But while slavery in most parts of the world is a thing of past, Mauritania remains an exception.
As you read this column on this remarkable day of March 2013, there are people who belong to people, inherited as property, worked like donkeys, tortured at will, not because it is lawful but because it can be done.
In Mauritania, blacks can be killed, "perfectly killed without being accountable to anyone without having to apologise for anyone," to quote from Aimé Cesaire's poem Partir in his book Cahier d'un retour au pays natal.
Although slavery has been made illegal several times (no pun intended), the practice remains widespread and is tolerated throughout the country. And slaves are still taught such nonsense as: your paradise is under your master's feet.
Light skinned Mauritanians, known as Arabs, have continued in an absurd tradition that penalises the Black majority composed of Haratines, Fulani, Wolof and Soninké.
As for abolitionists, they continue to face legal intimidation and arrest by the country's law reinforcement who, in my point of view, are awaiting the umpteenth abolition of slavery in Mauritania's constitution.