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Record #: SR2015-107   
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Intro date: 3/18/2015 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Human Relations
Final action: 5/6/2015
Title: Expression of support of Biram Dah Abeid and Mauritanian abolitionists in fight against slavery
Sponsors: Brookins, Jr., Howard, Cappleman, James, Thomas, Latasha R., Austin, Carrie M., Burnett, Jr., Walter, Ervin, Jason C., Reboyras, Ariel, Dowell, Pat, Burns, William D., Graham, Deborah L., Lane, Lona, Foulkes, Toni, O'Connor, Mary, Holmes, Natashia, Willie B. Cochran, Fioretti, Bob, Moore, Joseph, Chandler, Michael D., Solis, Daniel, Harris, Michelle A., Mitts, Emma, Cullerton, Timothy M., Laurino, Margaret, O'Connor, Patrick
Attachments: 1. R2015-107.pdf, 2. SR2015-107.pdf

WHEREAS, throughout the sordid history of this world, there have been periods of unconscionable and systematic subjugation and abuse of men, women, and children by means of enslavement; and
WHEREAS, long promoted and practiced by generations of men and women the world over, slavery and servitude has left - and continues to leave - an immeasurable impact on countless physical, psychological, familial, cultural, and economic aspects of everyday life; and
WHEREAS, modern-day slavery is still extant in the West African nation of Mauritania;
WHEREAS, the institution of slavery in Mauritania exists in conjunction with routine sexual and physical violence against women and children to ensure its perpetuation; and
WHEREAS, home to visionaries and innovators in the continuous fight for human rights, the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois share an extensive and proud history of supporting the abolition of slavery; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. State Department's 2014 Report on Trafficking in Persons states that "held for generations by slave-holding families, persons subjected to slavery are forced to work without pay as cattle herders and domestic servants;" and
WHEREAS, the State Department's 2014 Report further states that "the government failed to hold traffickers criminally accountable, and law enforcement and judicial personnel intervened on behalf of alleged offenders to thwart the progress of criminal prosecutions;" and
WHEREAS, the United States government is closely following the legal proceedings against Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, President of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA), IRA Vice President Brahim Bilal Ramdhane, and Djiby Sow, President of Kawal e Yelitaare; and
WHEREAS, the United States is deeply concerned by the January 15, 2015 court decision to convict and sentence these abolitionists to two years imprisonment, and the impact this ruling will have on freedom of association and assembly in Maur...

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