Objectives of the project

The SlaFMig project will promote the visibility, economic development, and well-being of the locally categorized “descendants of slaves” who have been forcibly displaced over a long period of time in Western Mali. This will be done through three key components: Research, Legal Action and Awareness-Raising, and Community Development.

Research

Research is led by the SlaFMig research team, composed of Dr. Marie Rodet, Prof. Bakary Camara and Dr. Lotte Pelckmans :

SlaFMig aims to identify and analyze the historical and contemporary forced resettlements of populations that have been locally assigned to the status of “slaves” in Western Mali for more than 100 years;
The program assesses the risks of these vulnerable displaced populations of not only continuing to suffer the legacies of historical slavery, but also becoming victims of new forms of servitude;
SlaFMig analyses how the legal environment can be used, changed, and developed to provide populations displaced due to slavery with legal protection and solutions for their future, with a particular focus on women and land issues;
The program also analyzes the historical and contemporary protests and campaigns against slavery in Mali and the diaspora.

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Legal Action and Awareness

The project conducts legal and civil rights awareness activities while providing support to communities in order to :

Provide the legal knowledge and means to defend their rights and improve their well-being (mobile legal clinics, paralegals);
Change the attitudes of authorities towards these displaced communities (awareness training of civil servants; workshops and awareness trainings of key actors including local authorities);
Change societal attitudes (awareness raising campaigns on citizenship, human rights and the fight against descent-based slavery; training of paralegals).

Community Development

The project aims to explore affordable and replicable solutions to rebuild communities, solidarity and social cohesion: 1) Support and training for the establishment and/or maintenance of women’s community gardens and other income-generating activities according to community needs.