Widespread poverty lays fertile grounds for exploitation.
Some 17 per cent of children said they had been victims of economic exploitation, 9 per cent said they had been trafficked, and 8 per cent had been victims of sexual exploitation. Many young girls are employed as domestic workers. To protect children against violence, exploitation and abuse, communities, religious and traditional leaders, policy makers and civil society must be mobilized. The Mali-UNICEF programme advocates the adoption of legislation, policies and budgets that favour the rights of the child, including birth registration. Structures and policies need to be put in place to ensure that poor families access services needed to protect and care for their children.
The child protection division contributes to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals: (1) Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, (3) Promote gender equality and empowerment of women and (4 & 5) Reduce child mortality and improve maternal health. Its implementation is carried out through three program components:
An important priority of the Mali-UNICEF country programme is to strengthen national capacities to design and implement social and economic policies, legislative measures and budgetary allocations that enable the government to meet their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. More specifically this support includes: