“The fight against descent-based slavery in Mali”, Article in Africa Is A Country (March 2021)

Slavery existed in the Sahel before the Transatlantic Slave Trade and endured beyond its abolitions. To this day.

On September 1, 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, four anti-slavery activists were murdered in western Mali for their work against descent-based slavery—a form of slavery considered hereditary, which in its worst forms manifests in forced labor without pay, denial of education, and civil rights abuses. This practice has a long history in colonial and contemporary Mali and West Africa where people with alleged “enslaved ancestors” live at the bottom of the social ladder, facing discrimination and social exclusion on a daily basis. As forced migrants and newcomers escaping wars or economic deprivation, having been sold into slavery or not, their ancestors were ascribed the status to be treated as a slave by those in power. … Read more

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