How to Abolish Modern Day Slavery?

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador, interviews Bakary Tandia, Co-Founder of the Abolition Institute, a group working to promote awareness of, and dedicated to ending, the practice of slavery in the west African country of Mauritania.

Ira Pastor Comments

Slavery and enslavement are defined of the state and condition of being a slave, where the individual cannot quit their service to another person and is treated like property.

In chattel slavery, the enslaved person is legally rendered the personal property of the slave owner. In economics, the term de facto slavery describes the conditions of unfree labor and forced labor that most slaves endure. In the course of human history, while slavery was often a feature of civilization and legal in most societies, it is now outlawed in all countries of the world.

In 2019, approximately 40 million people, of whom 26 percent were children, were enslaved throughout the world despite it being illegal. In the modern world, more than 50 percent of enslaved people provide forced labor, usually in the factories and sweatshops of the private sector of a country’s economy. In the industrialized countries, human trafficking is the modern variety of slavery; in the unindustrialized countries, enslavement by debt bondage is a common form of enslaving a person, such as captive domestic servants, forced marriage, and child soldiers.

Modern day slavery is a multibillion-dollar industry with just the forced labor aspect generating US $150 billion each year.

Bakary Tandia founder of Abolition Institute right

Bakary Tandia

Bakary Tandia is a well-respected and dynamic human rights advocate with an extensive background in promoting human rights and social justice causes and Co-Founder of the Abolition Institute, a group working to promote awareness of, and dedicated to ending, the practice of slavery in the west African country of Mauritania, where it is estimated that around 90,000 people (over 2% of Mauritania’s population) are chattel slaves.

Tandia is a graduate of the Global Masters Program in International Affairs, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and holds bachelor degrees in International Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, and Criminology from the University of Abidjan (Ivory Coast). In addition to that, Tandia is a graduate of the Human Rights Advocates Program, at Columbia University, where he served as an Advocacy Workshop facilitator helping to educate and empower human rights activists around the world.

Bakary Tandia founder of the Abolition Institute centre left

Tandia also works as a Case Manager and Policy Advocate at African Services Committee, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and self-sufficiency of the African community in New York City, USA and beyond.

Tandia has spoken on human rights issues at more than 100 universities and colleges around the United States and played a leadership role in major conferences and trainings around the world. As a member of the African NGOs Coordinating Committee representing the African Diaspora during the World Conference against Racism, he developed strong relationships with human rights organizations across the continent.

Tandia was recipient of the 2005 New American Leaders Fellowship Program jointly sponsored by Coro Leadership Center and The New York Immigration Coalition and was a participant in the Hamburg-New York 2007 IntegrationXchange 2007, a program jointly sponsored through Department of Child Services by the U.S. State Department and the Koeberg Foundation, Germany.

On this episode we will hear from Bakary Tandia about:

His background — how he developed an interest in criminology, criminal justice, and international affairs, and his path towards involvement and advocacy in the modern day abolitionist movement. The background history and current situation related to chattel slavery in Mauritania. The Abolition Institute — its background, funders, and partners. The Abolition Institute’s work on slave rehabilitation and activity on the political front. His work with the African Services Committee. Abolition movement synergies with the current Black lives Matter movement.

Ira Pastor ideaXme life sciences ambassador

Credits: Ira Pastor interview video, text, and audio.

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