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Mauritania Background

Mauritania’s post-independence period has been marked by ethnic tensions within its diverse and highly stratified society. Discrimination against marginalized groups—particularly women, refugees, the stateless and slavery survivors—is entrenched, both within the courts and other state institutions, and within society more generally. This means that civil society organizations (CSOs) serving the marginalized are fragmented and often lack the capacity to adopt coordinated responses to issues of marginalization. Civil society segmentation hampers effective advocacy for the rights of marginalized groups and the provision of coordinated, comprehensive services that address the legal, economic, medical, social and other needs of marginalized populations. In early 2014, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) began to implement a program in partnership with Search for Common Ground to promote the social and political rights of marginalized groups and to expand their public and political participation in Mauritania. We are partnering with local CSOs to adopt coordinated legal and advocacy responses marginalization.