Courses & Documentary

Human traffickers - a lucrative business in Mauritania

In the footsteps of the traffickers in Mauritania who profit from poverty. They organize crossings to take west Africans to Europe. Are they helping these people on a dangerous journey or are they the heirs of the slave traders of the 16th century, at the time of the transatlantic slave trade? In the 16th century, slave trade decimated much of West Africa, causing long-lasting devastation and disruption. 21st century migration out of Africa seems to be following a similar path. At the center of both are the people who benefit financially - slave catchers of old and fixers nowadays. Abdourahmane is a Mauritanian fixer. He takes us to the inside of his business as he organizes a boat to take group of youth across the Atlantic to Europe. 

Human traffickers conducting a lucrative business in Mauritania | DW  Documentary - YouTube

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The boat will be navigated by his namesake, Abdourahmane, who is an experienced captain. He is aware of the risks to his own life on a small boat that will cross the ocean. The film draws parallels, highlighting similarities and differences and asking the questions: Why is this taking place today? Are the experiences and results the same? On the one hand is the involuntary migration of slaves in shackles being forced to Western countries. Today, voluntary migration to Western countries leads to exploitation as cheap labor. Still, despite the dangers, warnings, authorities, and the reality of not being welcomed with open arms, many migrants spend a fortune and risk their lives to get to Europe by irregular means, crossing the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.