Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Mali

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 14 June 2004
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Mali, 14 June 2004, 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 a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced domestic and commercial labor. Children are trafficked to the rice fields of central Mali; boys are trafficked to mines in the southeast; and girls are trafficked for involuntary domestic servitude in Bamako. Malian children are also trafficked to Guinea for domestic servitude. Burkinabe children attending Koranic schools are sometimes forced to work on Mali's rice farms. Nigerian women and girls are trafficked to Mali for sexual exploitation. Traffickers are generally Malian, but include other West African nationals.

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. Increased prevention efforts would help Mali's fight against trafficking in persons.


Malian law criminalizes trafficking in children, which is punishable by five to 20 years in prison. The Malian constitution prohibits forced or bonded labor, including by children. The government investigates trafficking cases and recently convicted and sentenced one trafficker. Three women are awaiting trial on trafficking charges and their 14 victims of child prostitution were encouraged to assist in the investigation and prosecution. In December 2003, Malian police arrested two suspected child traffickers convoying 112 Burkinabe children. Two Nigerian traffickers exploiting child prostitutes in Mali were arrested in March 2004. The government provided training for border police, customs officials, labor inspectors, and Ministry employees on recognizing and addressing trafficking. In an effort to coordinate regional efforts, Malian authorities signed a convention with Cote D'Ivoire to fight trafficking; agreements with Burkina Faso and Senegal are in preparation.


The government works closely with international organizations and NGOs to coordinate the repatriation and reintegration of trafficking victims. Between 2000 and 2003, more than 600 trafficked children, mostly from Cote D'Ivoire, were hosted by transit centers in four major cities before being returned to their families. Following the December 2003 rescue of more than 100 Burkinabe children from traffickers, the government placed the children with a local NGO until they could be returned home. The government also funded income generation projects to assist in the resettlement and integration of these children. The Ministry of Women, Children, and the Family hosted a sub-regional trafficking conference in March 2004 that focused on regional coordination of anti-trafficking efforts and reintegration of trafficking victims.


The government has a national plan to prevent and address child trafficking. The Ministry of Women, Children, and the Family's anti-trafficking unit funds a trafficking awareness campaign. In 2003, Mali and Cote D'Ivoire established a commission to jointly study child trafficking.

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