UNODC supports Mali in the fight against trafficking in persons
Trafficking in persons has become a growing concern in West Africa and particularly in the Sahel. To better respond to the significant challenges posed by this phenomenon, regional institutions and governments have initiated policies and actions. Since 2010, Mali has been committed to the fight against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants by establishing the National Coordination Committee for Combating Trafficking in Persons and Assimilated Practices in 2011, and by providing it with a budget to implement an effective and efficient strategy.
In order to enhance Mali's response to trafficking in persons and related practices, the National Coordination Committee has, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), organized a national workshop to assess the impact of the previous National Action Plan (2015-2017) and to develop a new one for 2018-2022. The workshop was funded by the European Union, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mali and the United States.
The workshop took place from 19 to 23 March 2018 in Sikasso, Mali, under the aegis of the Ministry of Justice, and brought together 25 members of the Committee (including 5 women) as well as 5 representatives of UNODC and IOM.
During the first two days of the workshop, the participants focused on assessing the three-year plan (2015-2017) through technical tools such as a performance evaluation log frame, performance measure and evaluation' criteria sheets. Then, during a plenary session, the participants further discussed and consolidated their evaluation of the former action plan. The remaining three days were dedicated to the development of the new five-year National Action Plan against Trafficking in Persons (2018-2022) according to the strategic goals and objectives previously defined.
While the previous action plan was deemed to be a success, as it successfully facilitated trainings and awareness raising campaigns on issues related to trafficking in persons for various actors and for the community, participants have however expressed their will to work together and further strengthen the operationalization of the National Committee. It has been agreed that the new action plan will focus on larger prevention mechanisms, on better protection of victims, and on effective prosecutions of related cases, as main objectives for 2018-2022.
As Ms. Sandrine Gbialy Bigorra, UNODC's international consultant on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, said in her opening speech, this workshop is part of the larger GLO.ACT programme, which aims to prevent and combat trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. It was initiated jointly by the European Union and UNODC, of which Mali is one of the beneficiary countries. She also hailed the Malian government's commitment to improving its response in the fight against trafficking in persons.
This activity contributes to the UNODC Regional Strategy against Trafficking in Human Beings and the Smuggling of Migrants (2015-2020) and fits in in the strategic framework of the UNODC Regional Programme for West Africa (2016-2020).