Ambassador’s Opening Remarks at Instance Nationale Launch Ceremony

Ambassador’s Opening Remarks at Instance Nationale Launch Ceremony

Excellency the Minister of Justice,
Excellency the Minister of Interior,
Mr. Commissioner for Human Rights, Humanitarian Action and Relations with Civil Society,
Mr. Director of the Instance Nationale,
Mr. Representative of the International Organization for Migration (IOM),
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to participate in the launching ceremony of the Instance Nationale to Combat Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling. The United States is proud to have supported the Commissariat for Human Rights, Humanitarian Action, and Relations with Civil Society, through our partners at International Organization for Migration (IOM), in developing tools and capacities to combat human trafficking, such as the Good Practices Guide to Combat Human Trafficking. We know that they will continue to play a critical role as the Instance becomes fully operational and carries out its mission. I’d like also to congratulate the Human Rights Commissioner Cheikh Ahmedou for the great work his organization has been doing, and Mr. Cheikh Tourad for his new role as director of the Instance. We wish you the best of luck as the first director of this important new institution.

As we all know, the protection of fundamental human rights is a top priority for the United States, and we are committed to working with countries around the world, including Mauritania, to combat hereditary slavery and human trafficking. My team and I are grateful for the open, productive cooperation that we’ve enjoyed with the Commissariat, the National Commission for Human Rights, the Ministry of Justice, IOM, and our partners in civil society organizations.

Under President Ghazouani, Mauritania has taken concrete steps to strengthen the legislative framework on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, raise awareness on these crimes, and develop new institutions to tackle them. These steps have been critical in combatting human trafficking in Mauritania, and we encourage the government to strengthen efforts to ensure that the law is applied and that victims are protected. Increased efforts from law enforcement, judicial authorities, and social development institutions are needed to combat these crimes and aid victims.

Toward that end, the new Instance Nationale will play a role in combatting hereditary slavery and human trafficking by coordinating cross-government efforts, cooperating with international partners, providing aid to victims, maintaining a database of trafficking cases, and working with civil society organizations, among many other critical activities. We’re excited to see the Instance Nationale begin these activities as soon as possible.

On behalf of the United States, I express my gratitude for the opportunity to work with partners like you to continue to ensure that Mauritania protects the rights of all. Much work has been done in recent months, and we congratulate Mauritania for its efforts in ending hereditary slavery and trafficking in persons. Recently, the government adopted the implementing decree of the National Authority to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants. This initiative is another good illustration of Mauritania’s willingness to tackle the issue. The United States will continue to be your partner in the fight against these crimes.

To conclude, I’d like to thank the IOM team for its important work in Mauritania. This project will have a positive impact on Mauritania’s fight against human trafficking in all its forms.

Thank you.