The mangled hands of Jebada Mint Maouloud, a discarded Mauritanian slave woman whose angry master hung her for days by her hands at the age of 7 for allowing a goat under her supervision to be eaten; photographed in 1996 by journalist Sam Cotton on his fact-finding mission to Mauritania. (Sam Cotton / Harlem River Press)


The American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG), founded in 1993, works to abolish modern-day slavery, with a focus primarily on widespread black chattel slavery in North Africa.

Since 1994, the AASG has worked with survivors of modern-day slavery in advocating for the abolition of slavery and freedom for the estimated 40.3 million slaves around the world.

In 1994, we broke the story of the modern-day enslavement of black people in North Africa in The New York Times. The overwhelmingly positive response to that article propelled us to create an anti-slavery movement which:

  • 1. Raised international awareness about the need for the elimination of modern-day slavery. This is now widely accepted by human rights activists, who have created broad and varied movements to address all forms of slavery.
  • 2. Helped redeem tens of thousands of black slaves in Sudan, and, through its campaigns, helped create the world’s newest nation: South Sudan.

Our efforts have centered on the following components:

AWARENESS: The first step in eradicating modern slavery is educating the public that it still exists. The AASG has built awareness through our publications, school curricula, conferences, and a Speakers’ Bureau consisting mainly of survivors of slavery.

ADVOCACY: We have advocated for the freedom of those degraded by slavery through government lobbying and online campaigns, which locate effective pressure points in corporations benefitting from slavery, governments which tolerate human bondage, and leaders who remain silent.

ACTIVISM: Through our website and writings we have built networks of activists around the world who are passionate about freedom. The AASG has led rallies, freedom marches, petitions, letter-writing campaigns, and partnerships with organizations which actually free slaves on the ground.

See the American Anti-Slavery Group in action.