SlaFMig: What is it?
Descent-based slavery and its contemporary forms are present throughout the Sahel and particularly in Western Mali. In the absence of a legal framework to protect them, populations that are victims of slavery-related violence often find themselves systematically deprived of all land rights in their native villages by the local elite. Therefore, they often have little choice but to flee to more “hospitable” regions. These communities categorized as “slaves” by the local elite are often the poorest and most vulnerable in the Sahel. Faced with this discrimination, the people affected by descent-based slavery fight for their rights locally and with the support of the diaspora, but frequently suffer reprisals.
Furthermore, slavery-related displacement in West Africa is often overlooked in the initiatives and reports of humanitarian and development organizations, which is a major omission from the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.
In the context of a crisis such as the one that dominates Mali today, working with these populations categorized locally as “slaves” is an issue of priority for equal rights.