As a follow-up to the Bamako and Kayes workshops in 2021, an advocacy training workshop was held from June 4-7, 2022 in Gennevilliers with anti-slavery activists from the associations Gambana RMFP Mali and Ganbanaxuun Fedde ARMEPES Mauritania from the diaspora in France. The objective of the workshop was to strengthen the capacities of the members of these movements in advocacy and communication. The activists were accompanied by the Donkosira association, SlaFMig researchers Dr. Marie Rodet and Dr. Lotte Pelckmans, and by the trainer Illia Djadi, an advocacy expert.
After a quick introduction on the notions surrounding advocacy, the equivalent terms in the different languages of the participants, various interventions allowed to acquire a global view of the problem of slavery by descent in the local and regional context. The interventions of Hanoune Dicko (General Secretary of the Association Haratine of Mauritania in Europe, AHME) and Professor Tidiane Mahamane Alou (University of Niamey, LASDEL, Niger) put the national West African experiences into perspective.
Discussions were also held on the different sources of power, the most appropriate people to carry out advocacy, the importance of slogans, the role of the media and social networks, and the most appropriate timing to adopt. These talks were aimed at collectively developing an advocacy strategy to raise awareness among authorities and the general public. To continue the fight against slavery, Salif Kamara and Marie Rodet stressed the importance of allies. Illia Djadi reminded participants of the importance of slogans to mobilize a large number of people (especially young people), beyond the active members. Finally, a collective reflection was carried out on the strengths and weaknesses of the different movements, and on the means to improve their effectiveness.
For Mali, the areas identified as needing improvement are communication,
engagement of intellectuals, youth, authorities and the judiciary. The following
strategic points are considered :
– Creation of a website
– Organization of conferences, activities attracting youth,
events to create partnerships
– Collaboration with artists
– Involvement of women in leadership positions within the movement
– Collaboration with intellectuals
– Setting up legal assistance (e.g. through training of young members)
– Strengthening communication through social networks, committees, press
– Establishment of committees involving women and youth
– Involvement of NGOs to improve the living conditions of people displaced due to
Aline Desdevises, Mariam Coulibaly, Assa Waly Diakité