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UN human rights expert worried over slavery in Mauritania

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A United Nations human rights expert, Tomoya Obokata, has raised an alarm over the existence of slavery in Mauritania, calling on the authorities to take urgent steps in implementing an anti-slavery law passed in 2015.

Obokata, a UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, following a ten-day visit to the West African country, said on Friday that though some progress had been made in abolishing slavery, the act was still being practiced and warned that much more needed to be done if it is to be completely eradicated.

The human rights expert said babies were still being born into slavery while people affected by the practice needed help to seek justice and achieve equality.

He added that though people were now more willing to openly discuss the issue openly, the caste-based slavery and chattel slavery where one person owns another, were still happening in the country.

The Japan-born Obokata further warned that a change in the mindset of the country’s leaders was needed because even as the laws had been passed, they were not being implemented, as people are still being enslaved particularly women and children who are subjected to violence and sexual abuse.

Metro

Malian migrants, including children, die as makeshift Europe-bound boat capsizes in Libya

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Twenty-two Malian migrants including three children, have been killed when their makeshift Europe-bound boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, the United Nations as well as the Malian government have confirmed on Wednesday.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), also confirmed that 61 other migrants were rescued and taken to a detention centre in Libya.

The Ministry of Malians Abroad, in a statement, said the people who died were part of a group of 83 mostly Malian nationals who were stuck on a distressed vessel since June 22.

The IOM, in statement by its spokeswoman Safa Msehli, said the rescued victims were brought back to shore with the help of the Libyan coastguard after nine days at sea, adding that the “cause of death for the 22 people was drowning and dehydration.”

Msehli also said some of the survivors were in very poor health and had to be taken to hospital by the IOM.

“The remaining migrants were taken to al-Maya detention centre” in Libya, she said.

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Metro

Monkeypox: WHO records over 6,000 cases in 58 countries in recent outbreak

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According to the World Health Organization, more than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 58 countries in the current outbreak.

The United Nations agency is yet to decide declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of alert.

Its committee reconvene a meeting in July 18 to decide or sooner.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference from Geneva.

Monkeypox, a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, has also penetrated Europe and North America in its recent spread with more than 100 cases recorded outside Africa.

The UN committee meeting in June 27 decided that the disease was not yet a health emergency. There have recently been reported cases in other African countries like Nigeria and Morocco.

“I continue to be concerned by the scale and spread of the virus across the world,” Tedros said, adding that a lack of testing meant that there were likely many more cases going unreported.

Until recently, monkeypox had been a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, but has gradually penetrating Europe and North America in its recent outbreak.

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