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Photo feature: Forty Years a Slave: Women start new lives in Mauritania

Whabi, a former female slave from the Haratine ethnic group, now makes a life for herself dying and sewing cloth veils. Mamoudou Lamine Kane

The Mauritanian government officially abolished slavery in 1981, but there are still an estimated 155,000 people who are indentured as modern day slaves. 

Many of those who have been set free in recent years continue to face widespread discrimination, violence and social injustice.

Click here to see IRIN's photo feature on some former female slaves, known as the Haratines, who are now speaking out about their lives, then and now. 

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