The pandemic threatens vulnerable families.


In Mauritania, 42% of the population lives under the poverty line. This forces numerous children (estimated at 37%) to become domestic workers. These children are often victims of exploitation and physical and sexual violence (27%). Furthermore, in spite of national health policies, 29 children per 1000 die at birth. Nearly 23% of children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Tdh supports and accompanies children who have been victims of exploitation and helps to improve their health.

What we do

Tackling child labour

Tdh accompanies children and young girls who have been victims of exploitation or of other forms of abuse or ill-treatment. They are in the majority migrant populations from neighbouring countries. In partnership with the Association of Female Heads of Households (AFCF) these young girls are identified and accompanied with a view to their social, economic and professional reintegration. Legal assistance is available and a personalised follow up provided in order to re-enter school or vocational training and to quit domestic work.

Access to justice

Tdh and the Association of Women Heads of Households are developing an access to justice project to promote alternatives to detention for children in conflict with the law. Our approach aims at rehabilitation and social reintegration whilst taking into account the co-existence of various judicial systems as well as the rights of girls.

Mother and child health

We improve the access to and the quality of healthcare by offering improved monitoring of pregnant women and their children. We train medical staff and voluntary workers on the handling of child illnesses and malnutrition. To prevent malnutrition, mothers can take courses where they receive advice on feeding their children. Our staff repairs or build latrines so that the health centers benefit from better conditions of hygiene and access to drinking water.

Specialised care

As part of our specialised care programme, we arrange for children from vulnerable backgrounds who cannot receive the necessary medical treatment in Mauritania to be transferred to one of our partner hospitals in Europe. These children, mostly suffering from complex heart diseases, are examined and undergo surgery. Once they have fully recovered, they can return home to their family. One of our local partners then follows their progress to ensure that they remain in good health, and we support them in their school reintegration.

Hoping to provide Fatou with opportunities for the future, her parents sent her to work for a Mauritanian family as a domestic servant. However, the situation quickly deteriorated. Fatou’s employers began abusing her, beating her daily and withholding her

Fatou, a former domestic servant


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Terre des hommes in Mauritania

Beneficiaries 2018


51,732 people

Expatriate / local employees


1 / 20

Budget 2019


CHF 1,693,515




Where we work

Supported by


Terre des hommes starts working in Mauritania with the opening of two health centres on the outskirts of Nouakchott. Tdh begins transferring children in need of specialised surgery to Europe.
Terre des hommes implements a legal and social support system for youths and launches a training programme for professionals in the area of justice for minors.
Creation of the first special unit to treat children suffering from severe malnutrition.
Launch of a pilot project for the protection and reintegration of children exploited as domestic servants. First rolled out in Nouakchott and then in several other towns.
Launch of a care system for children suffering from malnutrition in nine hospitals in Nouakchott.
Implementation of a child protection and juvenile justice project in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou.
Support project for the child protection system to ensure the protection of children concerned by mobility, sponsored jointly by the Assocation for Women Heads of Households and Terre des Hommes in Nouakchott and Rosso 2018 – 2020.

Related publications

Making an Impact for Children: Annual Report 2018
Specialised care programme - Annual Report 2017
Thematic policy - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Infopage WASH_EN

Related publications