Page last updated at 17:16 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 18:16 UK

Anti-slavery gong for Mauritanian

A Mauritanian non-governmental organisation run by the son of a slave has won this year's Anti-Slavery International Award.

SOS Esclaves was set up by Boubacar Messaoud, whose father was a slave, and Abdel Nasser Ould Othman Yessa, a former slave-owner.

It is estimated 600,000 Mauritanians - one in five people - live in slavery despite it being outlawed in 2007.

Boubacar Messaoud told the BBC World Service how he escaped slavery, and why it persists.

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