Mali Trafficking in persons

Factbook > Countries > Mali > Transnational Issues

Trafficking in persons: current situation: Mali is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking, but foreign women and girls are forced into domestic servitude, agricultural labor, and support roles in gold mines, as well as subjected to sex trafficking; Malian boys are forced to work in agricultural settings, gold mines, the informal commercial sector and to beg within Mali and neighboring countries; Malians and other Africans who travel through Mali to Mauritania, Algeria, or Libya in hopes of reaching Europe are particularly at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking; men and boys, primarily of Songhai ethnicity, are subjected to debt bondage in the salt mines of Taoudenni in northern Mali; some members of Mali's Tamachek community are subjected to hereditary slavery-related practices; Malian women and girls are victims of sex trafficking in Gabon, Libya, Lebanon, and Tunisia; the recruitment of child soldiers by armed groups in northern Mali decreased
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Mali does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Mali was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; officials failed to distribute the 2012 anti-trafficking law to judicial and law enforcement personnel, perpetuating a lack of understanding and awareness of the legislation; anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts decreased in 2014, with only one case investigated and no prosecutions or convictions; fewer victims were identified, and the government did not support the privately funded NGOs and international organizations it relied upon to provide victims with services; the government did not conduct any awareness-raising campaigns, workshops, or training sessions (2015)

Definition: Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. The International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN agency charged with addressing labor standards, employment, and social protection issues, estimates that 12.3 million people worldwide are enslaved in forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time. Human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat, depriving people of their human rights and freedoms, risking global health, promoting social breakdown, inhibiting development by depriving countries of their human capital, and helping fuel the growth of organized crime. In 2000, the US Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), reauthorized in 2003 and 2005, which provides tools for the US to combat trafficking in persons, both domestically and abroad. One of the law�s key components is the creation of the US Department of State�s annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which assesses the government response (i.e., the current situation) in some 150 countries with a significant number of victims trafficked across their borders who are recruited, harbored, transported, provided, or obtained for forced labor or sexual exploitation.
Countries in the annual report are rated in three tiers, based on government efforts to combat trafficking. The countries identified in this entry are those listed in the 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report as Tier 2 Watch List or Tier 3 based on the following tier rating definitions:


Tier 2 Watch List countries do not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but are making significant efforts to do so, and meet one of the following criteria:

1. they display a high or significantly increasing numbof victims,

2. they have failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, or,

3. they have committed to take action over the next year.


Tier 3 countries neither satisfy the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking nor demonstrate a significant effort to do so. Countries in this tier are subject to potential non-humanitarian and non-trade sanctions.

Source: CIA World Factbook - This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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