Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 08:28 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Mali

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 11 June 2003
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Mali, 11 June 2003, available at: [accessed 25 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Mali (Tier 2)

Mali is primarily a source country for children trafficked to Cote D'Ivoire for farm labor. It has also become a transit country for children and women being trafficked to and from neighboring countries and to Europe; anecdotal evidence also suggests that it is a destination country for women from Nigeria. Some Malian children are trafficked internally to urban centers for forced labor.

The Government of Mali does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severely limited resources. Mali should strengthen its anti-trafficking efforts through enhanced prosecution of traffickers.


As part of Mali's comprehensive plan to combat trafficking in children, the government has participated in several media campaigns including the "Red Card to Child Labor" program, introduced during the 2002 African Cup of Nations soccer tournament in Bamako. Since February 2002, minors are required to have written parental permission to cross borders; this program is believed to have been moderately successful in decreasing trafficking in its first year. The government is targeting high trafficking areas with public awareness campaigns. Mali is one of the West African countries participating in an international organization's program to reduce trafficking in children and a regional effort to combat trafficking.


Trafficking in children is illegal in Mali and carries severe penalties under the law. Trafficking in adults can also be prosecuted under laws against slavery, kidnapping, and prostitution. We have no information on prosecutions. The government is investigating organized trafficking rings in Mali. The government has announced plans to train border officials in spotting and investigating traffickers. Mali's cooperative agreement with Cote D'Ivoire appears to be working to combat trafficking. Cooperation with border authorities from Cote D'Ivoire and Burkina Faso has also gained momentum. As a result of both the agreement and the instability in Cote D'Ivoire, the number of children trafficked to Cote D'Ivoire appears to be declining.


The government has established "welcome centers" which provide shelter and medical and psychological services to victims; more than 600 children have been repatriated through the centers since 2000. Victims are not treated as criminals, and the government encourages them to assist in investigation and prosecution of traffickers. Victims also have the right to seek legal action against their traffickers on their own.

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