Combating harmful traditional practices
The Mali-UNICEF country programme and partners, particularly CEDEF, CED and CADBEE Committees, work to curb discriminatory practices against women and girls, including addressing harmful traditional practices such as FGM/C and forced or early marriage. UNICEF and the Government of Mali are working together to fight discrimination against women and girls, particularly focusing on behaviour change to counter harmful traditional practices that negatively affect their health and access to education.
UNICEF supports the National Programme for Combating Excision (PNLE) in developing a five-year operational strategy action plan. Similarly, since 2007, UNICEF has supported the National Directorate for the Advancement of Children and Families (DNPEF). The adoption of these two documents by the Government will be an initial systemic and structured national response to the recommendations made by the above-mentioned Committees in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
Justice for children
Under the Cooperation Programme between the Government of Mali and UNICEF (2008 - 2012), the major outcome expected with respect to juvenile justice is for women and children to have broader access to justice by 2012 (see page 52 CPAP). To achieve this, the Child Protection Programme is working primarily with the Ministry of Justice and Non-Governmental Organizations that operate in the area of justice.
The main activities are:
The Government of Mali has developed an action plan (2005-2008) to modernise civil services, such as birth registry, through the Support Authority for Civil Status Consolidation (MACEC) of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Local Authorities (MATCL). This action plan, with six major components, provides the reference framework for all civil society activities, namely:
5. Advocacy and communication through: (a) sensitization of the population, administrative authorities, staff and partners on the duty of reporting vital events, as well as compliance with the rules of procedures; (b) involvement of community leaders, mothers and children in the collection and reporting of vital events; and (c) dissemination of laws governing civil status and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as regards civil status;
UNICEF is involved in the design and implementation of this plan, and provides both technical and financial support.
Children who live and work on the street
Children who are victims of violence need special protection and care. In light of this, Mali has made significant legislative efforts to ratify most of the international instruments concerning the protection of human rights in general, and in particular children’s rights (CRC, ACRWC, etc.). At the domestic level, Mali has adopted several texts aimed at promoting children's rights. In this respect, the Child Protection Code remains a reference document.
Furthermore, child protection issues need to be resolved at three levels: family, community and institutional. While at the institutional level there are a series of legislative and regulatory mechanisms for children, the capacities of families and communities have also been strengthened through specific training on child rights and the establishment and operationalization of basic community structures and child promotion and protection consultation frameworks.