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Mali: Update to MLI41213.F of 18 March 2003 and to MLI40537.F of 30 January 2003 on the situation of children in Mali, particularly the forced labour of children; available state protection; government structures or organizations that help children who are victims of forced labour; internal flight alternative; whether violence toward children is commonplace

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 14 May 2003
Citation / Document Symbol MLI41494.FE
Reference 1
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Mali: Update to MLI41213.F of 18 March 2003 and to MLI40537.F of 30 January 2003 on the situation of children in Mali, particularly the forced labour of children; available state protection; government structures or organizations that help children who are victims of forced labour; internal flight alternative; whether violence toward children is commonplace, 14 May 2003, MLI41494.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3f7d4dd623.html [accessed 23 July 2014]
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.

Various sources indicate that children in Mali generally live in very poor conditions (Afrique Relance Apr. 2002; Fondation des enfants orphelins de la rue n.d.; IPS 19 Feb. 2002; ENDA n.d.).

According to Afrique Relance, [translation] "approximately one child in four dies before the age of five. One in three suffers from chronic malnutrition" (Apr. 2002). The Foundation for Street Orphans (Fondation des enfants orphelins de la rue, FEOR) indicated that, [translation] "according to various sources, the number of children living on the streets of Bamako, Mali's capital and major centre, varies between four thousand (4,000) and six thousand (6,000), the majority of whom are boys" (n.d). The same source also stated that [translation] "more than 20,000 girls between the ages of 10 and 15 work as domestics in mediocre conditions and are victims of physical, psychological and sexual abuse" (Fondation des orphelins de la rue n.d.).

According to Inter Press Service (IPS), forced labour in Mali is an issue that

[translation]

affects 26,000 children, 60 per cent of whom are little girls. These children are exploited in Mali itself, while an additional 34,000 Malian children work on plantations in Côte d'Ivoire, according to a study conducted in 2001 by the National Directorate for the Promotion of Women and Children (Direction nationale de la promotion de la femme et de l'enfant), in cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) (19 Feb. 2002).

Under ENDA, an organization fighting for the preservation of the environment of third world countries that [translation] "takes a hands-on approach to health, agriculture, sanitation, alternative education, young workers, etc." (ENDA 2001), the NYETA program was put into place to [translation] "protect and assist children living in difficult conditions in Bamako and support [similar] activities in Mopti, Kayes, Sikasso, Ségou and Koulikoro" (ibid. n.d.). The program points out that [translation] "some 10,000 children and youths in residential neighbourhoods in and on the outskirts of the city are working, deprived of their freedom, enrolled in Koranic schools, separated from their family, idle, unemployed and/or unskilled" (ibid.).

In addition to the information found in MLI41213.F of 18 March 2003 and in MLI40537.F of 30 January 2003, the sources consulted by the Research Directorate indicated that, despite the Malian government's firm commitment to eradicate the forced labour of children and in spite of the labour code governing the employment of children in Mali, the forced labour of children still seems to be quite commonplace (Country Reports 2002 31 Mar. 2003; IPS 19 Feb. 2002; ENDA n.d.).

Country Reports 2002 stated that "an estimated 15,000 Malian children between the ages of 9 and 12 have been sold into forced labor on cotton, coffee, and cocoa farms in northern Cote d'Ivoire over the past few years; an even greater number were forced into domestic service" (31 Mar. 2003).

In regards to organizations that help children who are victims of forced labour, IPS stated that, [translation] "aware of the harmful effects of these bad practices on the psychomotor development of a child, the NGOs for women in Mali made a commitment to fight against all forms of child abuse through CAFO, their coordinating body" (19 Feb. 2002).

Furthermore, in the interest of improving the lives of underprivileged children, the NYETA program carries out activities in the following areas: vocational training, income generating activities, lobbying for children's rights, health, schooling and literacy education, an urban youth associative movement, social reintegration services, and head start programs (ENDA n.d.). The NYETA program also promotes the participation of the children concerned and works

No additional information on the above-mentioned subject, particularly information indicating whether violence toward children is common, could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints for this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Afrique Relance. April 2002. Vol. 16, no. 1. Andrew Manley. "Santé des enfants : légère amélioration au Mali." [Accessed 13 May 2003]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2002. 31 March 2003. United States Departement of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 7 May 2003]

ENDA. n.d. "Le programme ‘NYETA' : actions d'appui en milieu ouvert en faveur des enfants en situation difficile au Mali." [Accessed 8 May 2003]

_____. 2001. "L'organisation ENDA Tiers-Monde." [Accessed 13 May 2003]

Fondation des enfants orphelins de la rue. n.d. "Résumé." [Accessed

   13 May 2003]

Inter Press Service (IPS). 19 February 2002. Almahady Cissé. "Mali : le BIT et des ONG mènent une campagne dénommée ‘Carton rouge au travail des enfants'." [Accessed 13 May 2003]

International Labour Organization (ILO). 5 May 2000. "L'abolition effective du travail des enfants." [Accessed 13 May 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential

Afrique/Asie

Amnesty International. Annual Reports

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

Jeune Afrique

Keesing's Record of World Events

New African

Resource Centre country file. Mali

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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