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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                                   

Republic of Mali

Mali is among the 25 poorest countries in the world, with 65% of its land area desert or semidesert and with a highly unequal distribution of income. Economic activity is largely confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger. About 10% of the population is nomadic and some 80% of the labor force is engaged in farming and fishing. Industrial activity is concentrated on processing farm commodities. Mali is heavily dependent on foreign aid and vulnerable to fluctuations in world prices for gold and cotton, its main exports.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Mali

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Mali.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Care And Respect On The Streets Of Bamako

r Ben Aboubacar, Medical Coordinator, SAMU Social Mali --  ECPAT International Newsletters, Issue No. 49, January 1, 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 June 2011]

Every night at 8 o’clock in Bamako, the capital of Mali, a doctor, a social educator and a driver set out from the office of SAMU Social Mali in a van equipped with a pharmacy and an examination table to visit a select group of children in the places where they live - the streets. The children are mainly boys aged 13 to 16, though there are also girls of about 15. They live by group and territorial rules and generally choose their dwelling places according to the activities on offer, the potential for shelter and the appearance of security.


*** ARCHIVES ***


[accessed 19 June 2011]

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 20 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - In some cases, children work as street beggars under a traditional Koranic educational system in which the children are forced into begging by their religious teachers as part of the learning process.  Primary education is compulsory and free through the age of 12.  However, students must pay for their own uniforms and school supplies to attend public schools.  The Malian education system is marked by extremely low rates of enrollment, attendance, and completion, particularly among girls.

CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR - The Government of Mali continues to implement a 10-year education sector policy that aims to reach a primary enrollment rate of 75 percent and improve educational quality and outcomes by 2008.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Education was tuition free and, in principle, is open to all, although the majority of students left school by age 12. Students had to provide their own uniforms and supplies to attend public schools. While primary school was compulsory up to the age of 12, only 53.4 percent of children in the 7-12 age group received a basic education owing to a lack of primary schools, especially in rural areas where 80 percent of the population lived.

The Koranic schools were independent institutions that depended on parents' donations and money the children (known as garibouts) received from begging on the streets.

Concluding Observations Of The Committee On The Rights Of The Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 8 October 1999

[accessed 20 February 2011]

[12] The Committee is concerned that the current data collection mechanism is insufficient to ensure the systematic and comprehensive collection of disaggregated quantitative and qualitative data for all areas covered by the Convention in relation to all groups of children, in order to monitor and evaluate progress achieved and assess the impact of policies adopted with respect to children. The Committee recommends that the system of data collection be reviewed with a view to incorporating all the areas covered by the Convention. Such a system should cover all children up to the age of 18 years, with specific emphasis on those who are particularly vulnerable, including: girls; children with disabilities; child laborers, especially domestic workers; garibou students; children living in remote rural areas; child brides; children working and/or living on the streets; children living in institutions; and refugee children.

The Mali Initiative Launches to Make Change Through Education

Mali Initiative, Press Release, Melbourne Australia, January 08, 2008

[accessed 19 June 2011]

Education is seen as a priority at national and village levels in Mali, with good reason. Many children have no access to any schools at all. Class-rooms hold up to over 100 children where most children do not have tables and chairs or books and pens. With 81% illiteracy rate, 4 out of 5 adults can not read and write, according to UN data.

“How shall you learn or find a job without being able to read and write? Education holds the key for sustainable development in action, you see the difference child per child” says Youchaou Traore, Director of the non-governmental organization (NGO) that has been officially registered to undertake activities in Mali.

Youchaou was a street-child himself, without access to education for many years. He decided to leave the begging in the streets behind him when he got the chance to go to school where he learned enthusiastically. Education pulled him out of poverty and allowed him to become a renowned translator for international organizations. Now he runs the flagship school of the Mali Initiative in Bamako.

Information about Street Children - Mali [DOC]

This report was based on a paper submitted by Mr Felix Toumany Kangama (Caritas Mali) and Mr Baikoro Kouyate (Children’s Foundation) and is taken from “A Civil Society Forum for Francophone Africa on Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Street Children”, 2-5 June 2004, Senegal

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 June 2011]

One NGO study in 2002 suggested that there were around 4,300 street children in the Bamako district alone, with an average age of 15.  Factors pushing children onto the streets are (1)Abuse and neglect from parents and school teachers; (2)Poverty and the desire to earn money that leads to rural-urban migration; (3)Being forced to beg by tutors from Koranic schools; (4)Exploitation of domestic workers.

Defining A National Care Plan For Kids At Risk

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN PlusNews, Bamako, 3 June 2005

[accessed 10 March 2015]

WHAT ABOUT STREET CHILDREN?  But anti-AIDS activists and the private sector admit they are incapable for the moment of tracking down AIDS orphans or children at risk among street children, young delinquents and migrants or young workers.  Furthermore, you can't give ARVs to children who are homeless, you can't keep them under supervision, they're alone, don't know where to spend the night, some of them disappear. There's nothing you can do.

EDUCATION: Former Street Toughs Call It A Day In Mali

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO,

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 June 2011]

“We want to demonstrate the enormous but neglected talent of these boys and girls living on the street” comments Migeon. “Many of them have been in school but have often been rejected by it. We therefore need to listen to the youngsters’ own ideas about how to bring them back into society or they’ll just run away from us.”

Protection Project - Mali [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE TRAFFICKING INFRASTRUCTURE - Poverty affects over half of the population of Mali.  Children suffer from malnutrition, food security is a persistent concern, and the AIDS epidemic is reportedly on the rise.  Mali’s estimated 4,000 street children are especially vulnerable to trafficking.

ECPAT International Annual Report - July 2004 - June 2005 [PDF]

ECPAT International

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 June 2011]

[page 156]  In Mali, ECPAT Luxembourg continued its collaboration with the NGO “Samu Social Mali” to implement a project providing medical and psychosocial support to street children from Bamako for their social reintegration. Night and day, mobile teams meet the children and provide them with medical care and psychosocial support to assist them in their rehabilitation process. 270 children were monitored on a regular basis by the teams. This year, special attention was given to young mothers living in the street.

Our Projects in Mali

Save the Children - Canada

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 19 June 2011]

EDUCATION - Save the Children Canada works to ensure that children employed in paid and unpaid household farming activities, street children and others who have dropped out of school, are able to access formal and non-formal education including night schools, internships, and apprenticeships with employers.

Food Insecurity

Islamic relief USA

[accessed 19 June 2011]

Extended droughts and locust invasions have devastated harvests and plagued millions of Malians with starvation and malnutrition.  80 percent of Malians work in the agricultural sector, according to the United Nations’ 2007/2008 Human Development Report (HDR), further amplifying the adverse effects of a drought.  Prices of many staple foods have doubled in the Malian market, forcing the poorest people to abandon their villages and search for food in the desert.  A recurring pattern since 2005, food shortages in the region have forced millions of Malians to rely heavily on foreign aid for survival

[PREVIOUSLY POSTED ON THIS SITE] Dozens of villages have been abandoned as their hungry residents wander the desert in search of food. Some people head for the towns and cities, or even neighboring countries. “I have no means to face this famine,” explains Zali Adamou, a 90-year-old widow from the Tillaberi region in Niger. “I have no food, livestock, nothing.

[PREVIOUSLY POSTED ON THIS SITE] Numbers are large and growing, social support systems are overwhelmed, poor socialization, children care for children, social upheaval, Female headed household of orphans families are becoming common and juvenile, delinquencies combined with street children are raising.

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