UNODC raises awareness among community leaders on TiP/SoM in Mali
West Africa is affected by many threats and criminal activities. In Mali, the porous borders along with political, economic and social instability contribute to the development of criminal networks and illicit activities such as firearms trafficking, drug trafficking, smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons. Trafficking in persons is the third largest illegal activity in the world after drug and arms trafficking. Smuggling of migrants is also particularly present in the Sahel region.
From 2 to 4 October 2018, in the framework of the UNODC GLO.ACT project, a training and awareness workshop for community leaders was organized in Bamako, Mali. The training brought together 40 participants, including 14 women, from all regions of Mali (Koulikoro, Sikasso, Segou, Mopti, Gao, Timbuktu and Bamako) to raise awareness and promote their inclusion in national efforts to control trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. The workshop aired the UNODC film "The White Horse" on the exploitation of child begging. This tool enabled participants to become aware of the various forms of trafficking in persons, in particular the begging of talibé children, and to understand the difference between trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
Traditional leaders play a key role in communities, particularly through their involvement in resolving disputes through traditional courts. As the victims' (or the victim's family's) first interlocutors, their awareness on this issue is crucial for the protection and reintegration of victims in the Malian society. The objective of this awareness raising session is that traditional leaders will be able to transmit their acquired knowledge through meetings organized at the local level and promote safer migration options in order to combat the smuggling of migrants.
Through its regional office based in Senegal and its 10 country offices based in the region, UNODC is implementing its Regional Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Trafficking (2015-2020) in West and Central Africa. The GLO.ACT project comprises 13 core countries, including Mali, and is a joint initiative of the European Union (EU) and UNODC, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The GLO.ACT project (2015-2019) is a global action to implement national strategic efforts to combat trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.