Torture in  [Mauritania]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Mauritania]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Mauritania]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Mauritania]  [other countries]
 

Child Prostitution

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                        gvnet.com/childprostitution/Mauritania.htm

Islamic Republic of Mauritania

Half the population still depends on agriculture and livestock for a livelihood, even though many of the nomads and subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by recurrent droughts in the 1970s and 1980s. Mauritania has extensive deposits of iron ore, which account for nearly 40% of total exports. The nation's coastal waters are among the richest fishing areas in the world, but overexploitation by foreigners threatens this key source of revenue. The country's first deepwater port opened near Nouakchott in 1986.

The Government continues to emphasize reduction of poverty, improvement of health and education, and privatization of the economy.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Mauritania

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Mauritania.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLE ***

Strengthening the Protection of Children through the Law against Human Trafficking

Dr Haimoud Ramdan, Charge d’Affaires, Department of Justice, Mauritania, ECPAT International Newsletters, Issue 45, October 1, 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 June 2011]

The commercial sexual exploitation of children for commercial purposes has developed gradually in Mauritania, in particular through the prostitution of children by relatively well-organized internal networks, the trafficking of children for sexual purposes, brothels and child sex tourism. These practices, although still in an embryonic state, nevertheless constitute a danger in the future if corrective measures are not taken.

 

*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Global Monitoring Report on the status of action against commercial exploitation of children - MAURITANIA [PDF]

ECPAT International, 2007

www.ecpat.net/A4A_2005/PDF/AF/Global_Monitoring_Report-MAURITANIA.pdf

[accessed 19 June 2011]

Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) appears to be a relatively recent phenomenon in Mauritania. While it has existed in the form of forced child marriages for some time, child prostitution, child sex tourism and trafficking in children for sexual purposes are becoming more common, (especially the prostitution of children by relatively well-organised internal networks). However, counteraction has been hindered by a number of factors, not least the fact that the subject is taboo in Mauritania and usually treated under the broader issue of “violence against children”, instead of being addressed in all its particularities and complexity. The population of Mauritania is 100 per cent practicing Muslim, and although the practice of prostitution is strictly forbidden in Islam, the commercial sexual exploitation of children takes place very secretly and is heavily frowned upon. Decision makers, legislators, elected officials, village chiefs and families know little about or are completely unaware of the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Child prostitution in Mauritania is essentially an urban phenomenon, found primarily in capitals and large cities, where foreign and local tourists and expatriates are common. It has been reported that parents often send girls from the countryside to larger cities to find work and some of them end up living in houses where prostitution is practiced. The parents receive small amounts of money from their children and often remain ignorant as to its exact source.

A number of studies focusing on street children found that many are being exploited through prostitution, including boys. According to a study by Father François Lefort, street children are targeted by unscrupulous adults, often foreigners, who exploit them either as pimps or directly. In a 2003 report, he attested to having treated 103 children abused by seven westerners. He also reported that, out of 400 children living without their families in the streets of Nouakchott (the capital city), almost 10 per cent earn their living through prostitution.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2004/mauritania.htm

[accessed 20 February 2011]

CHILD LABOR LAWS AND ENFORCEMENT - The Criminal Code establishes strict penalties for engaging in prostitution or procuring prostitutes, ranging from fines to imprisonment for 2 to 5 years for cases involving minors. The Law Against Human Trafficking expands the scope of trafficking for cases involving children. Fines for violation of the law include 5 to 10 years of forced labor and a fine. In addition, the Criminal Code sets a penalty of 5 to 10 years’ imprisonment for the use of fraud or violence to abduct minors.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 12 October 2001

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/crc/mauritania2001.html

[accessed 20 February 2011]

[53] The Committee encourages the State party to ratify the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

www.no-trafficking.org/content/web/05reading_rooms/five_years_after_stockholm.pdf

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – MAURITANIA – The subject of commercial sexual exploitation of children is still taboo in Mauritania, which complicates the work on sensitizing, informing and educating the public. However, some NGOs have shown a genuine commitment to children’s rights and in their projects they have included work with sexually abused children. The Association Nationale Pour l’Appui à l’Initiative Féminine et la Protection Infantile et Environnementale (ANAIF-PIE) has created and is coordinating a network “Women and Development in Mauritania” consisting of more than 30 NGOs led by women. Its major objective is to communicate on subjects that have traditionally been regarded as social and cultural taboos such as sexuality and in particular sexuality that is related to children.

Strengthening the Protection of Children through the Law against Human Trafficking

Dr Haimoud Ramdan, Charge d’Affaires, Department of Justice, Mauritania, ECPAT International Newsletters, Issue 45, October 1, 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 June 2011]

The commercial sexual exploitation of children for commercial purposes has developed gradually in Mauritania, in particular through the prostitution of children by relatively well-organized internal networks, the trafficking of children for sexual purposes, brothels and child sex tourism. These practices, although still in an embryonic state, nevertheless constitute a danger in the future if corrective measures are not taken.

A Situational Analysis of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Mauritania [PDF]

Maye Mint Haidy, ECPAT International, March 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 June 2011]

[2.1.1] PROSTITUTION - Prostitution is essentially an urban phenomenon in Mauritania. The commercial sexual exploitation of children is both a consequence and a cause of other social ills, among which are extreme poverty (91.9% of those surveyed in this study cited poverty as the main reason they turned to prostitution), divorce, which is very frequent (children are dependent on their mothers for support, with the father contributing nothing), and children who have lost their father (households headed by women total 38%). According to public opinion, girls from the countryside are brought by their parents or by acquaintances to the city to look for work. Some of them are then drawn to the delinquent urban lifestyle and end up living in houses where prostitution is practiced. There they are well cared for so that they can attract clientele, and a small amount of money is often sent to their parents back in the village. These parents often remain ignorant of their daughters’ real situation.

ECPAT Directory: Middle East & North Africa - ANAIF-PIE

ECPAT International

www.ecpat.net/EI/Ecpat_directory.asp?id=40&groupID=5

[accessed 19 June 2011]

Association Nationale pour l’Appui à l’Initiative Féminine la Protection Infantile et Environnementale (ANAIF-PIE) was created in 1995 by a group of women who recognised the need to promote gender equity in Mauritania and ensure that children grow up in a safe environment. The organisation now has 200 members and aims to provide support for women’s projects in the development sector and to protect and promote children’s rights. The group’s work has included: carrying out campaigns on child protection and care, focusing on children with HIV/AIDS, child victims of sexual exploitation and children suffering from malnutrition; raising awareness on various forms of child exploitation, including sexual exploitation and child labour, and on women and children suffering from HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections; developing an awareness-raising campaign against CSEC in Atar in collaboration with UNICEF and the Ministry of Tourism; and setting up a database and developing a strategy to promote gender equality. It has financed several cooperatives for female heads of households and has supported research on the commercial sexual exploitation of children as well as the impact of migration on the economic status of women.

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Torture in  [Mauritania]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Mauritania]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Mauritania]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Mauritania]  [other countries]