Every year, the U.S. Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons highlights the efforts of individuals from all over the world who work tirelessly to ensure that every person, no matter one's nation of origin or standing in society, is able to pursue a life of freedom. In the days leading up to the release of the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, DipNote will share their stories.About of Author: Talley Sergent is a Public Affairs Officer in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
For more than two decades, Ms. Mint Moctar has worked against certain abusive practices to ensure that women in her native country, Mauritania, are not exploited or enslaved. In 2009, she spearheaded highly visible public campaigns to denounce trafficking of young Mauritanian girls to Gulf States as well as the exploitation of Mauritanian and West African women living in domestic servitude.
Ms. Mint Moctar has fought for these women -- whose voices are silenced in Mauritanian society -- to create a legal framework to protect victims and fight impunity. She has been a vocal opponent of the traditional practice of early marriages, which increases girls' chances of being trafficked or sexually exploited.
Ms. Mint Moctar's efforts have not only changed the lives of individual women and girls, but have also convinced the government of Mauritania that these practices exist.
She heads the Association Femmes Chefs de Familles, an organization she founded in 1999 to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence, rape, and trafficking. For her work with these sensitive and often taboo issues, Ms. Mint Moctar has received innumerable threats. But Ms. Moctar continues her dedication and commitment to assisting female trafficking victims and to raising awareness about their plight on a national and international level.