of your religion, to read about Islam from non-racist authors without an agenda. It will surprise you that everything you said is wrong.

        March 22, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
      • mona

        Are you a mauritania or just another duplicate of yacoub diallo?

        March 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Reminder

      Wa idhal maw'udatu su'ilat
      Bi ayi dhambing Qutilat. (Qur'an 81:8-9)

      March 18, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Reply
      • Andrew Owen

        You just reminded me that the Qaraish used to bury their daughters alive during the jahiliyah. Today they Indians achieve the same thing by getting sonograms and then aborting female fetuses. This has been done millions of times.

        March 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
      • Kowri Soh

        This verse of the Holy Qu'ran (you cited) speaks against ABORTION, but not Slavery!
        Islam forbids slavery, but Slavery is a reality in Mauritania. Nobody can deny it. I was born and grew up in Mauritania. So I know what I am talking about.

        March 19, 2012 at 11:38 am |
      • Spartaqus

        Hey stop don't mingle things here, the Holly Qoran has nothing to do here we are on CNN, you have to talk to people a language they can undrestand

        March 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
      • Thayer

        The holy koran does say it's OK to kill anyone that doesn't believe in it and it's OK to sleep with 9 year old gilrs. Oh and women don't have any rights. Your either completly brainwashed or dumb as a box of rocks because history tells us muslims most certaily practiced slavery on a mass scale. Mohamhed was actually worse than Hitler. So shut up you evil cult loving dolt

        March 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Omm

      Please send a request to CNN so that they can send a team of true journalists to Mauritania to investigate this matter and I'm sure shortly after the result of such an investigation the author of this investigation will be fired...journalism is not being invited by a group of extremist to report what ever they want you to...

      March 23, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  8. Shiva

    hearbreaking. kudos to for reporting, and bringing to the attention of the world. Pushing the US, EU and the UN to take a public stand and pressurize Mauritania by economic and political sanctions could potentially help the cause. I read a few articles about diplomatic sanctions against Mauritania, but it isn't enough.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:42 am | Reply
    • M. Daheye

      I'm a mauritanian living in US for more than a decade. I'm a human rights activist with a good relationship to both Abdel & Massoud. Concerning the sanctions, the negative effects will hardly hit the slaves not the masters. In Mauritania if you count the top 1000 richest man, you will not find a slave dissident among them. They are so poor and neglected by their own government and the international community. So, please if you are trying to do something about them please call or email your congress representative to have him pressing on the Mauritanian goverment instead of allying with a dictator.

      March 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
      • DA

        M. Daheye

        I just viewed the story about the modern day slavery on CNN and I just read the article on CNN. Very, very heart-breaking!!

        What could I do to help?? Please email me.........

        March 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
      • M. Daheye

        I hope that I can get your Email and I promise that I'll contact you as soon as I get it.

        March 18, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
      • Jamila

        First of all there are not 1000 Rich people in Mauritania. Maybe 10.
        And 3 of the richest in Mauritania are descendants of Slaves. What do you know about Mauritania today?
        You are talking without facts. The TRUTH will set you FREE!

        March 19, 2012 at 1:50 am |
      • anna

        All the Mauritanians writing in this article should go home and help their people.

        March 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
      • Spartaqus

        Nice idie

        March 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
      • Abdou

        Anna and Spartaqus, stop being sarcastic and arrogant. If you can't have compassion please keep your negative thoughts to yourself. When it is time and appropriate to go back home and continue the fight we will without your permission. Morale standard is the key in this article and if you lack some of the basic elements you are loosing the GPS or the road map of HUMAN RIGHTS.

        March 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  9. Trish

    Thank you CNN, for producing a truly in-depth piece of investigative journalism, the likes of which I haven't seen in years. This is something of which I was unaware, and at which we should all be outraged.

    March 18, 2012 at 5:08 am | Reply
    • Valentino99

      I second Trish's comment. The journalists' work on this piece really shows, and I truly hope that the world takes notice of the situation there. The key to freedom in this article seems to be education – for everyone there. And for those of you commenting on this article that "we need to keep our noses out of it, or we will end up supporting them," shame on you. Shame on you for being selfish. I would much rather support another country in ending this situation by educating them and bringing them into the modern world, than by sending them weapons (like we do with some countries).

      March 18, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
      • Diane

        People, ie, those in charge, don't change unless it in their interest to do so. Maybe we should start tourism there. There is nothing like a group of shoppers to open up a country. Think it through before exploding. Money equals the desire for more money equals the desire for more tourist dollars equals a changed infrastructure equals more openness equals less, and, eventually, an end to slavery.

        November 7, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • mona

      cnn did not make any effort they just wrote was dictated to them by sos esclave ,this peiple nrrd to be on the international news other ways they won't have any funding ,remember they are not spendindg the money wisely ! !!

      March 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  10. Ginger L

    Thank you so much for reporting and enlightening us on this issue. Please continue the good work!

    March 18, 2012 at 5:16 am | Reply
    • Elizabeth O. Ogundana

      If there is an affliction, surely there is always an afflictors.The so called politicians have directly and indirectly contributed effectively in enhancing slavery in the country, for their selfish interest.Glory be to the God Almighty for using CNN reporters group as instrument for exploit.
      And moreover freedom cometh from God,it´s their due time to be set free that is why CNN was able to penetrated freely with little obstacles.

      March 28, 2012 at 4:57 am | Reply
  11. dave

    Sweat shops in general I think are mis-understood. They can be the only feasable way for the person working in the sweat shop to get on the first rung of the economic ladder. Boycotting slave shop products can make that slave shop opportunity disappear and it seems to me that that makes it worse. I think Jeffrey Sach is on to something when he writes that the interior countries of Africa need investment funds from the riches people in America committed for a minimum of 10 years, is the thing to do. Each village must be provided with a pick-up truck and a cell phone for community use. I don't know anything...that's just what I have read.

    March 18, 2012 at 5:54 am | Reply
    • dawne

      True Dave, but how should that money be allocated and who should be responsible for utilizing it? Clearly the Mauritanian government can not be counted on when they turn a blind eye and insist that slavery was successfully 'abolished'. It's a thoroughly horrifying display of 'governance' and leadership.
      Perhaps more organizations like SOS Slavery would be a good first step, but it will take much more than that.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:50 am | Reply
      • Jamila

        Dawne, There's always 2 sides to every story. You saw 1-side but did not hear or see the other.
        Hold on to your shirt! Do you know how SOS/slaves Spokesperson lives and how many cars he drives?
        Did you see the diamond-like watch and ring on the so called enslaved young lady? No one eats dirt in Mauritania!
        3 of the wealthiest Mauritanians are descendants of slaves. One was a former prime minister.Physical slavery no longer exists in Mauritania. This slave story was written 8 years ago. Why the sudden exposure now? Is it OIL related?
        Mauritania has it now!

        March 19, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  12. tjp44

    Come on "african-americans", step up and do your part to end this. Or, just sit back and whine about how bad you have living in this country.

    March 18, 2012 at 6:53 am | Reply
    • Dtolbert

      This isn't a black or white thing, these are human beings they should be treated as such. Regardless how bad the economic situation is, right is right and this is just sad.

      March 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Reply
    • Anthony pierce

      If you are a Christian you will understand that from one blood all men on planet earth was created so that means we are all apart of the human family so let us all get involved in being our brothers keeper.

      March 19, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  13. Mortran

    The term "slave" is a little bit misleading. In fact it is an early form of marriage. What is referred to as "slaves" in this article about Mauritania differs very little or often not at all from the normal status of wives in other islamic countries.
    It is a western word and a biased translation of the actual word used in this context. "Abeed", which is here translated as "slave" simply refers to Black Africans, which Arabs generally consider to have inferior status and only to be suitable for serving tasks.
    It makes no sense to write an article about slavery in Mauritania. It is no isolated phenomenon, but part of the islamic concept of marriage, which means one muslim man marrying several women, mostly of foreign/non-Arab origin. Their status is of course one of servants, because this is the status that women always have towards their husbands from an islamic point of view.

    March 18, 2012 at 6:56 am | Reply
    • truconfession

      Would agree that Mortran is pointing to the context, however, it's one thing to willingly be subservient to your husband on the basis of a religious/cultural system, and it's a step beyond to be raped and be the economically-bound, indentured servant to a 'master' - by definition, not of your own choosing. While arranged marriages are also 'not of your own choosing,' the overriding belief system of a culture can go a long way to make an arranged marriage work. I think 'slave' does fit the description the reporters are describing.

      March 18, 2012 at 7:04 am | Reply
    • shocked

      according to Mortran, it is not slavery, it is marriage. and the rest of the world is dumb and islam is perfect. and the lady's master did not kill her baby, she was just tanning
      shocked behond belief on how even caught, Muslims keep on lying about what they really do, what they really are and what they really want for the world.
      Good job CNN for exposing this atrocious reality

      March 18, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
      • Michele

        No kidding. It's quite like saying the Holocaust didn't really happen, all those people just needed to go on a diet.

        March 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
      • Abdou

        It's not about IISLAM and if you are looking at this situation in the religious point of vue, you will be stigmatizing. Yes, there are voices that criticized the role of IMAMS and their silence in regard to this hot topic. The fight started long time ago but we lack support from the international community. SOS slavery or IRA can free slaves but they don't have the resources necessary to maintain freed individuals during the transition period. How can we get the US government and other country to put pressure on the Mauritanian's government?

        March 18, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • alessandro biglioli

      BS, i have seen male slaves in Mauritania and be sure they were not married to Moor women....

      March 18, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • Michele

      If you're trying to make Islam sound better than slavery to us dimwitted outsiders, you have failed, miserably.

      March 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
      • Andrew Owen

        Not dimwitted. Just brainwashed. It's during my own lifetime that Jim Crow was done away with. My grandmothers generation witnessed postcards of lynchings sent through normal mail. But you want to make a case that Muslims are somehow prone to slavery? There was slavery long before Islam and for 400 years in America. Muhammad freed more slaves than George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Moses, Jesus and Abraham put together. So don't repeat this revisionist history that Christians are the world's only abolitionists and the only tolerant people. Keith Ellison swore in on a translation of the Quran that belonged to Jefferson because there was no such thing as an American slave owning a Quran even though a good number of them were Muslim.

        March 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Against it

      The context IS important – in order to understand it from all sides, which is the beginning of fighting it.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Reply
      • Anthony pierce

        I think that love for humanity should transcend religion ethnicity and we should commit to altruism.

        March 19, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Clarity

      Totally out of context with the article. If Mortran, you like to write about Muslim culture, marriages or Islam then learning about these topics will help you. You seem uninformed.
      If indeed truthful, it is excellent reporting by CNN. Wish I knew how to help.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:39 am | Reply
  14. john

    It is sad that in this age slavery still exists . Mauritania should continue to rescue men, women and children and abolish slavery by law and offer employment with wages to slaves and families. No one is born a slave nor is it justified in any way. It still continues to be justified and tolerated in many countries. It is inspiring that after facing so much injustice people still carry on and still continue their struggle.

    March 18, 2012 at 7:09 am | Reply
  15. Michael

    This was an incredible and brave piece of thought-provoking journalism, the likes of which are almost never seen on news sites, that broadcast an unending stream of distant surface level stat based reporting. CNN you are leading the way in the lost art of story, and doing it at great personal risk. Thank you! The in depth story you took great pains to tell has moved me in a way that I did not expect to be moved scanning the morning headlines. God is using you all in a special way to stir up His love and justice and righteousness in the hearts of people like me. I am open to using my best time and resources in a way that will bless and encourage the dear people you spoke to that Jesus called the "least of these."

    March 18, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
    • DEE


      March 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  16. Daniel Bryant

    I watched a M3 driving American housewife drop off her Central American slave at the train station in South Pasadena, CA a few days ago.
    One need not cross the great Atlantic to observe the hideous extremes of exploited people. Americans enslave illegal immigrants and all such calls to 'set them free' via deportation to their native lands is cleverly, self-interestedly, branded as racist.
    As long as rich white American folk cut their lawns, clean their cars, and push their strollers with illegals from Mexico, Central and South America we lack the moral integrity to implicate slavers in foreign lands.

    March 18, 2012 at 7:28 am | Reply
    • RodentKing

      Daniel you say, QUOTE: As long as rich white American folk cut their lawns, clean their cars, and push their strollers with illegals from Mexico, Central and South America we lack the moral integrity to implicate slavers in foreign lands.

      It is true that Blacks don't mow their lawns or paint their houses or take care of their kids and mostly live on Welfare from the slaves who pay taxes.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:15 am | Reply
      • DEE


        March 18, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
      • daniel bryan

        Outstanding point. Both the welfare recipient and illegal alien are slaves. Absolutely. And black conservatives like myself are alternately called a sell out, or racist when advocating for welfare and immigration reforms.. Epic irony huh.

        March 19, 2012 at 2:17 am |
      • BlackPanther

        Mow your own damn lawn, lazy rat. America still hasn't had the descendant of a slave become president. They don't enforce the murder and rape of their slaves just like here. The slaves don't know they are slaves just like here. Big business and the government control you simple brain through the media. KMA

        September 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      Was the woman starving? Who bought her train ticket? I'll agree that many folks are underpaid, but to suggest that it is the same as slavery is absurd.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:41 am | Reply
    • RodentKing

      Daniel, ypou almost have it right.
      "The Welfare recipient is a Slave of the system" and "the Taxpayer is the Slave of the Welfare recipient"

      March 19, 2012 at 7:31 am | Reply
    • Disgusted

      These people come here of their own free will and remain here of their own free will. If the government would inforce our laws this would not be an issue and they could not be exploited!

      March 23, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
  17. Barry

    Great job CNN!
    Please correct this:
    Languages: Arabic, French [and regional languages] <-- This is very offensive to the 3 Black Mauritanians languages who are denied access to media and to schools. This is part of the opression the successive pro-slavery Arabs from the North are putting on the populations of the South. I am Mauritanian and I feel offended that you are echoeing the pro-slavery opressor's attemps to make our languages insignificant!
    The other languages are Pulaar (Fulah), Soninke and Wolof!

    The slaves are stolen from us and are deprived from their language to make them Hassanya speakers. So it is part of the struggle to give them back what they deserve.

    March 18, 2012 at 7:40 am | Reply
  18. Daniel

    Mauritania is Mauritania, don't compare it to the US or any other developed country. The fact that there are comments here claiming people in the US are enslaved is borderline ridiculous and disrespectful in context to what's happening in Mauritania.

    No doubt, CNN did a good job, and I'm sure not everything is accurate in this report, but the core of the matter is still all the same. I think its disrespectful to quibble over the details when people are being kept in even half the conditions mentioned by the report.

    The only sadness any of us should feel is that this situation is going to continue for a long while yet.

    March 18, 2012 at 8:05 am | Reply
    • Anthony pierce

      That is so true my friend.

      March 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  19. Scott

    I sometime think the real problem we face today is overpopulation and not slaver. Our global economy can only support so many people and the rest are doomed to some form of servitude and neglect.

    March 18, 2012 at 8:11 am | Reply
    • RodentKing

      The ones who can learn will survive.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:29 am | Reply
  20. brownroses


    March 18, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
    • Michele

      I'm sure your comment is brilliant and greatly contributes to this conversation, however, nobody can read it. Try using what is called sentence case AND REPOST.

      March 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  21. dee

    The subject matter of this story is compelling, but the purple prose is infuriating. Where are the editors? I couldn't make it through the swollen metaphors. If this is a story, make it a story, if this is reportage, leave the breathless, overblown prose at the door.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
  22. Baconstrip

    Hey look....our friend Islam, the religion of peace, is again putting itself on the wrong side of righteousness by supporting slavery. Is this the world's largest morally corrupt religion or what?

    March 18, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • Omar

      This is not about religion. I am a Black Mauritanian and I am Muslim. My Black brothers and sisters were enslaved, tortured and killed in Mauritania but I will not blame Islam just beacause the perpetrators are Muslims. There are Arabs and Muslims who do not agree with these crimes against humanity.
      PLease, do not insert Islam in this discussion.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  23. Globalee

    This is shocking and disturbing yet not suprising considering what human beings are capable of doing if allowed to regardless of their race, religion and nationality. I believe the minimum wages present in most countries are maybe not slavery but great obstacles for personal development and evolution. However, what is going on in Mauritania is absolutely jaw-dropping. It has to be stopped.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
  24. observer

    There are no human rights in Islam and Muslim countries. It is appalling how poor immigrant workers are treated in rich Gulf countries. I hope more enslaved and mistreated people stand up for their rights as this courageous woman did. Also, if more slave owners and employers developed compassion towards their fellow human beings, such human rights violations would cease to exist.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
  25. sam kohen

    I see no real reason to abolish slavery. In fact I think President Lincoln was wrong and slavery should be legalized.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • DEE

      You must be a ld dog that's been trained to type.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Reply
    • Anthony pierce

      Guy are you from this planet or what. That is the most ignorant statement a human being on this planet should ever make.

      March 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
      • sam kohen

        I would like to remind you that the Holy Bible condones slavery and that great civilizations such as Greece and Rome were based on slavery.

        March 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  26. Fátimah

    This story is a continued tragedy. Language/illiteracy/mis-education, cultural abuse and egregious customs are all part of the triangle of destruction. How can we help women like "Moulkheir Mint Yarba" the organization "SOS Slaves" and Messrs. Bouboucar Messaoud and Abdel Nasser Ould Ethmane and IRA Mauritania continue their work? Applause to everyone involved in bringing this story to light.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:33 am | Reply

      As the former slave owner said "the mind has to be freed" and that applies to both the Slave and Slave Owner. Once the mind is freed, the body will follow. It is sad that so many people lack the kind of character traits their religious customs advocate (irrespective of their faith). The tragedy is how one justifies dehumanizing another human being. It may take a lifetime to realize the desired change in Mauritania.

      I believe that the first thing we can do right now is continue to make others aware of these atrocities, put pressure on their government and ours (wherever in the world we may be) and engage the help of organizations experienced in helping communities become self sufficient through self empowerment (education and financial support).

      It's like raising a child. A child must first be supported (physically and spiritually), then educated/trained to the point that they are able to become productive (self employed or otherwise) and capable of effecting change in their lives.

      I know very little about Mauritania and less of its culture, economy, etc. However, I do believe that people from other countries could help by making contributions (to organizations like SOS) for help acquiring land that is not tied to former slave owners, volunteers to help educate their children and train young adults in certain trades, etc. and by purchasing whatever they produce.

      The first thing I thought of was to create a demand for whatever they are able to produce and help them market it to the world. I know there must be other ways to help. I am going to check out the "How to Help" section to the right of this article for more ideas to see what I can do to help. Hope you do the same.

      All it takes is for one person to light a candle and others will be able to see more clearly. T

      March 18, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
      • DEE

        Thanks for your post......The one that inspires me to believe there are people of like hearts, soul and compassion. Those looking for ways to help simply because there is a need.

        March 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  27. Frank G

    Yes another example of the loving and peaceful Muslim faith. Why, I wonder, does slavery abound predominately in the "muslim" world?

    March 18, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • alessandro biglioli

      it's not a matter of Muslims or not, in the US the slavemasters were not Muslims, but the deeply religious Southerners (and some still lament the end of slavery to this day)

      March 18, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
      • John Geheran

        Point taken. The difference is that the US and most western countries corrected their past mistakes. What the CNN piece fails to note is, unlike virtually all other religions, the notion of "human property" whether it be women or slaves is deeply embedded in Islamic culture and sacred texts. Failure to acknowledge this fact is either due to willful blindness or PC run amok. This problem is unlikely to be solved absent fundamental reform of Islam.

        March 18, 2012 at 11:12 am |
      • Michele

        That was 150 years ago, historian. What is happening to these people today is more like 1000 years ago, and we have a big head start on Islam. Check back with us in, oh, 500 years, see how they're doing with that awesome religion of theirs would would rather point the fingers at atrocities that happened a loooong time ago than address what they are doing, TO THEIR OWN PEOPLE, *today*.

        March 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
      • Michele

        Another note, alessandri, they can lament it to their death beds. We. Do. Not. Allow. It. In civilized society, it can still occur, but it is much more often than not eliminated when found. That is NOT what is happening in Mauritania. The government cannot protect people from what people think, only what they DO. So get off that high horse of yours before you fall off and break your legs.

        March 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Clarity

      Has nothing to do with Muslim faith. Your comment is biased or by misinformed sources. Article says that this country was a French colony until 1960. Practices should be French if any.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:56 am | Reply
  28. Jazzy

    "thought is the seed of action"
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    March 18, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
  29. Rose Elan

    I know slavery exists in Mauritania and has for centuries. It also exists in other countries, such as Saudi Arabia. I know because I was married to a Saudi and his family had inherited and "new" slaves. It was a religio-cultural thing to them and they believed they were in accordance with their deeply held beliefs which I won't go into here. What concerns me is why now? following (unhappily) the Kony 2012 "campaign". Sounds too much alike. Even the tone of the narrator. Measured, droning, completely manipulated and very well done including what I see as some inconsistencies. However, what I can do is nothing. I already know and don't keep slaves myself. I am in a dilemma to get on this bandwagon or not. I think not.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
  30. Marcus

    Slavery is slavery regardless of economic status. My bondage comes from a system setup to insure failure to thrive. There is a system built in our nation that is intended to create addiction and dependency on our government and the corporations that fund it. Breaking my chains comes first to me. I am sorry for the bondage of another person and do not wish it on anyone but I have my own personal master and right now it is my focus on getting rid of him.!

    March 18, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
  31. Skorpio

    Eliminating Muslim clerics could be a good start to change the lives of these people. Islamic clerics promote, instigate, incite violence, oppression, discrimination, hatred and everything evil related to Islam's founder: the prophet Mohammed. Muslim clerics are judges, jurors, witnesses, prosecutors and police at the same time, no wonder people can not find support. These rats are the main obstacle in all Muslim countries for people to be free and with justice.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
  32. alessandro biglioli

    I was In Mauritania in the 90s, I distinctly remember meeting a White Moor on a horse followed by a black man on an ass in the middle of the desert, we asked him for directions and to our surprise and disgust the black man hurried down from his donkey, went on his fours and the Moor descended from the horse using the black man back as a stool.
    i remember being speechless, the moor was polite and helpful and when the conversation ended the scene repeated, the black man went again on his fours and the moor used him as a stool again to go back on his horse. I will never forget the scene till i live, we were all left breathless......slavery was already illegal so we tried to report the situation at at the next government post and they told us it was probably a joke they played on us and they laughed......

    March 18, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
  33. grist

    Great job reporting. Brought tears to my eyes.
    This is why we still really need real journalists. Too bad we mostly get fluff.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
  34. John Hillman

    Blacks enslaving blacks for thousands of years. This story will not be accepted because it takes the "power" away from the people in the US that want us to believe blacks are still slaves in the US. The black slaves that came here were sold by other blacks to get rid of them. Slavery will never end until everyone's part in the activity are acknowledged.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • alessandro biglioli

      the white moors are not black, they are arabs. Even in the past it was mostly arab slave traders selling slaves to the westerners......just to get the facts straight (not to say blacks or whites are better depending on the color of their skins, as you might know)

      March 18, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • madly

      good luck with that one, buddy!!!

      March 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • Omar

      These slave owners are not black. They are Arabs.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
      • mona

        Omar if you are a mauritanian you know that black african in mauritania in senegal in mali in all africa own slave and you know that a black slave owner can't tolarate his slave to sit with him or her on the same sitting place or be buried with him in the same grave yard if you are serious about the slavery in africa you have to admit that this crime is n not about skin color go to the noble family from the african population in mauritania or anyother african country(fullan , soninke wollof) and take cnn and they will see the true slavery .

        March 28, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  35. Guitarrista

    A painful article to read, a narrative so horrendously poetic that only a heart of steel could ignore. There is no place in human terms for the abomination that is slavery. No excuse.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
  36. Prasanga Fernando

    I just why USA cannot help and rule this poor people's country rather than conquering other countries?

    March 18, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • Sid Fein

      It's terrible to see that sort of thing goes on in this day and age. America has not conquered anybody but if you think that for a second we will not take revenge on those who would come here and kill civilians in a cowardly attack then you are sorely mistaken. It's terrible what we did in the middle east after 2001 but they friggin deserved it. Next time they want to come over here and kill us take note of our reciprocity. As far as that god-forsaken nation is concerned, let this be a lesson about who we are dealing with. They believe in slavery, something the west grew out of more than a century ago. They believe that if you are different you should be converted, enslaved, or killed in that order. You may say that we were no better, but we evolved. Hopefully one day we'll evolve to the point war will become a sad memory.

      March 18, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
      • David

        "It's terrible what we did in the middle east after 2001 but they friggin deserved it. "

        Are you high? Iraq had nothing to do with what happened, and Afganistan is where the Taliban had hold, but none of the civvies "deserved it". Quit acting like a 12 year old.:/

        March 18, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  37. dino

    I really wanted to read this informative article, really, but this sutter 's terrible descriptions about the physical surroundings made it possible to progress through the article, and gave up in the first quarter of it. He does not only not have a gift for describing, but does it in an excruciatingly horrible way. Pity, good article, messed up by very rubbish descriptions...

    March 18, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • LoveItOrLeaveIt

      I found the descriptions gave me a very good mind picture. I'm sorry you do not possess the creativity required to view the same.

      March 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  38. mommers

    This serious story makes the democrat's phony war on women look pathetic!

    March 18, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
  39. bigbob

    This is propaganda to get americans to support another war in africa. The elites want the resources of the country and they will use 'humanitarian intervention' as a pretext to invade the country, take the oil and minerals and kill millions of africans... the usual stuff for globalists.
    This coincides with the kony 2012 hoax. Wake up people, this is the new way things are being done.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • madly

      you are badly in need of psychiatric treatment.

      March 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
      • Dtolbert

        @bigbob, how can you be so incredibly insensitive to this situation and the Koney one the same. Even if you can not aid and assist either of these atrocities don't spread ignorance.

        March 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • mikemmm

      War is what this world needs pick up your gun and kill.

      March 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
      • LoveItOrLeaveIt

        Very successful attempt at sarcasm! I hope all the other readers caught it, too, and didn't take you seriously.

        March 18, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Omar

      BigBob, No one is talking about invading Mauritania.

      In fact, activists there have the opposite problem: The US considers this gvt of Mauritania as an ally, which means this Slavery goverment is benefiting from American military training and financial help. The US need to ease the help it is giving to this immoral government that prosecute abolitionists

      March 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  40. eviewg

    First, amazing article. Second, as a teacher, I have always held the belief that education no only opens up opportunities to people, but also opens their mind. I'm reading this article to my class... and I'm a science/math teacher, to show my students how lucky they are to be in born and living in this country (America).

    March 18, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
  41. John Doe

    why don't the Black West-African tribes unite with the enslaved Black Moors and become the majority??

    March 18, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • Ami

      Because the Black Tribes of Mauritania view the Black moors as part of the Overall Moor group that oppresses them and therefore hate them too. Also The Pulaar and Soninke also keep 'slaves' you just can't tell the difference because they are all black.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:38 am | Reply
      • Kowri Soh

        Ami, your argument is false because it is based on sweeping generalisations. You must give evidenceto substantiate your claim.

        March 19, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • mona

      Beceause just like the moor the black mauritania tribe own slaves.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  42. a

    I miss good reporting like this-why can't we see this on CNN prime time instead of the incessant obsessing over GOP primary polls and the latest celebrity shenanigans?

    March 18, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • Omm

      This can be anything except good reporting and believe anyone who know Mauritania and willing to tell the truth will come up with the same conclusion

      March 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  43. NoKidding

    Where is God Almighty?

    March 18, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • vahellbilly

      he left this race to swim in it's pettiness, indifference and hatred many, many, many moons ago...

      March 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • vahellbilly

        When I said race, I was talking about the Human Race.... Just want to clarify before I got branded a certain way as people are very thin-skinned.

        March 18, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Dennis

      When he comes you will know, repeat elements 10 times ????

      March 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  44. madly

    Hey! Where's Jesse and Al and the boys? know, rev. wright (left?) whatever his name know who i'm talkin about...hello? Anybody there? Hello?....mmmm must be out in their cadilacs cruising the beach in florida...

    March 18, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
  45. Freedom

    Well i do agree that we are all still enslave whether its mentally or physically, however being enslave as those people are is different, they dnt have the privilage to choose between staying home from work one day, or go shopping. their basic rights are being taken away and thats what makes their situtations far wrose then ours could ever be. Something needs to done ASAP!!!! while the government is busy fighting war and so many people are being killed, They need to help preserve life rather than taking it. So much money is spend on war and buying amunitions when so many people dnt even have food. This is pure maddness!!!!!

    March 18, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
  46. Dennis

    Shame on the leader's of mauritania who are also Black to continue slavery in the 21century. I say to the people rise up seek inspiration in the music of Bob Marley's – Get up stand up stand up for your rights or Peter Tosh's – Equal rights and justice, Only then will you begin to beat the drums of revolt let me hear this all the way in the Caribbean.

    March 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Omar

      The leaders of Mauritania are not Black. They are Arabs. The situation is the same as in Sudan

      March 18, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Reply
      • M. Daheye

        Omar, the leaders of Mauritania are both Arabs and Africans.

        March 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Omar

      Dahey, that was very funny.
      You know our country is run by Arabs and has always been. Yes, the always find a few blacks to serve with them, just to fool the International community.

      When did a black person have a say in the running of the country?

      The fact that Arabs run the country doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that the rulers don't care about ending slavery. And these same rulers killed countless Black Africans during the "purge"

      March 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  47. Jan

    Just another example of why America is the master race.

    God Bless America..... Countries like this need to have population control. Because it is quite obvious that the current group which is running the show is doing a pretty bad job. As the population of the US, continues to grow we will eventually need new lands to go to. It would be nice if all this Africans would stop having babies and start planting trees so that when Americans get to their lands 100 years in the future there will be some nice shade for us.

    March 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • LoveItOrLeaveIt

      Jan, you are another example of why people outside the USA think of Americans as arrogant and ignorant. Please stop adding to their belief. I'm of the opinion that Amrians are compassionate and open to being educated about situations such as this. You and your kind are in a VERY minute minority and do not represent what it is to be an American.

      March 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • RHughes

      To the commenter who talked about the US needed to expand to Mauritania - the native population of the United States is not growing, as fertility is below the replacement rate of an average of 2.3 children per woman of childbearing age. The only cause for any continued increase in the population of the US is immigration, mostly from Latin America, coupled with higher birthrates among immigrants. Even so, we have plenty of room. Indeed the entire population of the world could live in Texas, with nice-sized lots for everyone.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  48. vahellbilly

    And we have people in the US crying about slavery that occurred over 150 years ago, yet Mother Africa still had it going strong amongst it's own up into the 21st century. Now that is something to cry about...

    March 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  49. Al Coholic

    I am d@mn tired of hearing about the problems in other countries. When ever you read a story where a foreign person says "I Demand Justice" thats a code term for "Where is America" Why are they not here to save us

    March 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • David

      "I am d@mn tired of hearing about the problems in other countries."

      Then don't read them. Simply really. Much like your thought processes.

      And people "Demanding Justice" usually means just that. Do you really think people kept like this, and kept ignorant, are really informed enough to understand anything about America? You're level of selfishness and outright stupidity is incredible.

      March 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • mona

      you are very right.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  50. Al Coholic

    We could always send our Kenyan born president Mr. Obama Moon Cricket to save them.

    March 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • David

      Only a bad person could take such a wonderful article and turn it into a personal attack on Obama. Yes, Al Coholic, this does make you a bad person.

      March 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  51. Jim Weix

    "One important distinction: He could not go to school.The master would not allow it..."

    So many problems, from slavery to terrorism, could be solved with education. Many goverments, big business, and religions only exist because of ignorance.

    Education can end so many of the worlds ills.

    March 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • vahellbilly

      True... As long is their is no slanting to favor or push one social-political agenda and/or masking truth...

      March 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • Al Coholic

      I do not believe that ANY amount of education could possibly help the African continent. Over 200 world agencies and 50 years later that continent is NO better off !

      March 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  52. WillMakeit

    Great Report!!! It is all about Education, Education and Education... the only think next to that is international pressure to create real political will to face the problem. But wondering what other African nations are doing about that. They should be at the forefront of this fight against slavery in Mauritania. The African Union, ECOWAS, Senegal just next door...

    March 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • Omar

      Great point. International pressure.

      Unfortunately, some of African nations do not want to "hurt" their relations with Mauritania.

      As to Americans, they can do a simple and effective thing: Ask that the US stops legitimizing this immoral government of Mauritania with military assistance

      March 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  53. esoteric1

    Its easy...If you are an adult that owns slaves you should be killed

    March 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • mikemmm

      You are 100% correct!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
      • Epenny

        But when a murderer kills someone in the US and is found guilty, everyone screams about the death penalty and how barbaric it is.

        March 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  54. Lucky George

    CNN, good job. I have a lot of respect for the journalists that carried out this assignment. I am a travel and tourism journalist here in West Africa and I will be willing to collaborate to organise a media work shop for journalists across the region to put pressure on their respective government to help these trapped slaves. In fact, a new location can be arranged in neutral country, where they can resettled.

    March 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • LoveItOrLeaveIt

      I sincerely hope you get responses to your offer of collaboration. If I were a journalist, I'd certainly join you in the effort. Keep on trying to get the word out. As an average citizen, I'll be sharing this information with friends and family, and writing a few emails to my representatives in Washington. That's the least (and, probably, the most) I can do as John Q. Public in the USA.

      March 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  55. attomind

    Where is Clowney, I mean Clooney, when you really need him?! Be nice if this unfortunate women could focus on improving her lot in life rather than continue to be a victim by focusing on revenge.

    March 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Reply
    • LoveItOrLeaveIt

      It's interesting that you label her actions as "revenge". "Justice" is a truer and more descriptive term, though, as I'm sure more readers view it as such.

      March 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  56. OmOmaha

    Every nation and every race have been enslaved at some point in their past. Please stop making the blacks look like they are so hard done by. We did not choose for them to be slaves, so stop apologizing for it. Furthermore, WE are sick of hearing about them. The blacks come here from Africa and get handed everything sucking up our resources, taking things away from actual CITIZENS of the US. We need to be focusing on getting US Citizens lives back on track, not worrying about these foreigners.

    March 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  57. mikemmm

    I am tired of the journalists of this world. These people travel to these gutter countries and only take a camera and a pen. These countries are run by criminals and thugs and the only way to deal with them is the same way they deal with the meek of the country they oppress. No more sitting idle, the just and peacful humans of this planet need to step up and take the world back by force. We must purify this word of thugs and murderers. The only way to do that is by applying the same measures these thugs use against the meek and peacful. Instead of showing up with a camera try a gun.

    March 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  58. Lulu

    Yes, we have big problems in our own turf, that's a given. But when you put our own problems in perspective, when you compare them to what other people in this world have to face on a daily basis, you realize that not getting involved in causes such as the one depicted in this great article is next to impossible. How can we turn our backs without remorse, knowing what we know today? Kudos to these reporters, their piercing narrative and courage to uncover the horrors of Mauritania can only be honored by getting involved whichever way we can.

    March 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  59. Karen

    I must say this is piece was presented extremely well. Kudos to the the design team, reporters, photographers, editors and CNN, but most importantly to those who boldly spoke out and have assisted those in need. The presentation left only one question? What can we do to help?

    March 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  60. David

    Please leave the politics alone for a minute and simply appreciate just how incredible a reporting job this was. John Sutter and Edythe McNamee have provided one of the best articles I have ever read.

    March 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • Master Hip-Hop

      Have not read that much, huh!

      March 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  61. splasher6

    perhaps all the 250 year old axe grinders in the USA will do something about slavery in Africa...

    March 18, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  62. Kuske

    A baby elephant is tied by a rope to a deep stake in the ground and has no chance of escape. As the elephant grows into a big animal it is more than capable of freeing itself from the rope but it doesn't know better so it stays.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  63. grateful

    thank you CNN for this detailed, informative report. Would love an action list of what we can do to help. Would love to buy that girl her sewing machine at the very least. Thank you for caring. thank you for noticing Kevin Bales amazing dedicated work. Thanks for risking arrest for getting these interviews.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  64. Amos

    Man made slaves, not God. God created men to be free and free indeed, yet man and their systems and organizations have made slaves to rule over people. No one has a right to keep any individual person in slavery. We are all made to be free. This is a system of the world, and men.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  65. MotheroftheBean

    Bales' book came out eight years ago. Why the sudden concern now? Could it have to do with the fact that there is oil in Mauritania?

    March 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • Jamila

      You're Absolutely Right. 8 yrs ago, they had not started to pump oil, so the timing wasn't right. Now that they have also found gold & diamonds, Mauritania becomes an interesting target. The story is not complete and all the truth has not been told.
      They never interviewed the educated, the working, the average non-Arab & Arab Mauritanians in their homes for their honest opinion and truth about this story. They never stated that Mauritania has a shared government of all races on all levels. They never showed the fine residence of the SOS leader and all of his multiple cars. Perhaps Mr SOS leader acquired all of these riches through the contributions and donations
      earmarked to eradicate mind slavery and help the poor. There is poverty & wealth of all races in Mauritania. No one eats dirt or sand in Mauritania.
      Where did the young girl who said she was raped get such a beautiful watch and ring and new clothes? I didn't see any marks from the so-called beatings that was mentioned. I think that some of this was staged. I've been to Mauritania a dozen times and have known and seen all situations except physical slavery. I am African American and would have a keen eye for slavery here, there, and everywhere. The story needs to be told from both sides in Mauritania to shed light on the search for truth, OIL, Diamonds & Gold and other precious metals. Eradicating Slavery is not the real mission!

      March 19, 2012 at 12:56 am | Reply
  66. mommers

    This story makes the phony democrat's war on women theory look pretty silly.

    March 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • LoveItOrLeaveIt

      Your bringing in an American contemporary political issue to the conversation makes YOU look very silly! This is NOT about the current political landscape in the USA and it's ridiculous to try to link ANY current isue to this topic. Shame on you for bringing your own political agenda to the conversation. The slavery issue pertains to all of mankind, regardless of politics, religious affiliation and race.

      March 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  67. l2l2l2l

    *Chattel* slavery's last stronghold. Wage slavery is still alive and well. They make your iThingies.

    March 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  68. Master Hip-Hop

    Slavery was the best thing to ever happen to Africans residing in the U.S.. Most black skinned people from Africa have far lower IQs than their counterparts in America. They should have a holiday where the Africans in the U.S. pay tribute to the good people who took them out of that sewer hole they were removed from.

    March 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
    • David

      IQ and knowledge are not the same thing, which your post amply proves.

      March 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Reply
    • DEE

      You're on my prayer list!

      March 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  69. eroteme

    In Zambia, another fine African country, the custom is for the family to take charge of their son's wife should the son die. The result is the wife becomes an effective slave to the son's family. It is not called slavery but that is exactly what it is. There are those who proudly claim they are African-Americans.

    March 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  70. Simon Abela

    Can anyone get me in contact with the organization or the people so we can fnd ways to help them?

    March 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • Epenny

      You can't even locate the information yourself, via the Internet and then you want to help them? Just exactly what are you planning to do once someone else gives you the information that you aren't intelligent enough to find on your own? Send money and pretend it is all going to go away, while your money is lining the pocket of the very problem – the government. I've given money and now I can sleep easy. Think before posting...please!

      March 18, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  71. Jane

    Gut-wrenching story, I never knew this hell on earth existed. Slave-owning murderers. I find it interesting that freed slaves are considered evil by their peers. I'm glad this story has been revealed to the world; too many people in the USA have no idea how fortunate they are, yet they complain endlessly. It will take something monumental to break this horror.

    March 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  72. Pauline N. Fromer

    Thank you, for enlightening the rest of the world.
    I do wish Ms. Demi Moore would return to what she has proven to be one of the best efforts in her life. She was a great CNN ambassador and it's a great pity she stopped ... she will gain strength to overcome whatever sadness she has endured. The ex is just not worth it.
    Helping this world to free us from slavery is worth it.
    Do, please, Ms. Moore, get back to doing what you are so very good at.
    Pauline N. Fromer

    March 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  73. susi

    This is a science fiction story...there are no slaves anymore in mauritania..there are still some people who need the help from their former masters but nobody really wants to feed someone else than his own family ,people are too poor to care about someone else.

    March 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Reply
    • LoveItOrLeaveIt

      I'm interested in knowing who YOUR sources are in professing to know more than these reporters? Do you have first hand accounts from anyone in Mauritania? Or is this your own personal, ignorant opinion? I'll lay odds that it's the latter!

      March 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Reply
      • susi

        I'm from Mauritania and my own country more you guys do. It's all about money. pretending to be slave to get the western support.My own family have had their own slaves but they didn't want to have them, their slaves stuck with them to survive..if you are poo and hungryr, you will sell your own freedom for one bread right?? everyone is poor in this country how could u be poor and having slaves??? thats not a common sense

        March 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
      • Abdou

        SUSI, denying the existence of slavery in Mauritania is a lack of morale. I am from Mauritania also and we can argue about this all day long. Our respect to one another, to history and just for the future generations, please be considerate to these individuals who are suffering because of master's like your parents as you confessed.

        March 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • David

      And we should take your word over that of reporters and freed slaves because ...? Own a few, do you?

      March 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  74. Alex

    Slavery was abolished in mauritania in 1981.

    March 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • David

      Yes, the article mentions this several times. But abolishing something is pointless if you do not enforce it.

      March 18, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Reply
      • Abdou

        It will not be enforced no time soon because there is no independent justice and most of the government members are from the moors or Berbers tribes and own slaves, simple as that.

        March 18, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Epenny

      Yes and I'm still waiting for CHANGE from our President.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Reply
      • Cait

        You're entitled to your beliefs, however, this article has nothing whatsoever to do with the current administration's status and whether or not you have received your "change".

        March 19, 2012 at 2:53 am |
    • mona

      it was abolish by the colon at the begining of the 20 th centry remenber mauritania got the independance in 1960,
      had the first elected parlement in 1978 and as a in dependant nation abolish slavery in 1981.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  75. William Pelegrini

    ...when I see these reports, I remember black activists screaming all their no-sense in the USA, all the self-victimization of blacks in the US. I also remember all the liberals comparing Christians to Muslims. These arabs/muslims are just like that. I don't care, we don't care. Missionaries will continue to spread the Word, the Truth, regardless the media, regarldess fanatics and regardless the moon idol. Regardless religion who american media like to defend in detriment of Christianity. Now we see in mauritania all these muslims crushing blacks. And blacks continue to kill blacks all over africa. So much for the "evil" white men ha? The white men were the bravest, facing the beasts, indigenous, wild tribs of africans, wild animals and they conquered. They led history and we have to hear all this whinning politically correct false victims in US and in Europe. What I can say about my country Brasil is, because the white men my Nation got industrialized quick due the white immigration (XIX century). Otherwise we would continue to be like that: fishing, lazy and under developed. Africans and indigenous. I don't know what it is but is just a fact. The white men did all the development and civilization this world knew. I don't know about these other ethnic groups, why their tribes remain underdeveloped and wild. The point is White people and Christianity has been the oil to heal and help others, period. And secularly we see the hate of those arabs,trying to erase French from Mauritania...."the colonizers", the "evil french"...what are YOU muslims in mauritania now?
    at least the French developed the country as they got their resources. The resources they EARNED and conquered. This wishy washy, whinning politically correct will have change the facts or erase history. If many of the media like it or not.

    March 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
    • David

      I'm trying to decide if you are trolling, or really that stupid and ignorant.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • BigRed

      It's uncivil to try and preach on a blog. Especially when there is a racial motivation.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:40 am | Reply
    • Kowri Soh

      William Pelegri, you lack critical thinking and judgement. This CNN story is not a matter of "Muslims vs. Christians" as you portary it. It is a matter of human tragedy.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  76. Richard Braswell

    How can this be in a land ruled by Islam, the great emancipator, the harbinger of peach and the way to the truth?

    March 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Reply
    • David

      In much the same fashion Christianity and the Bible was used to justify it in Europe and America for so many years I would guess.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Reply
      • William Pelegrini

        That is LIE.
        The Bible was distorted and used for political purposes. That is quite different than the koran which DEMANDS to kill the "pigs" jews and christians...
        muslims and their moon idol, called allah are vicious hostile people. No media on this world can spin enough to change that. No matter how you slice it and try to push the 'peaceful" islam or the 'real islam" is impossible not to see. It is very clear the hostility and agression against the different.
        Obviously your statements either reflect lots of naivity or the typical hate against Christians, the ones who ever bow down to politically correctness lies, bs.

        March 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
      • David

        Where have I tried to "push the "peaceful" Islam? Oh, that's right, i haven't! One religion is as deluded as the other, playing make-believe. You all justify your atrocities from a book of fairytales written by bronze-age desert dwellers who knew nothing beyond where they lived. Yeah, pretty much sums you up.

        March 19, 2012 at 6:00 am |
      • David

        You clearly haven't read your bible. It clearly lays out the rules for buying and trading of slaves, how you can treat them, and pass them on as property. You're either ignorant, in denial, or just outright lying.

        I don't "hate" Christians, my best friend of almost 20 years is one, and I've no issue with him. I simply state the facts, something you either aren't familiar with, or are another deluded nutjob. Read the book you worship, and quit telling lies.

        Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it doesn't endorse it. It's there for all to see, you just have to have actually READ IT!

        March 19, 2012 at 6:03 am |
      • BigRed

        The New Testament was NEVER used to justify slavery. Frankly it was the capacity of good Christians to determine that all people of color who were not Europeans were sub-races and consciously thought of them as inferiors beings akin to animals. They had little problem with making the racial and cultural distinction. In much the same way they believed that sub-races inhabited ancestral lands were inferior and should be removed. That's called colonialism. No one has their hands clean in any of this.

        March 19, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  77. abidine

    Some NGO making money from the west by changing fact...what happning in mauritania is poverty not slavery

    March 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • David

      So, the words of a former slave-owner and former slaves are all lies then? Or are you just good at deluding yourself?

      March 18, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • 4real

      These are facts! how could you deny the existnce of slavery in Mauritania and why did the gov come up with a so called anti slavery laws. only a slave master would think otherwise... r u 4 real?

      March 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Reply
    • Omar

      Abidine, I am from Mauritania like you. I know that you know that slavery is alive in Mauritania. You are probably from the elite Arab class trying to defend your culture. I understand. But please quite being defensive. This is not an attack on all Arabs, but only to those who own slaves. A half a million slaves in Mauritania. That's a fact you CANNOT deny. My family lived in Central Mauritania were my dad was a teacher in High School. I grow up there and saw it all. Stop your propaganda for General Aziz.

      March 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Reply
      • Ami

        The fact that people are exploited in Mauritania does not change the probability that, as with most NGOs, this one spends the vast majority of its funds maintaining itself. Giving the few high personnel huge salaries and benefits and using its resources to benefit the friends and relations of those involved. Just a fact of life.

        March 19, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • Kowri Soh

      Abidine, so bit it! "If NGO are manking money", but at the same time denouncing SLAVERY in Mauritania, they (NGO) shoudl be commended for their excellent work.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  78. Shannon Lowe

    How can we send funds to the training center for the woman who receive trades to become independent?...I would really like to make sure that keeps going...this is their only way to attain the reality that they are truly free....

    March 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • M. Daheye

      Shannon Lowe,
      you contact the SOS Slavery Mauritania by contacting them. Here their website and phone numbers

      March 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  79. Omar

    I am a Mauritanian who fled the genocidal regime of Mauritania. Thank you CNN for bringing these crimes to attention of the world. Yet, this is only half of the horror. The Mauritanian gvt pertuated a genocide and massacred thousands of Black Mauritanians. My cousin was hanged in broad daylight in my village by the Mauritanian Army. They raped 30 women in my village. I hope one day CNN will have report on that too. Now the Mauritanian gvt is benefiting from US military aid. I hope the American people will realize that they are helping a crimnal gvt. Thank you CNN

    March 18, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Reply
    • Kowri Soh

      Omar, you are telling facts! In Mauritania, black people (Fualanis, Wolofs, Soninkes') were victims of ethnic GENOCIDE (1987 and 1991). The ethnic cleansing was perpetrated by the Arab-berber regime of Maouya Ould Sidi Ahmed Taya, a racist military dictator who now lives peacefully in Qatar. Yet, the blood of these ethnic groups is still dripping from his hands.
      Indeed, CNN should air a special program on these human rights violations as well.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • susi

      Omar I wonder how could speak so well English If you were slave, how could be get out the country ??don't tell me that you poor father( teacher) had something to do with it?? hate is not our best solution .you think only blacks are poor backhome...Guess what you could back and help..but you guys never helped your own people...why??? if you go back home you do not hang out with them?? u do prefer to hang out with berbers and moors have two faces

      March 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
      • Omar

        Your response is very typical for those defend this immoral government: You don't answer but change the subject.
        I never talked about the poor or the rich. What I said is

        – The government of Mauritania has massacred Black Mauritanians during the genocide. Those who did it are still in government. No investigation was done. Meanwhile, some Balck Mauritanians don't even know where their loved ones are burried. Who did what? Where are the mass graves.

        I'm not hateful. I love everyone. I just want those committed the crimes to face justice. Is that too much to ask>

        Please stay on subject and answer my question.


        March 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  80. Samba NDioro

    Great Job John Sutter & CNN!
    Please spread the word. Mauritania is like Sudan. Every Black person is supposed to be slave in Mauritania. I was born & grew in Nouaokchott. I experienced first hand. Abdel Aziz is a terrorist. Abdel Aziz favors the privileged few and not the common everyday man. Ever since its inception, his government has been under the control of special privilege. There was a time when dictators could get away with everything: they tortured, they killed, they raped, and they stretched thin the population. They did not care about the common everyday man. They served the elites. This is the definition of terrorism. Terrorism, at its heart, is the use of force against civilians to intimidate governments into recognizing political, religious, ethnic, or ideological aims. Ahmed Sekou Toure, Maaouya Ould Taya, Ghaddafi, Ben Ali, Mobutu Sese Seko, Moussa Traore, and the other dictators never thought their day will come.
    That time is over. Abdel Aziz got confuse. He thought he still could overpower the population and then he would terrorize the people.
    Samba NDioro

    March 18, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  81. Master Hip-Hop

    Oh Yes, Again, lets borrow some more money from China and wage a war against the goverment of these people............Or perhaps, the U.S. needs to start worrying more about their own people and let the people of other nations be ruled by those of their own kind, just like they have been doing since the beginning of time. My neighbor is an alcoholic, and I feel sorry for his wife and kids, but he has been dryed up several times and he goes right back to the bottle.............Some people just can not be helped, for they have'nt the ability or inteligence to help themselves....period.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • plbogle

      You are a real nut case! We should Help those who cannot help themselves.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Reply
    • David

      Who said anything about "waging war"? Nice strawman by the way!

      March 19, 2012 at 6:06 am | Reply
    • BigRed

      It is our way to fret and cry out in righteous indignation about injustice and primitive cruelty abroad. And then we go to work, come home and completely forget about it a day or two later.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
  82. volsocal

    Slavery has many forms.

    "Vote for me and I'lll send you a check backed by my slaves, oh, I mean taxpayers."

    That's one form.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  83. Nadu

    Ignorance isn't always bliss. I'll tell everyone and anyone who will listen about this story. It deserves to be told and I hope I can do more than hope that it will eventually get better.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  84. kmccall

    incredible story, masterfully written. wish there was a way to direct money towards the funding ot these SOS schools for escaped slaves.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  85. kmccall

    now i see the link above...thank you!

    March 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  86. Kate

    So what can we do to help? It is good to say I want to help. However how do we help. I would be willing to donate money to this cause, however no mention of where to donate to an organization who helps is mentioned. You know it is not just the wealthy who can help. If all who read this article donated 10 bucks to help the situation the people helping free the slaves would have the money to buy food, clothes, shelter and anything else like education to help these men, women, and children.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  87. Kate

    I just found the link above. Is there a link where I can donate where the information is in English?

    March 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Reply
    • kmccall

      I clicked on the email link "amerique" and sent an email that way. I'm not sure if I'll get a response, but it's the only way I could find to contact them. It's worth a shot.

      March 18, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Reply
      • kmccall

        ok, i also found this: go to the cnn freedom project main page...there is a 'how you can help' link at the top. i didn't see this before.

        March 18, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  88. dd

    Slavery was recorded around 2000 B.C. in Africa. Slavery was clearly the norm for almost 4000 years in human recorded history. That is a fact. Human beings evolved, became more civilized. The respect for life grew. Lincoln abolished slavery in the US in the 19th century after a civil war. Europe routinely executed people through the 18th century. In the 21st century the US has people that indiscriminately kill babies. Why is anyone surprised about slavery still going strong in some cultures. Slavery is minor compared to the killing of innocent babies.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Reply
    • plbogle

      Slavery kills innocent man and woman, and even the suckling infants!!

      March 18, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
    • David

      The US kills babies now? Or do you mean where women have the right to choose to abort a fetus (which is not a baby), and you're one of those who scream about it being murder? Sound about right?

      March 19, 2012 at 6:08 am | Reply
    • BigRed

      It was only a matter of time before a fundamentalist right wing christian twit expressed abortion and family planning as a great evil. It was such fundamentalist right wing christian twits who brought slavery to the America's for easy profit. Good European righteous Christians who commanded, and crewed the ships, put human beings on sale, and prospered. We know your hypocritical kind.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:29 am | Reply
  89. Priya Iyer

    Thanks to CNN for bringing this to light. I wish slavery is abolished soon..No man/woman should ever be a slave to any one. We are born to be free.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  90. Dan

    I think that people are coming to the realization that "slavery" as we know it will continue to exist as long as there are conservative, backwoods, Redneck, third world countries that invest in perpetuating this heinous human atrocity as an economic enterprise.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Reply
    • smdahl

      Very accurate description of the USA.

      March 19, 2012 at 1:58 am | Reply
    • Supersnoop

      Ok Dan...looks like you have never been out of the country..from the sound of that statement. As a conservative I like to have the ability to choose where my money goes. Taxation is a form of slavery and conservatives are against more and new taxes to be allocated to where the almighty government deems appropriate. By the way, slavery and the discrimination against all blacks is as evil as the holocaust. Many parallels and needs to be stopped NOW.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
  91. Alex

    Well done to John D. Sutter and Edythe McNamee for a brilliant piece of journalism.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Reply
  92. J Price

    I guess the fact that this a muslim country slipped by you?

    March 19, 2012 at 12:10 am | Reply
  93. Robert H.

    Here's a little-known unpleasant historical fact to contemplate: those same “light-skinned Arabs”, namely Muslims, enslaved at least 1 million white Christians between 1530 and 1800 in northwest Africa. Read “White Gold” by Giles Milton for this amazing and disturbing story...

    March 19, 2012 at 12:16 am | Reply
    • Alex

      How many did we enslave?

      March 19, 2012 at 12:59 am | Reply
      • BigRed

        The total number of people enslaved and brought to the America's (including South America, Caribbean and Atlantic Islands, North America (including Canada) equaled 6,800,000 from the 1600's to 1808.

        March 19, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  94. DEE

    Heart wrenching, If I'm blessed to see another day, an hour a day will be spent on doing something towards ending this monstrosity!

    March 19, 2012 at 12:16 am | Reply
  95. Sara

    My eyes are all watery after reading this article! I wish those slave masters receive their punished for all the damage they've done. Every one is equal and free......

    March 19, 2012 at 12:18 am | Reply
  96. Alex

    It did. Perhaps because I am Muslim.

    March 19, 2012 at 12:19 am | Reply
  97. mommers

    This story makes Obama's phony "war on women" look pretty stupid!

    March 19, 2012 at 12:21 am | Reply
    • David

      What are you blithering on about? How can you even compare this to some perceived fantasy of yours?

      March 19, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
  98. Alpha Ould Cheikh Ould Choumad

    It's a shame that slavery exists in Mauritania especially in a Muslim country, yes, slavery exists in my country and of all kinds of slavery and the most serious types of slavery is mental slavery.
    This kind of slavery is practiced by the white minority to black majority in my country.
    The white race in my country has been and continues to prevent the black Segments to go to school for fear that they learn are born free and have the right and freedom to live with honor like the rest of the nation.
    The distinguished slavery in my country is the style they pursue the mental slavery that is, they distort Islam in order to keep up with their own interests, such as saying of the slaves: If you do what we ask you’ll enter Paradise.
    This thing is what made the Masters do not leave the slaves to go to school.
    I apologize for the bad language, I've got a lot to say but the language does not allow me to do.
    Thank you
    Alpha Ould Cheikh Ould Choumad
    President of NGO, Nimlane Against AIDS
    Member of the Ira
    Founder member of the slaves free

    March 19, 2012 at 12:51 am | Reply
    • BigRed

      Your comments are clearly heartfelt. Thank you. You say that the slave owners are mostly whites. What do consider white? Are you talking about Arabs, people of Spanish or French ancestry, Caucasians, or simply lighter skinned blacks? I appreciate any clarification.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:18 am | Reply
  99. jackie

    most people saying this is false is either a slave owner or scared of their government

    March 19, 2012 at 1:03 am | Reply
  100. Mrjay1

    Wow. I would start walking... seriously what a crappy country

    March 19, 2012 at 1:03 am | Reply
  101. smdahl

    Sources: United Nations, Encyclopedia Britannica, CIA World Factbook, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, "Disposable People," BBC Country Profiles

    Typical CNN propaganda for the banks and USG…Very slick attempt. But we are too smart for this bs, especially after the Kony2012 psyop.

    March 19, 2012 at 1:54 am | Reply
    • David

      *shakes head* You're comparing that Kony thing, organised by a bunch of evangelicals, about a guy who hadn't even been there for 6 years, to CNN reporting on an ACTUAL story still happening even now? Man, you aren't anywhere near as smart as you think you are.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:12 am | Reply
      • bigbob

        you're the ignorant one.... the reason africa is like this is precisely because of America and rich western countries. ppl such as yourself will believe anything the media tells them. Wake up! As for Kony, according to ugandans, he has not been seen for 6 years. El CIA-duh loves using dead or missing ppl as bogeymen (eg, osama bin laden) to scare their populations into submitting to anything they propose. I recommend ppl watch 'wag the dog' to learn more about this... funny and eye opening movie which is not so far from what we see going on here. Africa is in a mess and the big banks and western militaries are among the main causes... the best thing is for them to be left alone, western govs need to stop installing puppet dictators serving western interests, eg: africa population reduction via vaccines, food as a weapon via debt, destruction of farming by monsanto, water control, stealing resources, promotion of idiots like angelina jolie and bono as being concerned for 3rd world welfare when in fact they support globalist agendas(eg, bill gates following in the same path as his father with eugenic and population reduction cloaked under the guise of sustainability.... the list goes on. Americans are mostly completely ignorant about the truth of what goes on in their own country and what they allow thier beloved leaders, ie programmed puppets, to get away with. Keep drinking your fluoride, eating your gmo, getting your flu shots, be a good prole!

        March 19, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  102. Gaetano Prestua

    I find it inappropriate, pathetic, even, that people would even try and compare the "slavery" around the world in places like China to what is happening in this country. The difference between "slavery" in China and, hell, even the US, is that the people are paid, have the freedom when they finish work, and can leave whenever they want.

    Some of you need to get your pretentious heads out of your arse and bury this whole anti-Capitalism fear mongering every once and a while. It truly is pathetic in the eye of REAL suffering.

    March 19, 2012 at 4:10 am | Reply
  103. qdog

    islam is the real slave master
    to be free they must first get rid of all religious belief

    March 19, 2012 at 5:06 am | Reply
    • David

      "Religion is the real slave master"

      Fixed that for you.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:14 am | Reply
    • Franky

      Guess you never read the bible. What do you think "slave masters" in the christian world used to justify slavery. People use religion to justify whatever they want. The mormon church didn't allow "blacks" into the ofld until 1980's? Why because they were meant to be slaves cursed by God, as the children of Ham.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:08 am | Reply
  104. MarieAnne Sam

    How about a salve to poverty??? Is it in congruent to modern day slavery??? 🙂 ...because I am a victim!!! The poorest of the poor! 😦

    March 19, 2012 at 5:40 am | Reply
  105. MarieAnne Sam

    salve = slave 🙂 - see my fingers are tired - after a day's toil! 😦

    March 19, 2012 at 5:41 am | Reply
  106. Tim

    It's Bush's fault, gotta wait, maybe it's Hannity's, Rush or, wait...we've had a new Presidient for four years...nah...he can't be responsible...WTF cares anyway?

    March 19, 2012 at 6:17 am | Reply
    • David

      It's the "fault" of those doing the enslaving. But hey, don't let that distract you from making a pathetic little strawman, and trying to turn a tragedy in another country into something for you to pull your pud over. 🙂

      March 19, 2012 at 8:41 am | Reply
  107. Ami

    The reporter only visited Mauritania for eight days. It is hard to get a clear accurate picture in only eight days. It was hard for them to get away from their government minder for their real story but did they also consider that their contacts on that side may also have been minders of a sort. Everyone has an agenda and will try to manipulate the outsider to see only what they want them to. Not saying there is not exploitation in Mauritania – there is, but it is not so clear cut as white slave owners and black slaves. I could write a book about the nuances of co-dependance between the "slaves" and 'masters' and the counter exploitation of the 'masters' by the 'slaves'. I could do this because there is that much to say and because I live in Mauritania and know much of its culture intimately.

    Also I would like to point out a few errors: You say slaves are not allowed to go to school by their masters – under french colonial system every family was supposed to send at least one child to school the masters, who did not trust the french, obliged thier slaves to send thier kids to school in place of the master's sons. This resulted in an educated black moor class at independence that still exists and is quite wealthy and powerful- where are they in this fight?

    You say that master's can be identified by the light blue boobou with gold embroidery and the slave woman by bright tie-dye and bare arms. This is completely in error. All moorish men (both black and white) wear white or light blue boubous with gold embroidery. The black african groups of Soninke, Pulaar and Woolof wear the bright tie-died boubous that bear their arms while the black moor women who include the slaves you talk about wear a long peice of cloth that drapes around the body and over the head covering the arms as seen in the photos you show. This is a racial/cultural thing and has nothing to do with slavery.

    March 19, 2012 at 7:03 am | Reply
    • Kat S.

      I second this readers comments. I lived in Mauritania for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. While this report provides a very colorful backdrop of Mauritanian culture, and highlights what does continue to be a very real issue (people forced by the situation in life to which they were born to suffer extreme hardship and injustice), this article takes many innocent and commonplace features and paints them as SINISTER. Such as the traditional garb of men and women. Such as the realities of military checkpoints in a country that lacks the man power to have an extensive domestic police force (so the only way of regulating intrastate travel is through military checkpoints–a system which has actually worked to the advantage of global security to hinder the spread of Al Qaeda within Mauritania. See

      March 19, 2012 at 8:11 am | Reply
    • David

      You can't have read the article very well. THe light-skinned (mostly Arabs) were the masters/owners, and the dark-skins generally the slaves. If you weren't "black", then you may as well be "white" to most there. The article makes quite clear who does what, and does NOT describe it as "black vs white". Go back and read it again. You're either skimming it and missing details, or you're looking for an excuse to make something out of nothing. You best decide which.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:45 am | Reply
  108. ET

    Slavery remains alive in the USA... millions and millions are enslaved to the US Federal Gov't!

    March 19, 2012 at 8:02 am | Reply
    • Franky

      you have no idea what slavery is then. NO you aren't so ... ut ... up with this idiotic statement. When the government can come in and rape your mom, your daughter, your sister because they feel like it then let me know if you are enslaved.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:06 am | Reply
    • BigRed

      Inevitably there is an absurdist in the house.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:13 am | Reply
    • David

      ...never mind, you're too stupid for words. Be a waste of my time typing up the response I had planned. You clearly have NO IDEA what real slavery is, despite the article making it quite clear. Too much inbreeding i suppose.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:48 am | Reply
  109. Franky

    Slavery in the US was no different, I don't knwo why people think it never reached these levels. It was generational, lasted centuries, and today the consequences there of are still being undone. Especially, in terms of the economic divide between blacks and whites, while most see it as the natural order of things, it's most simply a by product generational disadvantage, you see the same thing through out the world former slave populations take centuries to catch up. Just think we had to have a civil rights act , 100 years after slavery was officially ended, to ensure people weren't discriminated against based on "race" , in short in most peoples minds "skin color".

    In fact, the author incorrectly states that slaves were brought to the US, no, actually, after 1808 it became illegal to bring any slave to the US. Until the end of slavery in the US in 1865, the only person to become a slave in the US had to be a child of a slave. More specifically, it was the status of the mother that determined the status of the child, because, just like slave owners in Muaritania, "white" slave owners helped themselves to their female slaves and so the law read that the status of the mother determined the status of the child, otherwise, children born of slave master and slave would be free, as the master was free.

    March 19, 2012 at 8:05 am | Reply
  110. BigRed

    There is something tragic and perhaps telling that the continent of Africa continues to bring to the world's attention tremendous barbarism, cruelty, slavery, and utter lack of conscience, morality or reason that even the jaded west draws back with repugnance. Perhaps it is a sad reality that on a continent and associated islands of rare and exquisite beauty we find the greatest tragedy. It is no wonder that the entire world disdains a desire to know of Africa. It is indeed the lost continent.

    March 19, 2012 at 8:11 am | Reply
  111. dave

    No doubt that slavery in America was brutal and wrong - but the ancestors of American slaves lead lives that are a million times better than the descendants of those Africans who stayed in Africa. The worst place on Earth to be balck is Africa. In America if a black person is the victim of a crime, thenthe odds are pretty high that the perpetrator was black.

    March 19, 2012 at 8:18 am | Reply
    • OrangeW3dge

      Yeah? Well Dave, and Big Red too, I hope that makes you and your suburban neighbourhood all warm and cosy today.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:33 am | Reply
      • BigRed

        Actually Dave has a point. People of color TODAY are better off in the U.S. then in any other country in the world. There are more opportunities to succeed and prosper. Laws here assure equal treatment. Given that there are rednecks, dweebs, and racists out there, but by and large people of color can prosper here. (And no I only live part time in my cozy suburban neighborhood. The other nine months of the year I work work outside the U.S.)

        March 19, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  112. OrangeW3dge

    The real sad part of this is that CNN is telling you about conditions that exist in the world, and you can't think of anything to say except "oh, how terrible", or "they deserve it", or "it happens here too".
    The real pity is how the average American has turned his eye away from people, even their own, that are suffering. Cynical, cold-hearted and selfish.

    March 19, 2012 at 8:29 am | Reply
  113. bfd007

    Slavery is alive and well in the U.S. everyone is forced to pay into a failed corrupt government and since China owns the U.S. we are slaves. Every person born in America is $134,000.00 in debt ! That is debt slavery so how can anyone say slavery is gone?????

    March 19, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • David

      Another deluded twit with no idea what real slavery even means. Debt does not signify slavery you mental midget. What you are suggesting, and the reality of the situation, are worlds apart.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:53 am | Reply
      • bfd007

        Well you moron what else would you call it when your grand baby is born $134,000.00 in debt? It is you that are a fool ! If you can not see things for what they are, what are you a government loving fool? You are probably one of those that cheered when the government murdered 81 people in Waco TX of which 60 were women and children uh !!! Or are you not old enough to remember? You pea brained idiot !

        March 19, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  114. Diane

    Africans enslaving other Africans. What a concept.

    March 19, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
    • Supersnoop

      Good point! Most of these people don't know their history. Africans sold their own kind in exchange for weapons to the white man. They were already slaves in their own country before they came to this great land. You don't like it here? Go back. Like it here? Then help our your kin overseas.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
      • Disgusted

        What a concept!!! Sure beats whining, complaining and playing the victim!!

        March 23, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  115. Tia

    Slavery is an atrocity that no one should be forced to endure. We as a nation and the world should stand up and be counted as being against slavery not only in word but also in deed. We as a nation and the world need to stop this practice no matter what its form or ugly shape. As you do unto the least of these you do also unto me.

    March 19, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply
  116. John

    This article represents incredibly good journalism, when so much of what is written is fluff or stories processed into "news". My only suggestion is to add a follow-up piece focused more on what we can do. I realize possibilities may be limited, but may we make a contribution by writing materials to be used teaching freed slaves, for example? Or actually serving as teachers?

    March 19, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
  117. JoeB

    7th century mentality

    March 19, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
  118. Salaam Bey

    Until the European conquistadors stop the genocide, slavery, rape, and pillage of the Aboriginal and indigenous, melanin-rich people across the globe, the world will be out of ballance. When the Almighty sends archangels for recompense, the Aboriginals will not defend the sons of perdition this time. And life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall be enjoyed by ALL of His children.


    March 19, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • Will Rogers

      A story about present-day slavery in Mauritania, and half the commenters use it as an opportunity to denounce America and the West, where slavery was abolished over 150 years ago. These people hate America precisely because it is a beacon of hope and liberty to the rest of the world – indeed, what these comments show is that the world is filled with people who despise the very notions of freedom and justice.

      November 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  119. Karen

    CNN: Thank you for working on this story. Please continue to shine light on these atrocities and the many others like them, so that the world will know what is happening beyond our doors. This news is so much more important than what is usually on the headlines, including your headlines.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
  120. Jim Norman

    I guess they need some white people to blame in order to put an end to this.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • marc

      Wow...really Jim, you needed to bring the race card into this.

      March 19, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • David

      Hmm, another one who didn't read the article clearly. Light-skinned Arabs are hardly "white-people".

      March 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  121. AJ

    This is a journalistic gem, well done. Now we need to know the best way to get involved. Obviously funds are needed, but how can the rest of the world mobilize to put pressure on the government?

    March 19, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
  122. Monique

    I have a crush on Abdel Nasser Ould Ethmane

    call me hahaha

    March 19, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Kowri Soh

      Monique, if that is the case, then HA HA HA!

      March 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  123. marc

    This isn't slavery's last stronghold CNN did a report on modern-day slavery in India also, they called it Debt Bondage. Maybe they forgot about the slavery they reported about over there.

    March 19, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
  124. Reddy

    Incredible work by the journalists. I thought slavery existed some where in the world but never heard of live stories like these. Though it is quite definite that many more Moulkheirs exist in that country, Irony is that most of the slaves don't even understand the meaning of FREEDOM and I am not surprised SOS does not have enough funds to fight and educate the slaves. Hoping this great work by the CNN journalists will shed light on those suffering lives and turn slavery into actual jobs–that pay.

    March 19, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
  125. dd

    Slavery was first recorded in history about 2000 B.C. in Africa. It would appear that Africans invented slavery. We all know that in the 19th century, Africans were selling their fellow Africans as slaves. They conquered a tribe and sold those who survived as slaves. That was 19th century African culture. And that fit well with 19th century Western culture. Civilization advanced. Respect for human life was elevated and Western Culture fought slavery. In the West the only uncivilized behavior is baby killing in the 21st century. In the middle east, in Africa, they still torture and kill anyone. Go figure.

    March 19, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • Descendant of Slaves

      Your rationale is amazing, never ceases to amaze me the justification the mind can create given a warped and selfish desire. You are so ignorant but don't even realize it. Remain in your world, just stay away from mine. If you could walk in my shoes for one day, maybe even in the shoes of the kid shot and killed in Florida, you would be enlightened and change your tune, maybe even your salvation.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  126. John

    This is why Muslim Men should not be allowed to govern a mud puddle. They will just pee in it.

    March 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • Kowri Soh

      John, your argument is very childish. It is like you say: "This is why Christain Men should not be allowed to govern a mud puddle. They will just pee in it."??!!!

      March 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  127. truthhurtslikehell

    I am glad that this piece of journalism is done. Excellent and informative. This also shoots alot of African American tales with holes. I am outraged and yet humbled by the slaves that were brought from Africa to here and fought. I am so glad that the truth out there! My issue is that Africans that come here have their noses up aganist African American when in fact they (Africans) were the very reason of slavery period. KWANZAAA can kiss my butt. I think if any black American want to pursue legal actions aganist slavery start with Africa, crimes aganist humanity.

    March 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • Kowri Soh

      "What'is Love Has Got to Do with IT?" (Tina Turner). truthhurtslikehell, please do not let Kwanza "kiss our butts", for Kwanza has nothing to do with Slavery in Mauritania. I advise that you read more about this African American wonderful holiday celebration.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  128. Donna

    .Thank you CNN for publishing this amazing, and heart felt story so all people are aware of what is happening right next to us and in our lifetime, not as part of someone's history books.

    If you could let us know when you publish these stories, what we can do to help make a difference. The power that support, acceptance and love has from one people to another is life changing- for us as well as them

    March 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  129. Alex

    You, imposing your Western idealism and ideals that are false and naive in their nature do not serve anybody any good. Lets say you "liberate" everyone in Mauritania. What the "slaves" are going to do with all of their freedoms? There is no work, no pay, no economic support system to fall back onto. They will become slaves again, this time voluntary. At least right now, they get food and shelter.

    March 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Reply
    • Ariane

      I guess we are not in their skin to decide if they willl go back to slavery. It is almost as saying that all unmeployed Africans or even American are most likely to become slaves because of no economic and financial resources. I am sure that awareness would bring changes in their living conditions through international programs and donations.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    • David

      What is "false" about freedom and caring for others? What a sad pathetic creature you are.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
      • Jeff Evenson

        People like you, "David", are the reason this continues. You are saying that there are Less opportunity by being Free. Sounds like he is one of them!!

        March 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  130. Paul

    I have hard time believing that one in five in Mauritania is slave. However, given the misery of the former slave caste, there is urgent need to help them. That is exactly what the government of mauritania have been doing in the last decade or so.

    I have noticed that some people from other communities (including former master and non slave), use slavery tag to access political asylum in Europe and in the US. This have been a big problem in Europe so much so that France opened an investigation to verify carefully the background of those who use slavery or racism to seek the status of political refugee. The lady in Ohio is very likely one of those.

    Regarding anti-slavery organizations, these live on this sort of propaganda (they live on this). All mauritania need to do, is to coordinate with the UN, US and other allies to raise the economic level and literacy of both Haratine, and the so called former slave.

    Anti-slavery organization should be allowed to work, but strictly controlled (prevented from creating fake and shocking report or smuggle propagandist). The money they receive should be directed to those who are in need. Otherwise, the more they get money, the more they will use it to mount totally invented and unverifiable stories about slavery, just to withdraw more money from donors, they may even divert some of that money to terrorism. The government of mauritania should keep an eye on the transparent transfer of money to those in need (former 'poor' slave). US and Europe should not deliver political asylum to those who proclaim to be escaping slave (that is really none sense), because mauritania is very well acting, supporting former and implementing a whole set of organization to punish anyone who dare proclaim a slave.
    slave. It only needs financial and economic assistance.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • David

      You expect this same govt to oversee all this, when it won't even prosecute these slave-owners under it's own laws? Wow, someone has been drinking the kool-aid too often.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  131. Glade

    This story is a sad testament to the state of humanity. Inequality infects everything human beings touch. In America we think freedom is the base of our society. How can we help people in far away lands? While we go out to eat, drink and shop for new consumer goods. Someone somewhere was exploited to bring that product to you. The practices of slavers are rampant. Greed infests every thing. It is easy to vilify the slave owners described in this article. Americans are blind to see that their choices enslave human beings all over the world.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • Kowri Soh

      Neo West, your comments are very hateful and bigotted. You cannot provide a single source to prove that "there have been hundreds of millions of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and other non-Muslim slaves, Christians, Hindows", as you put. The CNN article is not about the filth that comes out of your mother.
      An intellectual is a uniter, not a divider. You are a divider of the human race, along religious and racial lines, which is sad!

      March 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  132. Nelly

    Slavery is an immensely complex issue that cannot be solved in a decade. It takes so much time. I believe that the effects of slavery (and even cheap labor) are still present today, however subtle. The important question is:How can we help? If there is any way to donate for these schools, I would like to know.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  133. jackie

    What can be done? How can we help? what can our government do?

    March 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Catherine B

      I agree. Why have an article like this without following it up with links to ways we can help the rescued.
      CNN well done for raising awareness with this article, but take the next steps

      July 27, 2017 at 7:44 am | Reply
  134. NDM

    The key is to educate the masses, especially the younger generations to bring true change. Hopefully the Government will take an active role and prosecute slave owners and rehabilitate the slaves. Time will tell...

    March 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  135. Hikerstud

    Almost all romans owned slaves and it was around before Rome and exists today. Really only the west pushed for the abolishment by UK and USA the last few centuries. Only 5% of African slaves ever made it to USA. Many more to Carribean and S. America but by far the worst abusers are Islam and arabs lands who continue this to this day and never would have slowed down if not for the west.

    March 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  136. HenryCrum

    Everyone in North Korea is a slave.

    March 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  137. Neo West

    Interesting article, but as most all discussion having to do with Islam goes, it is something of an Islam apologists piece – where is the real discussion on the real problem here, which is Islam and it's religious promotion of slavery for the past 1400 years? Islam would never have stopped the practice "officially" without great pressure from the US and the European west. In fact, there have been hundreds of millions of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and other non-Muslim slaves, owned and brutalized by Muslims since Mohammed brought his religion to the world. Why is the real issue of Islam being so obviously omitted??

    March 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • Kowri Soh

      Kowri Soh

      Neo West, your comments are very hateful and bigotted. You cannot provide a single source to prove that "there have been hundreds of millions of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and other non-Muslim slaves, Christians, Hindows", as you put. The CNN article is not about the filth that comes out of your mother.
      An intellectual is a uniter, not a divider. You are a divider of the human race, along religious and racial lines, which is sad!

      March 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  138. Babalola Tope I

    A million thanks to those that risked their dearest life to expose this act of wickedness by man against man.But now,what next?How do we bring these evil slave masters to book ,and what respite for the slaves?

    March 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  139. ottomustaine

    Is there any country that is dominated by Arabs (i.e., majority Arab, or Arabs control the wealth and power) in which non-Arabs and non-Muslims are not persecuted? If anyone can think of such a country, please do tell.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      United Arab Emirate,
      In these the majority are immigrant, but seem to be happier than the latinos in the US.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Reply
      • ottomustaine

        . . . oh, and Latinos are doing just fine in the U.S. Much better than in the countries many of them (i.e., *all* of the ones who weren't born here) immigrated from. That's why they came to the U.S. Duh.

        And how are all those Palestinian immigrants faring in UAE, Qatar and Kuwait, anyway? Arabs don't even treat other Arabs with respect. Palestinians are treated like garbage in every Arab country.

        March 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
      • ottomustaine

        Since my initial comment is "awaiting moderation" due to a barely concealed expletive (you know what "BS" means, right?), here it is w/out the expletive:

        Can I proselytize Christianity on a street corner in any of those countries? How many churches, synagogues or Hindu temples are there in UAE, Qatar or Kuwait?

        March 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
      • KLV

        I would suggest researching the treatment of "guest workers" who are working on the construction projects in Abu Dhabi.

        May 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Paul

      Regarding that sort of expletive and un-edicated speech,

      Regarding the Palestinians you know who caused and continue to cause their inhumane ordeal,
      your sympathy is out of place like your impolite drive. You want them to vanish in other countries,
      well these countries want them to return to their stolen country.

      Regarding proseletysing your garbage, I do agree with them it should not be alllowed, until you define
      God correctly- because you seem incredibly BS

      March 20, 2012 at 2:13 am | Reply
      • ottomustaine

        This is not the place for a debate on Israel/Palestine. Let it suffice to say that the Jews who were forced to leave all the Arab countries were welcomed in Israel while the Arabs who left (forced or otherwise, and I agree plenty of them were forced) Israel/Palestine are treated like animals in every Arab country. And your statement that Christian proselytizing should not be allowed really tells us all we need to know about your respect (or lack thereof) for human freedom, doesn't it? Now, go home and beat one your slaves. That will make you feel better.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
      • ottomustaine

        . . . and what do you mean *my* garbage? Whatever I am, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, pagan, atheist or otherwise, I believe in human liberty, unlike you.

        March 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  140. Leo

    Skummy Muslims doing what they do best......................

    March 19, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  141. Please

    Please. Articles like this overlook the greater evil of millions living in opulence which provides the demand for slavery in the first place. Slavery will always be alive and flourishing as long as people in wealthy countries like America continue to only think of the bottom line, purchase slave produced goods, and encourage other nations to enslave their populations to feed our economic greed.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  142. Arciniega

    I try to donate but there is no way for me to include U.S. dollars on the website.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  143. Sandra Gomes

    A / C
    Training Center in Nouakchott.

    Dear brothers, I am Brazilian, teacher and nurse, educational and environmental activist, and freedom by being supportive of you is to send them this message.

    Slavery in this world has no more place, it is time for all human comprenderem individualism and antroprocentrismo no longer has time on his condition and not on the planet. This is why I am pledging to spread this video to everyone I know who still showing unfortunately, beings that still insist on being thus undermining freedom of others. That He is with you all.

    Sandra Gomes

    March 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  144. Chris Hitchens

    Maybe Jesus will resurrect this year and show who's boss.

    March 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Reply
  145. BellaTerra66

    Great reporting. You all deserve a Pulitzer Prize.

    March 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  146. Flowers

    This would be really great if this story was aired on TV.

    March 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  147. Ali

    This problem is only a problem of poverty… no one in Mauritania like to slave any one ….The CNN article is simplistic also all the commentators are founding good excuse for blaming Islam and the Arab….forgetting all the West centuries of harm to the humanity including slavering countries , continent s and their populations which is continuing through their unfair massif and abusing mineral richness extraction , until today, ( see the case of Gold in Mauritania …. can you imagine that the western multinational give back to the country only 3% of the production of millions of tons per year) How then … Mauritania can develop the good wealth of its poor population including old slaves?
    How then … Mauritania can develop the good wealth of its poor population including old slaves?

    March 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Reply
    • Kowri Soh

      Ali, I agree with you that Islam has nothing to do with slavery, and as such, Islam should not be blamed.
      However, a popular saying goes, "Two wrongs Do not Make It a Right". If the West has enslaved humanity for centuries, that is not a reason for Mauritania also to enslave the Haratines for centuries. Moreover, how come since independence on Novemeber 28, in 1960, Mauritania could not develop its wealth to feed "its population including its slaves?"

      March 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Reply
    • ottomustaine

      Oh, of course. It's all the West's fault. Don't blame the Arabs who still practice slavery in the 21st century (and not just in Mauritania). Blame the West, which has done more than any civilization in human history to eradicate slavery.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  148. Alison

    One more reason that I will never visit a Muslim-majority country. It is amazing to me that people are so tolerant of a religion that openly discriminates against women, promotes violence, and a complete disregard for education

    A very interesting story, thanks.

    March 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Reply
    • sanjosemike

      Alison, I can't understand it either. By their OWN sources, Most Muslim countries have a 50-70% illiteracy rate among females, who can't even read Quran!

      "If we lose to Islam, we lose everything."


      March 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Reply
    • Kowri Soh

      Alison, it is not because slavery exists in one Islamic country that you will not visit Moslem countries.
      Your twisted reasong is that because slavery exists in Mauritania (an Islamic African country), therefore, it (slavery) exists in all Moslem countries. It is like you saying: "I will not visit European countries because it was Germany that perpetrated the Holocaust in 1945." Yet, not all European countries engaged in the Holocaust in 1945, but ONLY one European country. Right?

      March 20, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
  149. sanjosemike

    It only took me a second to confirm the religion of that cesspool: ISLAM

    March 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  150. Nolan

    Amazing and shocking article, this is true journalism. It is hard for me to fully grasp that this sort of injustice is still happening. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, living in my protected middle-class American bubble in the Pacific Northwest. Regardless, I can't help but feel ashamed of the failure of mankind, but am encouraged by the strength of the ex-slave pioneers breaking their shackles, as difficult as that may be. To all of you in Mauritania trying to improve the world (your world), both men and women, YOU ARE AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL! Tonight I will be haunted by the little boy that had to eat sand to avoid hunger pangs. Additionally, I'm going to reach out to the links provided by CNN on how to help, as helpless as I feel that I am.

    March 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  151. Ngaide

    First, I think for those reporters the project, I am Black and from Mauritania and I always think when the world will pay attention to this part of Africa where racism and unjustice still one of the goal for the government since independance in 1960. I hope they will do more projet to get the reality within the country.
    This is a true history and I believe this is nothing compared to others cases. All I can say I happy that now everyone is aware what happenning in the 21 st century in Mauritania.
    I just want let you know those acts have nothing about ISLAM. it's about a minory white moor who hold the power and oppress black mauritanian by slavery, racism and unjustice.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  152. ROV

    No body is here to tolk the bad thing in muslim contries, we need to be realist I am a muslim, I think it is very important to talk about the bad side of Muslim's contries. I have a chance to travel in many ARABIC contries but I never see any contries like MAURITANIA they are so behind from the reality of this world.The MAURITANIAN GOVERNMENT need to know those practice have no place in this world. All the arabic contries i have been to are racist but only MAURITANIA is practicing Slavery. N o body can deny that, they need to stop that

    March 19, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  153. mr774

    I knew the fact that ppl in that country live in less than $2 per one day.
    And illiteracy rate exceeded 50%.
    Maybe root cause lies there. Due to the poorness if there were slave system, some of poor ppl couldn't survive.
    To begin with we must clear the poorness of that country.

    March 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Reply
  154. Gideon

    Hello CNN!,

    Sick, Sad and Mind Boggling!!! Great article and journalism!!!

    Please nominate these two great people (SOS founders –Abdel and Bouboucar Messaoud ) for CNN's Unsung Heroes!

    By doing so – it will be killing two birds with one stone – celebrating the good work of SOS and exposing the silence of Mauritania government.

    Toronto, Canada

    March 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  155. ROV

    Best articles ever, CNN need to nominate those two journalists who made that report. Because we know how taff it is to make those article in countries like MAURITANIA

    March 20, 2012 at 12:19 am | Reply
  156. Kaiulani

    I'll start by saying " knowledge is power!" , as we have learned from the report. Starting with the exslave owner's education, to educating the slaves of other possibilities beyond slavery, to educating the international arena of Mauritania's perpetual predicament, people can be moved to act. Of course there wll always be the nay sayers,
    doing what they do best, discourage or confuse the issues. There are also the ones who play the " lets see who can top this" game which again just confuses and clouds the issue. In spite of those frozen in cloaked apathy, there are always those decent, compassionate people of means, intelligence, and courage that rise to the occassion to put things right at all cost. So, be ye not discouraged because perhaps your time has come to rise and shine!
    " be the change you want to see in the world"

    March 20, 2012 at 6:54 am | Reply
    • Nolan

      Well said Kaiulani, I couldn't agree with you more. I was also thinking about how to educate everyone, even about their own predicament in slavery. Even the basic education of the masses seems to have many hurdles, unfortunately. One idea I have is that although I'm sure there may not be electricity in much of Mauritania, I wonder if there is a solution with solar powered AM radio, trying to help educate the workers (assuming we can distribute thousands of radios). Since many cannot read, the testimony of others send over the airwaves might be one way to begin the education. The radio station could even be outside of the country, if the government doesn't allow it (which they probably won't). The words in your email are inspirational.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
  157. Rinae

    Truth!! Slavery and Mordern Day slavery are two different things thee's no such this as real slavery, People who think that working low wages in sweat shop is totally different, they have an option to stop working, and they are getting paid even if its £2 a day, but when you are a slave, your thought, body, Mind are not your won they are your masters, and whatever he wants from you, he will get, he can kill you, rape you and beat you at his own will! Humantrafficking is a $2 Billion dollar business!! this is outragious and what most people dont understand is that it is happening every where, even in the UK, Some People look down on this and think this is disgusting and wrong, but forget that worl leading countries such as AMERICA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM made a lot of money from the slave trade!! They are what they are because of the slave trade!!!!!!! PEOPLE NEED TO GET EDUCATED!

    March 20, 2012 at 7:58 am | Reply
  158. The Truth

    The truth is that Mauritania has it's own problems just like any other place in this messed up world but Americans get involved into various situations dragged in by some mean spirited people w/ their own agendas. before ya'll start blasting and hurt good people from this heaven on earth. GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT!!!

    March 20, 2012 at 9:24 am | Reply
  159. David Henshaw

    CNN's team have revealed to a world audience something that human rights activists have understood for a long time. I am the film-maker who made the EMMY winning film Beneath the Veil for CNN ten years ago. Before that, I had made two films for British television on slavery in Mauritania – in 1982 and 1996. On both occasions, the Mauritanian government claimed that we had been duped, that our interview with slaves were fake. Slavery in Mauritania is real, it is largely based on ethnic lines, and it continues because Mauritania is of no great strategic or economic importance. Boubacar Messaoud is one of the great modern heroes of Africa – fully deserving of recognition as a Nobel laureate. Well done CNN.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  160. The Truth

    Like you said M. Director Boubacar Ould Messoud could be a Nobel laureate & probably should be but how many others??? about the gov they didn't lie to you: people here can actually stage such a thing, wether what you filmed was real or not??? I'm gonna have to watch your film(s) but this whole thing is beyond that, you, me or anyone else...

    March 21, 2012 at 6:05 am | Reply
  161. Just4u

    Wow!! It really hurts to hear the truth about how slavery is still present. As a man who has traveled to many extreme places, in my military career. I was unaware of the current situation that is, next door to the country my wife is from. Traveling throughout Senegal I was blind sided by the culture and the hospitality of Senegalese. I knew about Mauritania’s problems with Al Qaeda, but was un-educated about the current slavery epidemic. I feel as though I need to do something to help, but I don't know how. I know how blessed I am, and I realize once again how naive Americans like me are. My prayers/heart goes out to those who have never felt the freedom of life.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:49 am | Reply
  162. amono55

    CNN should provide links or information to readers of trusted organizations involved with the emancipation to send money or asistance to. I sometimes wonder what the intent of articles like this is without such information.

    March 22, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
  163. HR

    Yara,please pull your head out of the sand. Did'nt big mo(mohammed)take and own slaves??The answer is yes.Hav'nt islamic arabs owned slaves forever?The answer is yes.What really amazes me is how black skinned americans constantly bemoan the fact of slavery in America yet are totally silent(or totally ignorant of the fact)that slavery is rampant in the country thay are so proud to be from,Africa.

    March 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Reply
    • Jeff Evenson

      HR- You are a disrespectful ignorant person. Slavery was done by ALL sides the world over, until about 1865 when Both sides- Arabs- and the Americas and British and Lastly India all stopped. You have to understand- In the 6 and 7th centuries the word for EMPLOYEE was slave. Their was no word for employee. And just like in the warring American tribes- when your tribe won a battle, the people that had just killed half your family then became your "slave". I think I'd rather be considered a slave with a chance of escape-then just killed because I lost the battle. Some would not.

      March 22, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Reply
    • Average Joe

      HR, wrong again. The Prophet freed Billal (a slave) and adopted him as a son. To this day Muslims call the faithful to prayers which was first recited by a former slave turned to Islam for freedom and justice, named Billal, a slave freed by Muahmmad PBUH) and adopted as a son. Please stop propagating hate with ignorance.

      March 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Reply
    • Supersnoop

      Bingo! If you are going to call yourself "African American" then I don't understand how you can abandon the slavery that is still going on. Help out our own family over seas! Direct your attention away from yourself for a change and direct your energy to the evil still going on. Unemployed? Cant find a job? Here's a good cause you can direct your energy to. If it were my kin that was dying I would see what could be done to stop poverty and end slavery. It's a deep subject with many facets.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
  164. Jeff Evenson

    And I reiterate , What is referred to in Quran and Hadith as "slave"- Is someone who has tried to kill you, for your beliefs or property- so you fought them and with Gods help you won. So then what do you do with them after this battle, take their word "We're sorry and won't ever do it again." and let them go? You see, in the time of Muhammad, instead of Prisons- you were forcibly employed- like the people all locked up in the U.S. for even petty crimes and then put to work for 20 cents a day- isn't that Slavery-but it is Legal and in many cases Justified slavery-You rape my daughter,your a slave!. Daughter kill husband for money- she's a slave. Get it yet, you Biggot?

    March 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
    • Average Joe

      Kudos to Mr. Evenson. Finally someone who knows and understands history without bias. Thank you.

      March 22, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Reply
      • Jeff Evenson

        Dear Mr. Average Joe: Thank you , and please refer these people (who use this as an op to bad mouth what they don't know about Muhammad) have them recall, the name Muhammad means the trustworthy- or truthful one as they Re-read what Jesus said in JOHN 16:12 to 15- and John 15:26. Then tell us all who he was talking about. By the way, his nic name was Mustafa- or "Counselor".

        March 23, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Will Rogers

      What a nice religion, Jeff, which encourages slavery, stoning people to death for a adultery, and treating women like property. To be called a bigot by someone like you should be considered an honor.

      November 21, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  165. amedu omoyebagbe

    To know that this has existed for so long and the UN did nothing?. What is its role? Do countries have representatives in this country? What are their roles?. This is a failure of us all.

    March 23, 2012 at 8:08 am | Reply
    • Will Rogers

      What do you mean the UN did nothing? They pass more resolutions condemning Israel that all the rest of the countries in the world combined. That's what the UN does about slavery.

      November 21, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  166. Disgusted

    Thank you for revealing this bit of history. Slavers never could have captured Africans without the willing help of other Africans. However , this truth makes all the whining about white people impossible. Perhaps if blacks would let go of all that and leave it in the past where it belongs, they would be perceived differently today.

    March 23, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
  167. Ed

    This is NOT a failure of us all. I don't know why people start blaming theirself (but not really, they blame their own country, the U.N., the opposite political party, the other religion, etc.). Their is no one to "blame" but the slaves owners themselves (who don't know any way of life different) and the Mauritanian government for tolerating it.

    I did not know this practice still existed. I am grateful for the journalists' investigation. I will be making a donation to SOS/slavery for their work in training former slaves with job skills and education. If you are moved by the story then get off your butt or wallet and help.

    March 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
  168. jasmine

    Slavery and forced labour are still everywhere including the UK. What about the unpaid work in Poundland, Tescos etc.?
    What about the fact that I have not had a pay rise since 1991. No paid holiday or sick leave. What about the solicitors in Brighton who paid me £6 an hour, barely above the minimum wage, sat me in a broken chair, refused to give me statutory breaks, and then lied about my abilities. thats slave labour.

    March 23, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Ed

      Jasmine, how dare you compare your economic condition to slavery. YOU have a choice. If you don't have the skills to get a better job, that is YOUR responsibility to figure out how to get them. Slaves in Mauritania (or elsewhere if there are real slaves) do NOT have a choice. If they would like to get a real job or live elsewhere, they are not allowed to.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  169. jasmine

    There is slavery and forced labour in the UK. What about unpaid work experience? What about solicitors in Brighton who pay barely above the minimum wage, sit you in a broken chair and refuse to get a new one, refuse to give you statutory breaks so that I end up with RSI and then claim you are self employed so they dont have to pay damages,
    lie about your abilities, have filthy disgusting offices.

    March 23, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
  170. Supersnoop

    Disgusted and Ed... Thank you! Keep the focus where it should be.

    March 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
  171. LiliQ

    Bill Clinton was personally responsible for ending thousands of years of slavery in Ghana. When he went there and tearfully apologized for the end of European colonial slavery some 150 years before his arrival, Ghana has just before his arrival formally outlawed commercial slavery, but retained slavery for civil debt.
    Maybe President Obama should take his daughters to Mauritania and apologize for European slavery. But then again, the slave markets in Saudi Arabia have never really been made public.

    March 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  172. LiliQ

    Slavery is the fault of the evil white man

    March 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • Disgusted

      LiliQ, It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!

      March 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  173. Chuck

    For all of you "African Americans" playing the race card and the my family descended from slaves card, go back "home" and tell me you have it so bad here in the United States.

    March 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • Disgusted

      Thank you, Chuck!

      March 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
      • supersnoop

        Way to go Chuck! That needs to be said! I am so sick of blacks ridding on the coat tails of the slavery ocurred before any of us were born. I am in the south and discrimination is still out there but I am personally experiencing reversed descrimination which does not accomplish anything. If there is any "American" that has been wronged it would be the native americans. Back to the subject... slavery is wrong and inhumane. No one likes to see it. But blacks need to stop ridding the band wagon in the US where there are still worse battles being fought over in Africa. I love Herman Cain for pointing out how mentally weak blacks have become. Blacks are smart and strong...stop dumbing yourself down to think you cant compete on a level playing field. I don't know anyone that wouldnt hire a black if they can speak proper and wear their pants around their waist. America is an anomaly with what has become to blacks. They are their own worst enemy. It has nothing to do with slavery.. it has to do with their mind set. This mentality has no colour but blacks for sure are taking advantage of a system that is allowing them to play the race card. This tangent has nothing to do and at the same time everything to do with what is going on over in Africa.

        Now let me get some work done... I have to work for a livin' to keep my house and car.

        March 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
      • Disgusted

        Well said, supersnoop

        March 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  174. Mauricio Torres

    I agree with those who think slavery is still rampant in many countries. The fact a worker is paid does not make a difference because old time slaves were given food and shelter as a form of wage. Today workers in Latin America, India, China and Africa have to pay for their food and shelter with $1 or $3 a day. Most of these countries have 5 year old children working in the streets day and night for a mere $1 or less to help bring food to their families. This is slavery in the 21st century.

    March 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  175. Apollinaris

    All my legal secretary friends slaving in law offices can identify with Moulkheir Mint Yarba.

    March 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  176. AAA EEE

    Dear Producer, I read every mail on this post and what your program released to the public. I lived in Mauritania for more than ten years. I am a the I. NATION . I was introduce to Mauritania after my STEWARDSHIP training in South Wales then I was a student in E . My first journey to the country is by road from Niger to Mali to Senegal then to Mauritania then I was working with based in N . Please i have s in Nktt up till now . I started my Education program in the heart A region in a village call M. This place is the heart of the country and it is the most beautiful place of desert beach . Please this where the origin of slavery started but how it become stronger and accepted as part of the culture is not for the public information because of M in the country and because of those that are faithful Christian in the country. I will like to thank you for your wonderful effort to do this but it will not destroyed the slavery in the country . Please it is a religion and believe issues . I am free to enter the country and most of the leaders and students in the country because my P in the country involved the youth especially women and they do contact me everyday here in USA . Please my P is involved in Sahara region and I know many Cheikhs and Islamic Scholars that are involved wiith me this programs . Please I have taken some slavery to B E L s in Senegal and they are now working as E t in the country. Please if you are interested to know more I will like to meet you . Please I am a human right Activist using Education FOR FREEDOM IN SAHARA . Thank you

    March 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  177. Albert Nuhu, Ph. D.

    Is it not laughable to read that CNN is concerned about slavery in Africa? America is built on the backs of slaves. What is even more important, Capitalism is a worse form of slavery ever known to human history; yes wage slavery, in which workers are homeless AND cannot afford health care. Slave owners provide health care, but capitalist charge workers for health care in addition to exploiting their labor. So, let's be clear: Imperialist Europe went to Africa under the pretence of civilizing Africans and spreading Jesus Christ's message. First, Africa knew about Jesus Christ long before Europe knew him and did not need Europe to tell us who he was. Second, the pretence of civilizing Africans translates directly as looting Africa's wealth; yes plain burglary. So, don't lecture us about slavery. The world's so called economic crisis, particularly in the West, is a direct result of Europe and the West loosing their colonies, which they looted for centuries. So, under another pretence of spreading Democracy, the West is out in Africa spreading "Wage Slavery". Capitalism and Democracy are two differnt concepts. Capitalism is nothing but wage slavery. Democracy is participation equally in sharing and deciding on how to share collectively. SHAME ON YOU CNN. To all Americans: VOTE FOR RON PAUL FOR WORLD PEACE AS A FIRST STEP TOWARD DEFEATING CAPILALISM AND WAGE SLAVERY. WHERE IS THE ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT - RON PAUL NEEDS YOU AND THE WORLD NEEDS YOU BEHIND RON PAUL TO END WAGE SLAVERY AND WARS.

    March 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Reply
    • Herb Skelton

      Everyone should read the PhD's incoherent ramblings. Pure idiocy. You are a PhD of what? Blatant stupidity? Most of the responses are thoughtful and compassionate and aiming for some solution. Your's is pocket full of mumbles. And your Ron Paul advert demonstrates what a numb mind you have. Save the world? How arrogant. How vain. How pompous. You do nothing to help these poor souls. The world doesn't need saving. You do.

      March 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  178. Mohamed D

    Whether in Mauritania, Egypt or elsewhere, slavery is just plain bad and MUST be outlawed. The world is not doing enough to stop this phenomena. Being originally from Mauritania and a descendent of a former slave and a slave owner , I must admit that, unfortunately, slavery still exists nowadays in Mauritania, but not to the extent it was before... Most slaves were abolished in the last few decades but are still attached to their former masters. The problem, however, is that the Government did not accompany this abolition with actions that aim at helping these former slaves integrate the society, something like the "Affirmative Action" in the USA. Results: they are still dependent of these "owners" who continue to exploit them.
    Another problem is the monopole of the former slave owners who continue to gauge, steal and confiscate the country's resources and wealth, most often with the blessings and complicity of the developed countries. As a reminder, most slave owners travel abroad and visit the Western hemisphere freely, without being bothered by these countries' authorities.
    Together, we can do a lot in the fight against slavery. We just need some will... is that too much?!

    March 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Reply
    • Kowri Soh

      Well said Mohamed D! In the long run, programs such the U.S .Affirmative Action will help remedy the situation of Haratin slaves.

      March 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
      • Omm

        What about the other slaves that are not haratin and are african black slave to African black and as you know their situation is a lot worse than the one of Haratin?

        March 29, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
      • Mohamed D

        This question reminds me of the former dictator and slave owner Ould Taya. At the time, he used to compare Mauritania to everything else, including the "neighboring countries who envy us".... Just because someone else has slaves (or had owned them in the past, for that purpose) does not make it OK to persevere in one's unjustified practices. I have personally seen slaves in Mauritania who are not of black skin color. Still, it is wrong. I think fighting slavery practices in Mauritania is a step towards eradicating it globally... don't you?!

        March 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  179. Karen Strickholm


    Excellent multi-meia reporing. And I'm ashamed to say I had no idea that such wide-spread, formalized slavery was still in place. Thankyou for this wake-up call.

    March 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  180. bill

    Where is the NAACP? Out buying big cars and expensive suits when they should be helping stop this?

    March 23, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  181. demoninlove

    The news is certainly not something to be ignored. I think that the journalists have done very well to be able to trace even a single person who had the courage to speak out against something that has been going on for centuries. What was more sad was the fact that only one prosecution has succeeded. In India, there is no question of slavery and that has never been practiced here .. there were things which were also reprehensible here too despite having one of the strongest Legal Systems in the world – and that was bonded labour, and though technically it was a system of work done in return for a loan taken from moneylenders and zamindars, it was tantamount to a lifetime of slavery passed on from generation to generation. It took a long time for the practice to be weeded out despite the government having passed draconian laws against it. Today – it has been eradicated in India and so I hope that slavery will be eradicated in Mauritania too one day – maybe some great leader will arise to free them from bondage – and I congratulate CNN and its journalists for doing this story – the spread of awareness is the only way to bring light to the darkness shrouding the land. Keep it up CNN.

    March 24, 2012 at 1:18 am | Reply
  182. S. Collington

    I am not surprised that Slavery still existed in the 21st century. The reason why there is still slavery is that most of the countries that incorporated slavery have limited media attention. In addition, those that get some media attention, still does not have anyone working to fix the problem. We have to take more action to spread the word and do something about it. It’s really is what you don’t know that hurt you the most. Thanks to CNN for taking to reign on this story. We would not have known about this country if you had not taken the initiative. Great Job!

    March 27, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
  183. LD

    I am not surprise slavery still exist in this world where ever that is and whatever that is. People just don't have enough moral and values to treat other respectfully. Taking and squeezing others to get a better life, for who??? for greed, power and selfishness.

    March 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  184. Christopher Wells

    May 1,2,3 2012 at CSU Stanislaus in California we the students are prompting awareness about child slavery in the Ivory Coast Coco fields please come join us!

    March 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  185. Rayan

    20% of the country live in slavery? Then that means Saudi Arabia is a much bigger stronghold for slavery than Mauritania is. Here, at least 50% of those born are born into bondage. They call those people women. All women are explicitly the property of one man, their "mahram" or owner. Women cannot make decisions for themselves and do not control their own lives. They are discouraged from leaving the home, they are legally not allowed to leave the country without permission, they are supposed to have a choice in who they marry but in reality they usually don't. Women in Saudi cannot drive, cannot enter most buildings, do not have legal rights to their children, cannot sue for divorce from their husbands, cannot testify in court without having their testimony backed up by a mans', and are often punished for being raped. They cannot escape the mahram system if they choose to. They are property their entire lives. They are slaves.
    In addition, Saudis only outlawed slavery a few short decades ago (officially) but many think this was a mistake and still live as if they had slaves. They bring in poor workers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, etc. and then treat these workers as if they were slaves: confiscating their passports, restricting their ability to leave their accommodations or the homes they work in, limiting their communication with the outside world, and paying them LESS than subsistence wages if they pay them at all. These workers often work without ever getting a day off. It is routine for Saudis to promise workers outside of the country one wage and then pay them much less if they get them in Saudi. Abuse is extremely commonplace, including forced unpaid overtime, physical abuse, and among female workers- rape. These modern day slaves make up a large percentage of the population of the country.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:38 am | Reply
  186. flowermissing


    March 29, 2012 at 6:58 am | Reply
  187. Katie

    Abortion should be legal there. At least the women would have a choice whether or not their in the position to raise a child.. Not a short term solution but long term, yes, it is.

    March 29, 2012 at 7:41 am | Reply
  188. Hamza Suru

    am speechless

    March 29, 2012 at 8:09 am | Reply
  189. raika45

    What is the big deal.America was the biggest market for slave labor at one time.Read the book called Roots.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
  190. MRSTU

    As the book "Eyes of the Tailless Animals" reveals, North Korea is even worse as a bastion of state sponsored slavery.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  191. TruthSeeker

    I commend the reporters who wrote this article. I wish CNN had more of these; this is really solid journalism. I had absolutely no idea that slavery was still the norm in some parts of the world. Hopefully, articles like this will spark discussion and a movement to put pressure on Mauritania and all other countries where slavery is practiced to finally eradicate this cruel and inhumane practice.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Reply
    • Omm

      This is not a good journalism this is on the other side a very poor journalism where the so called journalists let a group of people with a known agenda dictate what they have to put in their reporting without verifying anything from what they were told. If you get an opportunity to visit Mauritania you will understand what I'm talking about

      March 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  192. Åsa Ekvall

    As a former humanitarian worker I would like to attract your attention to the fact that sadly Mauritania is not a unique case. Slavery occurs frequently in both Mali and other West African countries.

    March 30, 2012 at 6:42 am | Reply
  193. Miranda from Canada

    If more people in the world would live and let live, keep their religious beliefs in their home where it belongs, and live up to the one thing in religion that makes sense, "treat others as you would like to be treated", we would have a lot better world. Riight now humans are the scourge of the earth. All we do is destroy everything there is for the want on money.

    April 2, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  194. Ashauna

    Its fascinating to see how the corruption of the Moor invasion in Africa still persists today. Writing a paper called "The Slaves We Left Behind"

    April 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
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  198. Irgo

    Give FREEDOM to Americans FIRST- to the MAJORITY! Your people are SHOUTING but YOU never listen to THAT. YOU ALWAYS report that the BIGGER EVILS are in AFRICA. SHOW to YOUR people that there are SOME in USA TOO.

    There are ISSUES that Africans consider inhuman in the US and other WESTERN countries. REPORT on AFRICANS VIEW of YOUR WORLD. YOU often REPORT your VIEW of AFRICAN world. Slavery is all about INBALANCE!

    REPORT the INHUMANITY in every country (developed or developing) !!!!

    April 12, 2012 at 3:33 am | Reply
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  201. Estela

    It's so easy to say 'Kill the Slave owners!, hang em all!!' But they too are in ignorance or rather are set in their ways, customs, traditions, whatever you want to call it. Change will be met with resistance, both by the slaves/victims -who aren't even aware they are victims- and the people who own them. Look at what happened here in the US (Civil War). This is not going to happen over night, you need a good foundation- a well thought out plan and the cooperation of a people who WANT this change to come about. Knowledge is power, get the word out, brainstorm, and get moving. Which is what these two men have started. There are tremendous issues in every country that need to be dealt with, this is just another to add to a long and growing list.

    April 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  202. Izi Ningishzidda

    This is why I love CNN!

    April 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  203. Ra_Cambodia

    In my country, modern-day slavery is subtly seen, especially in garment sector in which workers are put in to work in poor ventilation atmosphere. Most of them feel faint and even collapse to the ground unconsciously. I have no idea of when and how authority manage to push for the better condition of these workers. I have no voice of how I can help it, but my voice could be heard, really make those believe that I Cambodian citizen this is not fair to them, and I want them to do something to make better place for them to work on.

    April 23, 2012 at 1:45 am | Reply

    CNN, This is the most appealling and facinating story ever, its unfortunate to note that still this "act of slavery" exist.

    May 3, 2012 at 3:58 am | Reply
  205. KLV

    "Last Stronghold"????

    Don't look now, but I would suggest checking out The Sudan.

    C-SPAN: Sudanese slaves, raped to death, children stolen (mirror)

    Sudan Slavery and Islam

    Jihad Slavery in Sudan, with Dr Charles Jacobs

    May 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  206. KLV






    May 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  207. KLV

    Islamist Calls for Slavery's Legalization

    Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, the author of a religious textbook (At-Tawhid, "Monotheism") widely used to teach Saudi high school students as well as their counterparts abroad studying in Saudi schools (including those in the West), announced in a recent lecture that "Slavery is a part of Islam. Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam." He argued against the idea that slavery had ever been abolished, insulting those who espouse this view as "ignorant, not scholars. They are merely writers. Whoever says such things is an infidel."

    Al-Fawzan is no maverick. He is:

    – A member of the Senior Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia's highest religious body;
    – A member of the Council of Religious Edicts and Research;
    – Imam of the Prince Mitaeb Mosque in Riyadh; and
    – Professor at Imam Mohamed Bin Saud Islamic University, the main Wahhabi center of learning.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  208. amanso

    It is indeed a pathetic story and even more frightening because their freedom is not yet certain. I am afraid of what may happen to them or the people trying to help them if they are discovered. it is a global problem, I hope the whole world, the powerful organizations like the UNO and others would show their support to this cause.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
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  211. cleareye1

    The time will coem when all people are free, free from domination of those with more wealth, free from religious brain washing, free to think as they choose.
    The worst threat of all is the teaching of religion to children unable to understand or question what is being taught. Poverty, war, early death, over population- all can be defeated by eliminating all teaching of religions based on ancient myths and the promotion of individual free thought.

    October 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  212. cleareye1

    The time will come when all people are free, free from domination of those with more wealth, free from religious brain washing, free to think as they choose.
    The worst threat of all is the teaching of religion to children unable to understand or question what is being taught. Poverty, war, early death, over population- all can be defeated by eliminating all teaching of religions based on ancient myths and the promotion of individual free thought.

    October 14, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  213. Ana

    I did not know about this.
    What brave and wonderful people journalists are..CNN...I want so much to help.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  214. Jt_flyer

    Very sad.

    November 6, 2012 at 9:39 am | Reply
  215. Ousal Dove

    Ok, first stop the nonsense, Slavery is FORCED. If you work for a wage it is not slavery. Second, slavery started in Africa by blacks against blacks. Stop this hate white stuf! Don't call a moore white, it is an insult to them, they are all black. Now those of you who think you are working for wages that are to low for your talent, I would advise you to start your own business and stop your whining! We in the US are so far still free to make our own choices, so take responsibility for the ones you make and live with them. Good luck.

    November 6, 2012 at 10:00 am | Reply
  216. Ousal Dove

    Trying to eliminate religion can only be done by force, and force it hate! Stop the hate toward religious people and learn to live together in peace!

    November 6, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
  217. Ousal Dove

    The news outlets, ALL OF THEM, have become a mainstream for hate. They can try to disguise it as journalism but it is still hate... ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX,,, are all always about money, power, never forget that, they are the ones trying to manipulate your minds and control you with their wealth not politician. Politicians are only news media's puppets.

    November 6, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
  218. Educator

    @Ousal Dove. Go back to school and get an education. The flaws in your positions are large enough to drive a truck through.

    November 6, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
  219. bbiemuse

    That's Moor...capitalized, no "e". Perhaps a little education????

    November 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  220. rpamfil

    Can someone on the CNN team respond whether it is possible to support the work of the school for freed slaves? Is there anyone that can be contacted to discuss how someone from abroad could fund it. Thank you.

    October 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  221. dtfamu89

    I am beyond words. I can't believe that slavery, as it is practiced in Mauritania, exists in the twenty-first century. I am astounded.

    October 17, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  222. Tyrell Mookie Jenkis

    It always be the white man enslaving us brothers, it's time we shackled the whites! I can't wait to whip my white neighbors after I change their names, "You're name is Jauntavias boy! say it!" We'll round up all the whities and make them live in Death Valley, we'll blow up Mount Rushmore and put real hero's up there like Spike Lee, OJ Simpson, Mike Vick, Tupac, real hero's for this new black country. Wake up Amerika where at the doorstep and we're taking over. PEACE OUT MY BLACK BROTHERS & SISTERS, white boys get ready!

    November 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  223. mindstorms1

    In response to Yara who wrote: "Islam always forbid slavery. Slavery is not a religion issue it's a culture thing.
    It was here in the US for centuries and none of the masters were Muslim." If Islam forbids slavery then there were an awful lot of bad Muslims running around in history.

    November 21, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  224. Ted ward

    Of course this pre-existing culture of africans enslaving Africans in West Africa and the trans-Saharan Islamic slave trade that was ages old when Europeans arrived on the scene needing laborers for a New World depopulated by disease is never mentioned in school textbooks. School textbooks are rife with the lies, significant factual omissions, and misrepresentations of the obligatory PC narrative that unfailingly and incorrectly presents this sad history as a creation of white Americans and Europeans. In fact the enslavement of black Africans and the racism that goes with it are both of African origin. Almost as soon as the slaves arrived in the New World their presence was culturally and legally problematic because slavery was inconsistent with aspects of European culture because Europeans were Christian and had for centuries been themselves under attack and enslaved by Islamic armies and pirates. But it took three and a half tragic centuries for the seed of slavery once planted in the New World to be eradicated through willful abolition, revolution and civil war. Sadly, this ancient tradition continues to this day in some of the same lands where it was already an ancient unquestioned practice when Columbus was born.

    November 21, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  225. Will Rogers

    Here is the list of countries that did not abolish slavery until 1950 or later: Qatar, Bhutan, Niger, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Mauritania, Niger. What do they all have in common? That's right: the dominant religion in all these countries is Islam. Of course, it would be wrong to conclude from this that there is any connection between Islam and slavery, or other human rights violations.

    November 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  226. Karl Hodgson

    You have to define "Freedom" first. In the USA, "Freedom" is for those who have enough capital invested so they do not HAVE to "work" for others. Slavery does not exist like it used to maybe but millions do not have freedom-they are forced to "work" doing things they would not choose just to get by. The free people in America are the owners, the people who live off invested capital using human beings as just "labor" to be had for the lowest cost-study accounting! Meyer Lansky realized at a young age that "America is just about money" and it was seen as a place you could acquire enough to actually obtain your freedom unlike numerous other countries. Just passing a "law" to abolish slavery doesn't mean your are a "free people" but the first step is to educate people to first realize they could be free and have choices. Once they mentally desire to become free then they can develop a plan to obtain it. Education, business, crime-just illegal business, risk and reward, etc. In the USA and every nation on earth there really is no such thing as true freedom because all are subject to taxes, rules, police that enforce them( mostly unjustly) and paid off political con men with a very few global multi-billionaires running the whole show. I'm an American and my family came here long ago and we lost our land, houses, through taxes etc. Forced to fight most of the "wars" through drafts and died, or like me worked in factories for nothing for bosses who made sure you would never have enough. Couldn't afford school and when I worked at an A&P packing plant-under age(I had to eat!) many of the workers could not even read and write and signed their pay checks with an "X"-in 1969 In Massachusetts! My mother was born in Homestead, PA and grew up in the steel town of Youngstown, Ohio and my father on a family farm in Delaware and my desk is over 200 years old from Philadelphia and the blood and sweat we paid for "America" was mostly for a select elite-not us. It's CAPITALISM that runs this world and only those with enough and the KNOWLEDGE to invest it have "Freedom" and choices in life.

    August 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  227. medium4godjesuschannelwriter


    This site is the bee's knees
    Martin Luther King to Stop Slavery
    by medium4jesusgod Medium For God DBA

    Nancy Gail Fox
    53 mins ·
    I am trying to stop slavery internationally from my heavenly state by my gifted highly intuitive holistic vegatarian spiritual nice loving nurturing spiritual geru A A ala non woman of the year a ten year angel board reader expert and her daughter’s and many others can testify her accurate psychic gift and a keen sense of perception and accurate clairvoyant visions and accurate psychic prediction dreams her entire life and became a medium clear to save her life as they slander frame her a wise worldly geru and a great parent and a whimsical sentimental deep rooted person a law expert and an eleven year California Realtor and an eighteen year film veteran as a well known Costume Designer and Supervisor and a screenplay writer and a song writer and poet since a child and the wise worldly geru devoted family lady and a magnificent psychic writer a Prophet for me Mr King and for many other important famous ones in heaven as she’s an advanced medium channel writer and we are sick and tired of the liars at A A visions and in North Ranch in Westlake Village and all over the earth who slander our nice person Miss Fox the nicest gentilest being who’s stopping slavery internationally by writing for me Mr King and she works so hard and they steal her Medium pay and it must stop as they have framed her terribly and lie she’s a crippled handicapped illiterate dyslexic retard and its absurd and ridiculous that anybody would fall for this and they may say her name is Miss Taylor or Nancy F. Taylor to fool all banks and authority’s in department of welfare and she’s not receiving welfare ever in her life and she’s an English expert and studied to be a writer her whole life and is very educated on the subject of poetry song writing lyrics and screenplay writing and a Prophet writer since 2009 Spring her gift came and she’s an expert at it and we are saying to you at the media they are copy kating plagiarism mimic her YouTube’s to hoard her goodwill Prophet pay sent for her six years of her work that’s to save the entire world and the human race and to stop hunger and homelessness and the killing of animals and to save the. ocean and stop pollution and stop global warming and stop a nuclear missile from her land of her America and she’s supposed to have Sir Obama’s fax line to. send it to him our American leader,and all other nations fax numbers and her mail is stolen and they lie they are her and change every order from all over the globe of hers and change all instructions and say they can over rule them and they are only for her to change as that’s her international son of God Nancy Fox law and it needs enforcing in North Hollywood California and in Sherman Oaks to Westlake Village to mammoth lakes as its not their place to be in this spiritual geru business of hers our mediums Miss Nancy Fox so get proof and make it stop
    Write a comment…

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    They lie a clairvoyant has dillusions
    In "angel board"
    Marilyn explains The Emergency Angel
    Nancy Fox, Medium For God Prophet Writer Stopping Slavery
    PUBLISHED: February 16, 2015
    FILED UNDER: Uncategorized
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    February 28, 2015 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  228. Adrienne

    This horror in this miserable country with its religious leaders lending few approval exists and where are all of those "Zionist" haters in all of this. Nowhere to be seen or heard. It is so easy to sway impressionable minds when one has the voice and also the media at one's behest. It is becoming the absolute norm to hate Israel and the Jews – so normal that it will soon be as American as Apple Pie if the "Left" continue to have free reign to teach and inspire Jew-hatred. Here, in this story, where the IS something to despise and rise up against, the Left is silent. I feel sick. Sick for those tormented and tortured enslaved people and sick as well, that the tactics of Nazi Germany are again on the rise – greatly so. Divestment, apartheid, etc., etc., against the Jews and it swelling in its unchecked growth. Yet here in this desert nation of true monstrosities being waged against human beings, in this IslamicNation, the world is not bending over backward to promote its destruction. "Let their be slavery, let their be beheadings and stonings and genital mutilation and child rape and "marriage." Yes, let it be. But as to Israel and the Jewish People and all they have done and continue to do to advance civilization and human dignity, they must be abolished. You give most any Israeli Arab the choice to leave Israel and live in any other Arab/Moslem Nation and they will bid you Salaam Alekim and stay right where they are. For any misspellings or any writing errors, I apologize. I am in a quasi-hysterical state.

    March 11, 2015 at 4:27 am | Reply
  229. Elizabeth C

    Very sad truth about the horrors of poverty and illiteracy in this modern age of technology!! Education is sure power!!

    December 18, 2015 at 5:12 am | Reply
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