UN Authority Figures

UN General Assembly Vice-President: Mauritania

Anti-slavery protesters are facing an increasingly violent clampdown by security forces, according to human rights groups. Slavery is deeply rooted in Mauritania's caste-based society.
Source: The Guardian, January 20, 2016

Mission of the General Assembly:
"13. The General Assembly shall initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of:
    a. promoting international co-operation in the political field and encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification; b. promoting international co-operation in the economic, social, cultural, educational, and health fields, and assisting in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion." ("UN Charter")

Term of office: 2016-2017

Mauritania's Record on "the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion":
"The chief human rights problems were continuing slavery and slavery-related practices, trafficking in persons, and harsh, overcrowded, and dangerous prison conditions. Violations of freedom of press and association were also of concern. Other reported human rights problems included use of torture by law enforcement officers, arbitrary arrests, and lengthy pretrial detention. Male guards sometimes patrolled women's prisons, and authorities incarcerated children with adult prisoners. Government influence over the judiciary, limits on freedom of assembly, restrictions on religious freedom, and public corruption were also problems. Only Muslims may be citizens of the country. Discrimination against women, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); early and forced marriage; political marginalization of southern-based (non-Arab) ethnic groups and of the Haratine caste of slave descendants; racial and ethnic discrimination; discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons and persons with HIV/AIDS; child labor; and inadequate enforcement of labor laws also occurred... nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) reported that law enforcement officials tortured their members. Methods of abuse reportedly included beatings. There were also credible reports of torture, beatings, and abuse in police detention centers, several prisons throughout the country, and gendarmerie and military facilities..." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2015, Mauritania)