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Cablegate: Mali Response to Information Request: 2009 Report

VZCZCXRO4950
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHBP #0066/01 0340818
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030818Z FEB 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BAMAKO
TO RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1099
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 BAMAKO 000066

SIPDIS

DOL/ILAB FOR LEYLA STROTKAMP, RACHEL RIGBY, AND TINA
MCCARTER
DRL/ILCSR FOR SARAH MORGAN
G/TIP FOR LUIS CDEBACA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND KTIP PHUM SOCI SIPDIS USAID ML
SUBJECT: MALI RESPONSE TO INFORMATION REQUEST: 2009 REPORT
ON CHILD LABOR AND FORCED LABOR

REF: A. 09 SECSTATE 131995
B. 08 BAMAKO 488
C. 09 BAMAKO 009

1. This cable responds to Reftel A requests for information
on child labor and forced labor for DOL congressional
reporting requirements.

Tasking 1 / TVPRA

2. The following answers, keyed toquestions in paragraph 15
of 2009 State 131995, are provided below:
1A) GOOD: As per paragraph 14 of Reftel A, post has no
information pertaining to goods not already named on the
current TVPRA list or discussed in Reftel B.

1B) TYPE OF EXPLOITATION: As per paragraph 13 in Reftel A,
post has no new information pertaining to the type of
exploitation described in Reftel B. The labor practices
described in Reftel B are exploitive child labor due to the
hazardous nature of the labor.
1C) SOURCES OF INFORMATION: In addition to the sources listed
in Reftel B, post has obtained information concerning
exploitive child labor from the director of TBP-Mali, a
DOL/ILO project to address child labor in Mali, the director
of the Malian National Office Against Child Labor, a project
officer at the United Nation's Children Fund, and a
provisional report entitled "Understanding Children's Work in
Mali," a joint publication by the ILO, UNICEF, and the World
Bank Group issued in October 2008.
1D) NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION: As per paragraph 13 in Reftel A,
post has no new information concerning conditions of labor.
1E) PREVALENCE: Post has no information beyond that reported
in Reftel C, section E.
1F) HOST GOVERNMENT/AUTHORITIES, INDUSTRY OR NGO EFFORTS: On
February 4, 2009, Mali's Ministry of Labor published a list
of the "worst forms of child labor" prohibited for those
under the age of 18. The list expanded upon certain
activities that had already been banned for those under the
age of 18 pursuant to a government decree dating from 1996.
The new list of hazardous work includes a variety of jobs in
the agricultural domain, as well as eight enumerated tasks
common in the mining industry. In 2009, TBP-Mali, a 3.5
million USD DOL/ILO project described in Reftel C, ended a
few months sooner than anticipated due to funding shortfalls.
TBP-Mali had worked with the Malian Ministry of Labor on
enumerating the list of "worst forms of child labor"
mentioned above, and had promoted community-based awareness
campaigns to decrease child exploitation. TBP-Mali was able
to amass statistical data concerning individual children
rescued from exploitive labor through its efforts.

Tasking 2 / TDA
3. The following answers, keyed toquestions in paragraph 21
of 2009 State 131995, are provided below:
2A) PREVALENCE AND SECTORAL DISTRIBUTION OF EXPLOITIVE CHILD
LABOR: Of 1.8 million economically active children in Mali
between ages 5 and 17, approximately 10 percent, or 180,000,
are employed as domestic servants. Domestic service is by
far the most prevalent sector of child labor not related to
the production of goods. In certain parts of Mali,
relationships of hereditary slavery/servitude exist,
resulting in forced child labor. In addition, children are
frequently forced to beg on the streets by Koranic masters to
whom their parents have entrusted them. Child prostitution
exists, although there are not reliable figures upon which to
estimate its prevalence. During the reporting period, the
Malian government collected data on child labor, and
publication of that data is anticipated as part of the
process of developing a new National Action Plan to Eliminate
Child Labor. The data collection has been performed by the
Ministry for the Advancement of Women and Children in
conjunction with the National Statistics Directorate. Post
anticipates that the Ministry will be willing to share data
with DOL once the data is published.
2B) LAWS AND REGULATIONS: There were no new laws adopted in
2009 pertaining to curtailing exploitive child labor. The
Ministry of Labor finalized a list of the "worst forms of
child labor" as required by Mali's obligations under
international labor treaties. As a general matter, Mali's
legal framework is adequate, but enforcement of legal
standards is lacking. In certain areas, however, Mali's
legal framework leaves a gap. For example, the Criminal Code
does not have a provision directly pertaining to child
prostitution. Child prostitutes are frequently taken into
custody by the Malian Morals Brigade of the National Police,

BAMAKO 00000066 002 OF 006


but are released without the necessary support and follow-up
to provide a means to escape permanently from their
exploitation. Similarly, although slavery is not legally
recognized, there is no provision in the law that explicitly
criminalizes it. This limits the legal options of children
caught in relationships of hereditary servitude. Most
importantly, there are no laws specifically pertaining to
child labor in the informal sector, including agriculture,
domestic service, and petty commerce. ILO has also noted
that most Malian laws on the subject of child labor are
prescriptive in nature, prohibiting undesirable behavior but
without providing alternatives for families driven by poverty
to use child labor.
2C1) INSTITUTIONS AND MECHANISMS FOR ENFORCEMENT -- HAZARDOUS
CHILD LABOR
2C) - 1: HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: Responsibility for
enforcement of child labor laws rests with the Ministry of
the Promotion of Women, Children, and the Family; the
Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Internal Security
through its Morals Brigade of the National Police; the
National Social Security Institute (INPS) through its health
service; and the Ministry of Labor.
2C) - 2: HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: Mechanisms exist through a
panoply of interagency commissions and committees set up,
including the National Program Against Child Labor (PNLTE),
the Project Against Child Trafficking (LUTRENA), the Support
Project for TBP-Mali, and the Project Against Child Labor
through Education (TACKLE). In addition, there is a National
Committee Director charged with coordinating the actions of
the various ministries and committees in relation to the
National Action Plan. The mechanisms for exchanging
information have proven counterproductive, as the
multiplication of commissions, committees, programs, and
projects have made the entire system inefficient and
cumbersome.
2C) - 3. HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: The Ministry of Labor
accepts complaints for all forms of labor violations,
including child labor. The number of complaints received
during the reporting period pertaining to child labor was not
made available to post.
2C) - 4. HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: The funding for Ministry of
Labor inspections is inadequate, and there are no funds
specifically earmarked to target child labor. Instead, the
Ministry of Labor has one budget for inspections of all labor
code violations, and this has proven to allow only cursory
oversight. Inspectors are underpaid, and the most
experienced inspectors often leave the Ministry of Labor to
pursue work elsewhere. The legislation authorizing
inspections by the Ministry of Labor is only applicable to
the formal sector, thus, inspectors have no jurisdiction over
the vast majority of child labor in Mali.
2C) - 5. HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: In 2009, the Ministry of
Labor employed 52 inspectors. This number is inadequate,
although an improvement from recent years (in 2007, post
reported there were only eight inspectors).
2C) - 6. HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: At least one inspection was
carried out during the reporting period. An inspection of a
restaurant/bar in Bamako's Commune III revealed eight
under-aged girls working as prostitutes.
2C) - 7. HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: The eight under-aged girls
working as prostitutes in a Bamako bar were placed in the
care of the NGOs APAF/Moussa Dambe and Kanaso, which
specializes in assisting prostitutes.
2C) - 8. HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: Unknown. The bar
identified above was charged a fine.
2C) - 9. HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: Unknown.
2C) - 10. HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: Unknown.
2C) - 11. HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: N/A.
2C) - 12. HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: The bar at which the
eight under-aged girls were discovered working as prostitutes
was assessed a fine, and the owners of the bar paid. The
criminal code does not specifically address child
prostitution, although "pimping" is severely punishable. The
proportionality of the fine assessed to the penalties
prescribed by law depends on what information the inspectors
had in their possession. Post does not know if the bar
owners were "pimping" the prostitutes or merely allowing them
to work there.
2C) - 13. HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: The Malian government is
sincere in its desire to combat child labor, although the
inspections discussed in questions 7-10 above are not
necessarily proof of that commitment as they were random in
nature and too infrequent to be effective.
2C) - 14. HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOR: The Malian government,
through ILO, offers its inspectors the opportunity to attend
numerous trainings. In 2009, there were four in-country

BAMAKO 00000066 003 OF 006


trainings. In addition, inspectors are sent to CRADET, a
training center in Cameroon for Francophone labor inspectors,
and the International Training Center in Turin, Italy. These
trainings have had a negative impact overall, because once
trained, inspectors use their new qualifications to seek
higher-paid work outside of the Ministry of Labor. One
Embassy source indicated it was unusual for anyone returned
from training at CRADET to still be at the Ministry of Labor
one year later.
2C) INSTITUTIONS AND MECHANISMS FOR ENFORCEMENT -- FORCED
CHILD LABOR
2C) - 1. FORCED CHILD LABOR: Responsibility for enforcement
of child labor laws rests with the Ministry of the Promotion
of Women, Children, and the Family, the Ministry of Justice,
the Ministry of the Internal Security through its Morals
Brigade of the National Police, the National Social Security
Institute (INPS) through its health service, and the Ministry
of Labor.
2C) - 2. FORCED CHILD LABOR: Mechanisms for exchanging
information exist through a panoply of interagency
commissions and committees set up, including the National
Program Against Child Labor (PNLTE), the Project Against
Child Trafficking (LUTRENA), the Support Project for
TBP-Mali, and the Project Against Child Labor through
Education (TACKLE). In addition, there is a National
Committee Director charged with coordinating the actions of
the various ministries and committees in relation to the
National Action Plan. The mechanisms for exchanging
information have proven counterproductive, as the
multiplication of commissions, committees, programs, and
projects have made the entire system inefficient and
cumbersome.
2C) - 3. FORCED CHILD LABOR: The Ministry of Labor accepts
complaints for all forms of labor violations, including child
labor. The number of complaints received during the
reporting period pertaining to child labor was not made
available to post.
2C) - 4. FORCED CHILD LABOR: The funding for Ministry of
Labor inspections is not adequate, and there are no funds
specifically earmarked to target child labor. Instead, the
Ministry of Labor has one budget for inspections of all labor
code violations, and this has proven to allow only the most
cursory oversight. Moreover, inspectors are woefully
underpaid, and the most experienced inspectors leave the
Ministry of Labor to pursue work elsewhere.
2C) - 5. FORCED CHILD LABOR: In 2009, the Ministry of
Labor employed 52 inspectors. This number is inadequate,
although a dramatic improvement from recent years (in 2007,
post reported there were only eight inspectors).
2C) - 6. FORCED CHILD LABOR: None dealing with forced
child labor.
2C) - 7. FORCED CHILD LABOR: Zero.
2C) - 8. FORCED CHILD LABOR: Zero.
2C) - 9. FORCED CHILD LABOR: Zero.
2C) - 10. FORCED CHILD LABOR: N/A.
2C) - 11. FORCED CHILD LABOR: N/A.
2C) - 12. FORCED CHILD LABOR: N/A.
2C) - 13. FORCED CHILD LABOR: The Malian government has
failed to adequately address forced child labor, in part
because of its reluctance to admit the existence of
hereditary slavery, and in part because it has focused on
child labor in other areas.
2C) - 14. FORCED CHILD LABOR: The Malian government,
through ILO, offers its inspectors the opportunity to attend
numerous trainings. In 2009, there were 4 in-country
trainings. In addition, inspectors are sent to CRADET, a
training center in Cameroon for francophone labor inspectors,
and the International Training Center in Turin, Italy.
Ironically, these trainings have had a negative impact
overall, because once trained, inspectors use their new
qualifications to seek higher-paid work outside of the
Ministry of Labor. One Embassy source indicated it was
highly unusual for anyone returned from training at CRADET or
in Italy to still be at the Ministry of Labor one year later.

2D) INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS FOR EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT --
CHILD TRAFFICKING
2D) - 1. CHILD TRAFFICKING: The Ministry for the Advancement
of Women, Children, and the Family is charged with combating
child trafficking, but shares enforcement responsibilities
with the Ministry of Internal Security and the Ministry of
Justice. There were no personnel dedicated exclusively to
investigating child trafficking.
2D) - 2. CHILD TRAFFICKING: The amount of funding
specifically earmarked for combating child trafficking was
not made available to post, although the total budget for the

BAMAKO 00000066 004 OF 006


Ministry for the Advancement of Women, Children, and the
Family was USD 7.6 million. The Ministry lacked resources to
effectively investigate or respond to reports of child
trafficking. In one case in December 2009, a trafficker was
arrested in Nioro du Sahel, but the Ministry lacked cash on
hand to provide transportation for the trafficked children
back to their families in Kidal, and turned to NGOs and
diplomatic missions to provide the transportation costs.
2D) - 3. CHILD TRAFFICKING: Mali does not have a mechanism
for reporting child trafficking. However, the NGO Enda Tiers
Monde has a network throughout the country and often
substitutes for the Malian government in this regard.
2D) - 4. CHILD TRAFFICKING: On two occasions in 2009, the
trafficker Sidamar Ag Cherif was taken into custody by Malian
authorities in Nioro du Sahel with trafficked children in his
possession. On each occasion, Ag Cherif was released with no
reasonable explanation, aborting any "investigation" that
might have begun. In addition, Malian authorities claimed to
have arrested three traffickers in Sikasso, although there
was no follow-up investigation.
2D) - 5. CHILD TRAFFICKING: A total of 24 children were
rescued from Sidamar Ag Cherif on the two occasions that he
was taken into custody in Nioro du Sahel. Those children
were repatriated by the NGO Enda Tiers Monde. An unknown
number of children were rescued from traffickers in the
Sikasso incident, and were placed under the care of Save the
Children.
2D) - 6. CHILD TRAFFICKING: Sidamar Ag Cherif was arrested
and released on two occasions in 2009. Government
authorities made no other arrests, and there were no
prosecutions.
2D) - 7. CHILD TRAFFICKING: No cases were resolved.
2D) - 8. CHILD TRAFFICKING: No convictions were pronounced.

2D) - 9. CHILD TRAFFICKING: No sentences were handed out.
2D) - 10. CHILD TRAFFICKING: No sentences were imposed.
2D) - 11. CHILD TRAFFICKING: Child trafficking cases are
not resolved. Historically, the trafficker is released and
the affair is forgotten.
2D) --12. CHILD TRAFFICKING: The Malian government offered
no such training, although NGOs have hosted awareness-raising
workshops that government officials attended.
2D) - 13. CHILD TRAFFICKING: N/A.
2D) INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS FOR EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT --
CSEC
2D) - 1. CSEC: The Morals Brigade of the National Police,
housed within the Ministry of the Internal Security, has
primary responsibility for protecting youth at risk of
commercial sexual exploitation.
2D) - 2. CSEC: No budget figures for the Morals Brigade are
available; however, the funding is not considered adequate,
and the brigade is short of equipment and material to
adequately perform the tasks assigned it.
2D) - 3. CSEC: Mali does not have a hotline or other
mechanism specifically set up for reporting child trafficking
or sexual exploitation. Complaints can be made in person or
by telephone to local police.
2D) - 4. CSEC: One, conducted by the Ministry of Labor.
Inspectors from the Ministry of Labor discovered eight
under-aged girls working as prostitutes in a Bamako
restaurant/bar. The Morals Brigade of the National Police
took into custody an unspecified number of child prostitutes
at various times throughout 2009, but in all cases the
children were released within a few hours with no further
action taken by the Morals Brigade.
2D) - 5. CSEC: Eight.
2D) - 6. CSEC: The bar in Bamako was assessed a fine.
2D) - 7. CSEC: One.
2D) - 8. CSEC: The bar in Bamako was assessed a fine.
Otherwise, zero.
2D) - 9. CSEC: N/A.
2D) - 10. CSEC: N/A.
2D) - 11. CSEC: There are no cases.
2D) - 12. CSEC: Unknown. 13. N/A.
2D) INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS FOR EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT - USE
OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES
Note: Although it is possible that there are some children in
Mali being used as couriers or runners for drug and arms
traffickers, Post has never heard of any specific instance,
and no NGO has raised the issue as one of exceptional
concern. End note.
2D) - 1. USE OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES:
Responsibility for combating the use of children in illicit
activities would reside with the Judicial Investigation
Police under the Ministry of Internal Security as part of
their regular law enforcement functions. In the case of

BAMAKO 00000066 005 OF 006


children working for drug traffickers, responsibility would
reside within the Drug Brigade of the Judicial Investigation
Police.
2D) - 2. USE OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: The budget
for the National Police and the Drug Brigade was not provided
to post. However, it is known that the Malian police are
underfunded. As of early 2009, the entire Drug Brigade
employed only 24 officers to combat drug trafficking in a
nation the size of Texas and California combined.
2D) - 3. USE OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: Mali has no
mechanism specifically set up for that purpose. Complaints
can be made in person or by telephone to local police.
2D) - 4. USE OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: No
investigations were opened during the reporting period.
2D) - 5. USE OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: Zero.
2D) - 6. USE OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: Zero.
2D) - 7. USE OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: Zero.
2D) - 8. USE OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: Zero.
2D) - 9. N/A.
2D) - 10. USE OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: N/A.
2D) - 11. USE OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: There were
no cases.
2D) - 12. USE OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: The
government offered no training specifically pertaining to the
use of children in illicit activities. The government did
offer general law enforcement training, and Malian police did
participate in general law enforcement trainings offered by
NGOs and international partners.
2D) - 13. USE OF CHILDREN IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES: N/A.
2E) GOVERNMENT POLICIES ON CHILD LABOR
2E) - 1. Yes. The Malian government is currently working on
the fifth draft of a National Action Plan for the Elimination
of Child Labor. It is expected to be finalized and validated
in July, 2010. The National Action Plan will be built around
the requirements of ILO Convetions 138 and 182. In sum, it
divides proposed actions into three categories: a)
prevention; b) rehabilitation; and c) law enforcement. Under
prevention, the action plans anticipate efforts to raise
awareness, particularly in rural locales, as to the hazards
of child labor. Under rehabilitation, the plans call for
providing support to those rescued from child labor,
including immediate needs such as medical care but also
long-term needs such as education. The Plans also have a law
enforcement component, calling for application of laws
already in place but currently unenforced.
2E) - 2. No. The projects dealing with child labor have been
free-standing.
2E) - 3. Due to the overlap of responsibilities between
ministries and the difficulty in obtaining accurate
break-downs of individual ministry budgets, no specific
figure can be given for the amount of money budgeted for
combating child labor. Moreover, the National Action Plan
does not call for specific funding authorizations. Rather,
it defines the roles of the various ministries and expects
funding for specific projects to come from ministry resources
or international partners, such as the ILO.
2E) - 4. The Malian government has established a number of
steering committees, commissions, and task forces to put the
Action Plan into effect. As noted in Tasking 1F, this has
resulted in the enumeration and publication in 2009 of a List
of Worst Forms of Child Labor by the Ministry of Labor.
2E) - 5. N/A.
2E) - 6. Yes. The Malian government has established a number
of commissions responsible for combating child labor,
including commissions for the National Program Against Child
Labor (PNLTE), the Project Against Child Trafficking
(LUTRENA), the Support Project for TBP-Mali, and the Project
Against Child Labor through Eduction (TACKLE). The
Commissions have generally been ineffective, resulting in
more reports and speeches than action on the ground.
2E) - 7. The government did not sign a bilateral, regional,
or international agreements to combat trafficking during the
reporting period.
2F) SOCIAL PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE CHILD LABOR:
2F) 1. In 2009, the Ministry of Labor enumerated a list of
the Worst Forms of Child Labor. Also in 2009, the government
collaborated with TBP-Mali, a DOL/ILO joint project that
engaged in substantial efforts to raise awareness of child
labor concerns in rural areas and provide a way out for
children rescued from such labor.
2F) 2. No.
2F) 3. Funding for TBP-Mali came from DOL and ILO.
2F) 4. The Malian government has established a number of
steering committees, commissions, and task forces to put the
Action Plan into effect.
2F) 5. In general, the government relied upon NGOs and

BAMAKO 00000066 006 OF 006


international partners to provide support to children once
they had been rescued from exploitative situations.
2F) 6. The government did not sign any international
agreements during the reporting period.
2G) CONTINUAL PROGRESS:
2G) -1. The Malian government is sincere in its desire to
combat child labor, but lacks the resources to implement many
of the "programs" and "plans" that its committees and
commissions recommend. During the reporting period, Mali
made a significant step by completing the enumeration of the
List of the Worst Forms of Child Labor. While the government
has not provided material support to NGOs and international
partners, it has welcomed their efforts and cooperated to the
extent its meager resources will allow. There is a
noticeable hesitancy, however, to enforce the laws that
already exist. There needs to be significantly greater
effort to investigate and prosecute child trafficking and the
exploitation of child labor. To date, these crimes continue
to be committed with impunity.


MILOVANOVIC

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