A West African regional court ruled Monday that the government of Niger had failed to protect a young woman sold into slavery at the age of 12.
“No woman should suffer the way I did,” said Hadijatou Mani.
The landmark ruling, the first of its kind by a regional tribunal now sitting in Niamey, Niger’s capital, ordered the government to pay about $19,000 in damages to the woman, Hadijatou Mani, who is now 24.
Slavery is outlawed throughout Africa, but it persists in pockets of Niger, Mali, Mauritania and amid conflicts like the one in northern Uganda. Antislavery organizations estimate that 43,000 people are enslaved in Niger alone.
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