Thursday, December 12, 2013
Congratulations to Biram Dah Abeid, founder and President of Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement, for winning the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights. This award is bestowed every five years upon individuals who have made exceptional contributions in the field of Human Rights. Past recipients include Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, and Benazir Bhutto.
Dah Abeid is a preeminent leader in the movement to end the practice of slavery in his native Mauritania. That country was the last country in the world to abolish the practice, in 1981, and only recently criminalized the act of owning another human being, in 2007. Hundreds of thousands of Mauritanians continue to be held as slaves, just as their ancestors have been for thousands of years.