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In Mauritania, a large proportion of the population lives below the poverty line, forcing some 60% of the children to work, for example as domestic servants. They are often victims of exploitation and physical violence. Due to food shortage, the child malnutrition and infant mortality are high. Terre des hommes fights for better access to healthcare and protects the most vulnerable children such as those who are in migration, exploited or in conflict with the law.

What we do

Children and youth in migration

We train social workers of the Association of Women Heads of Households on how to identify children in mobility and to offer them appropriate care. We support community organisations to individually accompany child victims of abuse, exploitation and violence. Awareness-raising among families and community leaders encourages child protection. Tdh also helps young people and women to start business activities that provide them with an income and improve their living conditions.

Access to justice

In collaboration with the authorities and the community, we strengthen the judicial system, the positive practices of customary justice as well as the prevention of radicalisation and violence. We train social workers of the Association of Women Heads of Households for accompanying and guiding children in conflict with the law, victims and witnesses, as well as women who have suffered gender-based violence. This enables them to get access to their rights and to justice.

Mother and child health

We train medical staff to take care of pregnant women, mothers and children under five years old. Our teams promote the awareness of the mothers to the needs of their children. Tdh rehabilitates or builds care centres for the treatment of children suffering from malnutrition.

Specialised care

Through our specialised care programme, we organise the transfer to Europe of children from disadvantaged families who cannot be given surgery locally. Frequently suffering from cardiac disease, they get consultations and surgery thanks to our partnership with Swiss hospitals. After a period of convalescence, they return to their home countries, where medical follow-up is assured by our local partners, and the children are given support during 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 and beating her.

Fatou, a former domestic servant


Terre des hommes in Mauritania

Beneficiaries 2019


22,237 people

Expatriate / local employees


2 / 22

Budget 2020


CHF 1,629,998




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 young people and launches a training programme for professionals in the area of justice for children.
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 Association for Women Heads of Households and Terre des Hommes in Nouakchott and Rosso.
Project launched to ensure prevention of and response to the various forms of abuse and violence against girls and boys at Nouakchott.
Project launched to guarantee access to justice for children in conflict with the law, and to prevent radicalisation and violence, in particular against women and children.

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Related publications

Annual Report 2020
Thematic policy - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Infopage WASH_EN

Related publications