Posts Tagged ‘Initiative pour la Résurgence du Mouvement Abolitionniste en Mauritanie’

2015 Human Rights Tulip awarded to IRA-Mauritania

December 12, 2015

On 10 December the 2015 Human Rights Tulip was awarded to IRA-Mauritania, an organisation from Mauritania that is working to abolish slavery. The Nethertlands Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, presented the €100,000 prize and the accompanying bronze tulip sculpture to Abidine Merzough, the European representative of IRA-Mauritania.

Working both in Mauritania and at international level, IRA-Mauritania (Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in Mauritania) is drawing attention to the issue of slavery and supporting victims in building a new life. ‘IRA-Mauritania stands up for people who are marginalised and excluded, and in this way it makes an important contribution to the battle against slavery,’ said Mr Koenders. ‘That is why I have decided to award the Human Rights Tulip to this organisation this year.’

Thousands of people in Mauritania are living in conditions which could be described as modern slavery. Many are born into and grow up as part of a household in which they receive no pay for their work. Often they are also mistreated. What’s more, they are prevented from owning land, attending school or participating in politics. The most common victims of such abuses are women and children. In August this year slavery was made a crime against humanity under Mauritanian law. Mr Koenders said that the Netherlands welcomes this positive development and pointed out how important it is for the Mauritanian authorities to enforce this law.

Mr Koenders’ added. ‘Of course, it is not enough to reflect on human rights once a year. I will continue every day to emphasise the importance of complying with human rights obligations, especially now, when the focus is understandably on combating terrorism and addressing security challenges. Human rights organisations are our allies, as they work towards peaceful, free societies. We need to prevent them from being impeded by incorrectly applied counterterrorism measures, whether here or elsewhere. They must be able to continue their important work.’

At the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Dutch NGO Hivos will also support the organisation’s activities.

Source: 2015 Human Rights Tulip to be awarded to IRA-Mauritania | News item | Human Rights Tulip

Human rights defenders in Mauritania arrested

March 19, 2013


On 9 March 2013, police severely beat a number of human rights defenders and members of the Initiative pour la Résurgence du Mouvement Abolitionniste en Mauritanie – IRA (Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement) in Southern Mauritania. Nine of the human rights defenders were arbitrarily arrested and remain in detention in Kaédi police station. (IRA is an organisation which works to eradicate slavery in Mauritania. It has members and supporters in various regions of the country.) Read the rest of this entry »