Mauritania

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

Our staff accompany children and young girls who have been victims of exploitation during their work or other forms of abuse or ill-treatment. They are in the majority mobile/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 accompaniment provided in order to re-enter school or vocational training, and be able to quit domestic work.

Child protection

In collaboration with the actors of social protection, education, health and justice, we identify vulnerable children. Our teams accompany those in the situation of mobility/migration when they are in conflict with the law and/or are being exploited. We help them obtain a birth certificate so that they can be registered and propose psychosocial assistance with a team of psychotherapists and by means of socio-recreational, sports and educational activities. They are also supported when they return to school or start vocational training.

Mother and child health

We improve the access to and the quality of health care by offering improved monitoring of pregnant women and their children. We train the 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 repair 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 impoverished children that 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. Post-operational monitoring is provided by our local partners and the children are supported with their reintegration into the school environment.

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

 

60,748 people

Expatriate / local employees

 

1 / 21

Budget 2018

 

CHF 1,201,033

 

 

 

Where we work

Supported by

Timeline

1984
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.
1998
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.
2001
Creation of the first special unit to treat children suffering from severe malnutrition.
2009
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.
2010
Launch of a care system for children suffering from malnutrition in nine hospitals in Nouakchott
2015
Implementation of a child protection and juvenile justice project in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou.
2018
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 – 2018.

Related publications

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

Related publications