Combating harmful traditional practices
The policy document and 2008-2012 action plan of the National Programme for Combating Excision (PNLE), validated in 2008, is in the process of Government adoption. It is now the reference document for all stakeholders engaged in combating excision in Mali over the next five years. The policy document and 2010-2014 national action plan for combating early and forced marriage, prepared in a participatory process, was finalized by all child protection stakeholders and is in the process of submission to the Cabinet Meeting for adoption by the Government.
To further encourage abandonment of excision, the integrated mass communication strategy initiated in 2008 (theatre forum, “Cinéma Numérique Ambulant” (CNA), local radio stations and national television) continued in 2009 in 210 villages in Kayes, Koulikoro and Sikasso regions. Thus far, 420 theatre forum sessions and 300 mobile cinema screening sessions were organized, helping to inform some 540,000 people on the link between excision and complications to reproductive health, and the relationship between excision and the rights of children and women. The preliminary results of these local mass communication and outreach activities, conducted with UNICEF support, were public and collective declarations of abandonment of the practice of excision in 50 villages in 2009.
A harmonized training plan for socio-health workers, lawyers and legal assistants on the integrated management of excision-related complications was prepared and validated in 2009. Social workers trained in the medical management of excision-related complications. Additonally, the PNLE and its partners have developed and adopted a plan for active identification and management of victims of excision-related complications. Advocacy is continues for inclusion of this plan in community-based health initiatives. 1,100 kits for the medical management of excision-related complications were delivered in December 2009 by UNICEF to PNLE for national support structures, such as the Government-run Hospitals (EPH) of Point G, Kati, Gabriel Touré Hospital and Reference Health Centres in the six municipalities of Bamako District. Between 2007 and 2009, the PNLE was able to handle 343 cases of girls/women suffering from excision-related complications in health facilities.
Justice for children
As a result of UNICEF support in particular, encouraging results were obtained in juvenile justice as follows:
As a result of UNICEF support, qualitative and quantitative progress has been made in access to civil services in Kayes, Segou and Gao Regions, where the number of birth declaration centres has increased from 387 to 2,896 as follows:
The presence of these centres has greatly increased birth registration rates, improving the national birth registration rate from 53.3 per cent in 2006 to 73.84 per cent in 2008.
Children who live and work on the street
Stakeholders involved in family reunions increasingly offer children appropriate, high-quality social services. These include providing guidance and support, talk therapy and facilitating family reunions. A monitoring committee, under ICCB coordination, supervises the activities of these stakeholders.
Additionally, 25 focal points and division managers in DRPFEF trained in advocacy for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in all the regions of Mali and Bamako District have initiated and implemented campaigns and advocacy sessions in their respective localities.
Through trainings, surveys and experience with communities, UNICEF Mali has gained a better understanding of the dangers imposed on children who live and work and those most at risk of trafficking or forced migration. Through this, we are working to advocate on behalf of the most marginalised and implement change through wide-reaching protections.