In Mauritania, slavery has been practiced for thousands of years, particularly by the light-skinned Berbers, commonly referred to as “beydan” (Whites), and the mixed Berber-Arabs — all of whom are the descendants of slave owners locally referred to as “al-beydan.”
Black Mauritanians from the minority ethnic group, referred to as “Moors” or the “Haratin,” account for the largest number of slaves in the North African country.
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Here, slaves and their descendants are considered the full property of their masters. Although this practice was banned in Mauritania in 1981, it is still rampant in some parts of the country.