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Children who are victims of a crime

The Child Protection Code in Mali provides that the officer in charge of child protection is responsible for intervening in all cases where the child's health or physical or moral integrity is threatened or exposed to danger due to the environment in which he/she lives or to his/her activities or acts, or because of various abuses suffered and particularly in difficult situations. The Child Protection Code also provides that in the performance of their duties, officers in charge of child protection shall exercise the prerogatives of judicial police officers and can therefore:

  • listen to the child and his/her parents concerning the reported acts;
  • conduct investigations and take adequate preventive measures for the child;
  • take appropriate preventive measures for the child, based on social investigations;
  • prepare a report on actions against children and submit it to the children’s judge.

Lastly, the Child Protection Code requires every person, including those bound by professional secrecy, to report to the Child Protection Officer anything likely to pose a threat to a child’s health, his/her development, physical well-being or moral integrity.
 
However, it should be noted that child protection officers have so far not been appointed. Legally, this is not possible because the Child Protection Code was adopted on 5 June 2002 by Presidential Ordinance and has not yet been ratified by Parliament, which makes the instrument null and void.

In its last concluding remarks to Mali, the Committee on the Rights of the Child welcomed the fact that legal reforms were under way and that those in the justice sector had incorporated the provisions of "The Riyadh Guidelines" and "The Beijing Rules." However, the Committee expressed concern over the limited progress made in establishing a juvenile justice system that operates throughout the country. The Committee was particularly concerned about the failure to systematically use the alternative measures (to replace judicial action and restorative justice, for example); the detention of minors in the same facilities as adults; the lack of juvenile courts in most regions; the limited number of specialized and qualified juvenile judges and inadequate facilities and programmes for the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of children.
 

 

 
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