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We write in advance of the 96th pre-session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (the “Committee”) and its review of Mali. This submission focuses on children’s rights abuses in the context of the Malian armed conflict, child labor and exposure to toxics, sexual and gender-based violence, and teenage pregnancy and child marriage as barriers to realizing the right to education.

Children’s Rights Abuses in the Context of Armed Conflict (articles 2, 6, 28, 37, 38, and 40)

Since Mali’s armed conflict began over a decade ago, Islamist armed groups, separatist rebels, ethnic militias, and government security forces have killed hundreds of civilians, including children.[1] Insecurity has led to widespread displacement, hunger, and school closures, affecting thousands of children. Armed groups have recruited and used hundreds of children.[2]

In 2022, we documented Islamist armed groups attacking dozens of villages and massacring scores of civilians in Mali’s vast northeast regions of Ménaka and Gao, which border Niger. These attacks largely targeted ethnic Dawsahak, a Tuareg ethnic group.[3]

Witnesses described the attackers as well-armed men on motorbikes, dressed in military fatigues and turbans, speaking Fulfulde (spoken by ethnic Fulani), Tamashek (spoken by ethnic Tuareg), and Arabic. In some cases, they carried the Islamic State’s black flag. As an apparent modus operandi, the attackers surrounded villages and then detained and summarily executed people, including children. The attackers looted valuables, food, and livestock, and set fire to homes. In many cases, survivors said they could not bury or hold funerals for those killed for fear of another attack.[4]

For example, the village of Inwelane was attacked on March 20, 2022. A woman said that attackers killed her neighbor’s husband and 5-year-old child. She helped bury 30 bodies but believes many more were killed. On March 28, Islamic State fighters attacked Inkalafane village, killing 35 civilians including 7 children under 16, villagers said. [5]

Human Rights Watch documented alleged abuses by Malian security forces and affiliated foreign fighters believed to be members of the Wagner Group that occurred in 2022 within the context of large army operations.[6] For example, nine Tonou villagers described the summary executions of 14 ethnic Dogon villagers, including a child, by Malian army soldiers on January 27, 2022. They said that at about 3 p.m., the last vehicle in a convoy of some 25 army vehicles passing through Tonou struck an improvised explosive device about 500 meters from the village, killing two soldiers and wounding several others. The soldiers then immediately rounded up and executed 14 villagers, including a 16-year-old boy.

The Defense Ministry told Human Rights Watch that the national gendarmerie had on February 2, 2022 opened an investigation into the Tonou incident.

Hundreds of children have also been killed during communal clashes, by explosive devices or in crossfire.[7] Most victims of communal violence in 2018 were ethnic Peuhl villagers targeted by Dogon and Bambara “self-defense groups” for their alleged support of Islamist armed groups linked to Al-Qaeda.[8] The massacre on March 23, 2019 marked one of the worst atrocities in Mali’s recent history. At about 5 a.m., over 100 armed Dogon-speaking men attacked the Peuhl neighborhood of Ogossagou village. Human Rights Watch interviewed 26 survivors and witnesses to the attack. Village elders said at least 152 civilians, including over 40 children, were killed, and that over 90 percent of the village was burned.[9]

Human Rights Watch has documented the recruitment and use of child soldiers by armed groups. For example, in 2015, numerous traders, herders, businessmen, and residents of villages and towns in the north described the use of child soldiers, some as young as 12, by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), the High Council for the Unity of Azawad (HCUA), and factions of the Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA). A man detained in February that year said that among his captors from a pro-government militia were two unarmed children about age 15. A dozen people described seeing child combatants staffing checkpoints and sitting around with older combatants in several towns in the Gao and Kidal regions.[10]

Little effort has been made toward providing justice for victims of abuse, and to implement the recommendations of the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry into war crimes committed by Malian security forces and crimes against humanity by Islamist armed groups and ethnic militias between 2012 and 2018. Authorities have made some progress in cases against armed groups, but not for large-scale atrocities implicating ethnic militias and government soldiers.[11]

Protection of Education from Attack

The Safe Schools Declaration[12] is an inter-governmental political commitment that provides countries the opportunity to express political support for the protection of students, teachers, and schools during times of armed conflict; the importance of the continuation of education during armed conflict; and the implementation of the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict.[13] Mali endorsed the declaration in February 2018.[14]

However, Mali continues to experience hundreds of threatened or actual attacks on schools and educators, denying thousands of children their right to education. Teachers have been threatened, and schools vandalized, destroyed, or occupied by armed groups.

Over 620 threatened or actual attacks on schools or educators occurred in 2020 and 2021, one of the highest incidences reported during that period by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack.[15] Hundreds of threats of violence led over 1,000 schools to close.[16] In 2019, insecurity led to the closure of at least 525 schools in Mopti region, affecting over 157,000 children.[17]

In early 2019, the education ministry established a Technical Committee for operationalizing the Safe Schools Declaration, including two representatives from the defense ministry. By January 2022, seven sub-committees had been established at local levels.[18] In March 2020, the Technical Committee launched an Action Plan with concrete activities to disseminate the Guidelines and incorporate protection of schools and universities into national legislation. Mali is also reportedly working on a draft law on Protecting Schools and Universities during the Armed Conflicts in Mali.[19]

Human Rights Watch recommends that the Committee ask the government of Mali:

  • What steps is the government taking to adequately equip and staff the Ministry of Justice so that local prosecutors and judicial police officers can effectively investigate and fairly prosecute those on all sides responsible for serious abuses?
  • What steps is the government taking to implement the recommendations of the UN International Commission of Inquiry for Mali?
  • What is the timeline to incorporate protection of schools into national legislation?
  • Are protections for schools from military use included in any policies, rules, or trainings for Mali’s armed forces?

Human Rights Watch also encourages the Committee to call on the government of Mali to:

  • Take all necessary measures to protect children at risk from communal violence including by increasing patrolling and establishing additional security posts in vulnerable areas.
  • Ensure security forces protect all civilians including children impartially, regardless of their ethnicity or religion.
  • Disarm all abusive armed groups, conduct credible and impartial criminal investigations into alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by all parties, including those linked to government forces, and provide regular public accounting on the status of investigations.
  • Facilitate independent investigations by Mali’s National Human Rights Commission (La Commission nationale des droits de l’homme or CNDH).
  • Ensure that no child is deprived of their liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily and that detention is used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.
  • Recommend that the government incorporate the Safe Schools Declaration’s commitments in domestic policy, legislation, and military operational frameworks.
  • Strengthen monitoring and reporting of attacks on students, teachers, and schools, and systematically investigate and prosecute those responsible.

Child Labor and Exposure to Toxics (articles 6, 24, 28, 32, 34, 35, and 39)

In 2011, Human Rights Watch documented the use of child labor in Mali’s artisanal gold mines and found that thousands of children suffered serious violations of their rights to health, education, and protection from economic exploitation and hazardous work.[20] Many children worked with mercury, which attacks the central nervous system and can cause lifelong disability, including brain damage, and even death. It is particularly harmful to children, as their systems are still developing; the younger the child, the more serious the risk.[21] 

Children as young as 6 dug mining shafts, worked underground, pulled up heavy weights of ore, and carried, crushed, and panned ore. Many children worked with mercury to separate the gold from the ore.

Of the 33 child laborers interviewed by Human Rights Watch, 21 said that they suffered from regular pain in the back, head, neck, arms, or joints. Children also suffered from coughing and respiratory disease.

Children often mixed the mercury into the ore with their bare hands and burned the amalgam, with nothing to protect them from the toxic fumes. Across our research, we found that traders sold mercury directly to children. Traders provided children with little to no information on using mercury.

Many children working in artisanal mining never went to school, as fees, lack of school buildings and infrastructure, and poor quality of education deterred many parents in mining areas from sending their children to school. The majority of child laborers lived with and worked alongside their parents, who sent their children into mining work to increase the family income. Some also lived or worked with other people—relatives, acquaintances, or strangers—and were economically exploited by them. A significant proportion of child laborers were migrants, coming from different parts of Mali or from neighboring countries, such as Burkina Faso and Guinea. Some of them may have been trafficked into labor exploitation.[22] Young girls in artisanal mining areas were also sometimes victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.

The United States Bureau of International Labor Affairs 2021 findings indicate that child labor remains a serious issue in Mali, including in artisanal gold mining.[23]

Government Response and Legal Framework

Mali amended the minimum age of employment from 14 to 15 in 2017.[24] Malian law also prohibits hazardous labor or work that “exceeds [children’s] forces… or may harm their morals.”[25] The government has drawn up a national list of hazardous work, which prohibits the use of anyone under the age of 18 in many forms of labor in traditional gold mining, including digging shafts, cutting and carrying wood for underground shafts, crushing, grinding, and panning in water, and using explosives, mercury, and cyanide.[26]

In an important step, Mali ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury in 2016.[27] The convention includes the phasing out of mercury use in a number of products and processes and the regulation of the informal sector of artisanal and small-scale gold mining. It also addresses sites contaminated by mercury and related health issues.

The government has conducted sensitization programs on the use of mercury in specific communities.[28] In 2020, the government published an action plan in line with the Minamata Convention on Mercury, outlining strategies to reduce the emissions of mercury and reduce exposure to vulnerable populations, including children.[29]

However, a 2020 report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that, globally, about half of the mercury used in artisanal and small-scale mining is traded illegally, hampering efforts to reduce mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining.[30]

Mali adopted an anti-trafficking law in 2012.[31] Child trafficking, child neglect, and violence are also prohibited in the Malian Penal Code.[32] Moreover, according to the law on education, education is free and compulsory during a nine-year period of basic education (enseignement fondamental), starting at age 6.[33]

Human Rights Watch recommends that the Committee ask the government of Mali:

  • How is the government identifying children working in hazardous jobs? Please provide recent figures on the rate of child labor by gender, age, and type of labor.
  • How have rates of child trafficking and child labor evolved during school closures in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • What steps is the government taking to withdraw all children from exploitative working conditions and provide access to education and vocational training?
  • How is the government addressing the health needs of those chronically exposed to mercury?
  • What is the government doing to protect children from mercury in the context of small-scale gold mining?

Human Rights Watch encourages the Committee to:

  • Congratulate Mali for ratifying the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Human Rights Watch also encourages the Committee to call on the government of Mali to:

  • Conduct regular labor inspections in artisanal mines and sanction those who use child labor in contravention of the law.
  • Improve the capacity of customs and law enforcement officials to identify and monitor illegal mercury trade.
  • Continue to run programs raising awareness on the dangers of mercury use among affected communities and tackle chronic mercury exposure in a comprehensive public health strategy.
  • Eliminate all school fees in public education, increase state financial support for community schools, and improve school infrastructure. Legislate that at least one year of pre-primary education be free and compulsory.
  • Increase efforts in cooperation with local nongovernmental organizations in identifying child traffickers and prosecuting them, and identifying victims and referring them to child-friendly and trauma-sensitive care services.

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Mali’s Basketball Federation (articles 2, 19, 34, and 39)

In June 2021, Human Rights Watch and the New York Times exposed sexual abuse and cover-ups in Mali’s Basketball Federation (Fédération Malienne de Basketball or FMBB).[34] Seven officials within the FMBB were fired or suspended, and the head coach was indicted, for their involvement in the sexual abuse of teenage players with Mali’s national youth team.[35]

An independent investigation and report commissioned by the International Basketball Federation (Fédération Internationale de Basketball or FIBA) and led by its integrity officer, Richard McLaren, found what it called an “institutionalized acceptance of sexual abuse” within the Mali Basketball Federation, and extensive intimidation and retaliation against whistleblowers.[36] Amadou Bamba, women’s national team head coach, was indicted for “pedophilia, attempted rape, and molestation.”[37] The report highlights that 22 survivors were intimidated by basketball federation officials or others and decided not to give evidence to McLaren.

But two years after the FIBA report’s publication, survivors and whistleblowers still live under threat and cannot safely play. A teenage whistleblower has faced threats and lost career opportunities after she reported widespread sexual abuse and has subsequently sued the federation for failing to protect her from retaliation.[38] Former federation President Jean-Claude Sidibé, whom the McLaren Report alleged had committed sexual abuse of players and violated FIBA’s supposed “zero tolerance” policy for sexual abuse, was named the president of the Mali Basketball Federation in December 2022.[39] Hamane Niang, the former president of the FMBB who led the federation while this abuse was happening, has returned to his post as FIBA president.

On June 21, 2023, FIBA announced that it imposed on Amadou Bamba a lifetime suspension from carrying out a function or participating in any FIBA or FIBA-related activities, along with a fine of CHF80,000. Bamba is one of five former FMBB officials sanctioned by the international federation in response to the June 2021 allegations and subsequent investigation.[40] And although FIBA has taken steps to develop a new safeguarding policy and has set up a Safeguarding Council, it is still not clear how athletes can report abuses.[41]

Sexual and gender-based violence is a widespread problem in Mali. A 2018 National Institute of Statistics survey found that nearly half of Malian women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 had experienced gender-based violence.[42]

Human Rights Watch recommends that the Committee ask the government of Mali:

  • What steps is the government taking to impartially investigate the abuses and cover-up documented in the McLaren report?
  • What steps is the government taking to investigate and prosecute cases of sexual violence within the FMBB, provide remedy to those who have been affected, and ensure whistleblowers and survivors are safe from retaliation?
  • How have rates of sexual and gender-based violence against children evolved since 2018?

Human Rights Watch also encourages the Committee to call on the government of Mali to:

  • Urgently put in place child protection and safeguarding policies and protections for survivors and whistleblowers giving evidence of sexual abuse and gender-based violence.
  • Form a government commission of inquiry to impartially investigate systemic sexual abuse in girls’ basketball and other girls’ sports in Mali, ensure that players do not face retaliation for making complaints, and work with women’s rights and healthcare providers with expertise in sexual abuse and trauma so that survivors have access to long-term, quality support services.

Teenage Pregnancy and Child Marriage: Barriers to the Right to Education (articles 19, 28, and 29)

The adolescent birth rate in Mali is 164 per 1,000 adolescent girls and women aged 15-19.[43] This is higher than the subregional rate in West Africa of 103, and four times the world rate of 41.[44] Mali’s 2018 demographic and health survey indicates that more than half the girls in the country are married before the age of 18.[45] Pregnancy is both a barrier to girls continuing their education and often a consequence of girls dropping out of school. Numerous studies have shown that the longer a girl stays in school, the less likely she is to be married as a child or become pregnant during her teenage years.[46]

Under the 2011 Code of Persons and the Family, the minimum legal age of marriage in Mali is 16 for girls and 18 for boys. However, in some cases marriage may be authorized for those older than 15.[47]

As of August 2022, pregnant students are suspended during their pregnancy and only allowed to return to school after delivery.[48]

Human Rights Watch recommends that the Committee ask the government of Mali:

  • What steps is the government taking to ensure pregnant girls and adolescent mothers who are at risk of dropping out are socially and financially supported to stay in school?
  • What special accommodations are provided for young mothers at school, such as time for breast-feeding, flexibility when babies are ill, or flexibility in class schedules?
  • What programs are in place to ensure access to nurseries or early childhood centers close to schools?
  • How have school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic affected the rate of teenage pregnancy and child marriage in the country?
  • How is the government working to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the practice of child marriage?

Human Rights Watch also encourages the Committee to call on the government of Mali to:

  • Adopt an unconditional continuation policy that allows students who are pregnant, mothers, and/or married to continue their education while pregnant and after giving birth, and monitor implementation.
  • Address social, financial, and systemic barriers that inhibit adolescent mothers from continuing their education.
  • Ensure that adolescents have confidential access to modern forms of contraceptives and information on sexual and reproductive health rights, including through comprehensive sexuality education.
  • Raise the minimum legal age of marriage to 18 without exception; continue to combat the practice of child marriage through national strategies, with input from women’s and children’s rights groups, health professionals, and other service providers, and coordinate efforts among all relevant ministries.

[1] See for example, “Mali: New Wave of Executions of Civilians,” Human Rights Watch news release, March 15, 2022,; “Mali: Coordinated Massacres by Islamist Armed Groups,” Human Rights Watch news release, October 27, 2022,; Human Rights Watch, “How Much More Blood Must Be Spilled?”: Atrocities Against Civilians in Central Mali, 2019 (New York: Human Rights Watch, February 2020),; Human Rights Watch, “We Used to Be Brothers”: Self-Defense Group Abuses in Central Mali (New York: Human Rights Watch, December 2018),; and Mali Conflict and Aftermath: Compendium of Human Rights Watch Reporting, 2012-2017 (New York: Human Rights Watch, February 2017),

[2] See Human Rights Watch, Mali Conflict and Aftermath: Compendium of Human Rights Watch Reporting, 2012-2017.

[3] “Mali: Coordinated Massacres by Islamist Armed Groups,” Human Rights Watch news release.

[4] Although Human Rights Watch could not confirm the reported death toll, witness interviews and reports by the United Nations and other agencies indicate that hundreds of civilians were killed and tens of thousands were forced to flee, having lost their livestock, valuables, and livelihoods during the attacks.

[5] “Mali: Coordinated Massacres by Islamist Armed Groups,” Human Rights Watch news release.

[6] See “Mali: New Wave of Executions of Civilians,” Human Rights Watch news release, and “Mali: Massacre by Army, Foreign Soldiers,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 5, 2022,

[7] See for example Human Rights Watch, World Report 2021 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2021), Mali chapter, and World Report 2019 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2019), Mali chapter,

[8] Islamist armed groups have concentrated their recruitment efforts on the pastoralist Peuhl by exploiting their grievances with the state and other ethnic groups. Recruitment from the Peuhl community inflamed tensions within the agrarian Bambara, Dogon, and Tellem communities, who—in the face of inadequate security from the Malian state—formed self-defense groups to protect their communities. The Peuhl also formed similar self-defense groups in response to these tensions. Human Rights Watch, “We Used to Be Brothers.”

[9] Human Rights Watch, “How Much More Blood Must Be Spilled?”.

[10] “Mali: Lawlessness, Abuses Imperil Population,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 14, 2015,

[11] Human Rights Watch, World Report 2023 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2023), Mali chapter,

[12] Safe Schools Declaration, May 28, 2015, (accessed January 18, 2023).

[13] Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict, March 18, 2014, (accessed January 18, 2023).

[14] The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), “Safe Schools Declaration Endorsements” (webpage), 2023, (accessed May 12, 2023).

[15] GCPEA, Education Under Attack 2022, (accessed May 24, 2022).

[16] Ibid.

[17] UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), “Protracted crisis in central Mali impacting all aspects of children’s lives,” April 26, 2019, (accessed December 4, 2019).

[18] GCPEA, “Practical Impact of the Safe Schools Declaration,” Factsheet, January 2022, (accessed June 26, 2023).

[19] As cited in ibid.

[20] Human Rights Watch, A Poisonous Mix: Child Labor, Mercury, and Artisanal Gold Mining in Mali (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2011),

[21] Herman Gibb and Keri Grace O’Leary, “Mercury Exposure and Health Impacts among Individuals in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Community: A Comprehensive Review,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 122 (7) (2014), doi: 10.1289/ehp.1307864.

[22] Human Rights Watch met several children who were victims of exploitation and whose situations might have amounted to trafficking. One was Boubacar S., 14 years old at the time, from Sensoko, in the Kéniéba area. He was living with guardians who treated him “as if I am not a human being.” They forced him to work in artisanal mining and brick making. His parents were gold miners who moved to another gold mine in Mali; they were not in contact with him. Human Rights Watch also interviewed children from Burkina Faso and Guinea who might have been victims of trafficking. For detailed accounts, see Human Rights Watch, A Poisonous Mix.

[23] United States Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2021 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, “Mali: Minimal Advancement – Efforts Made but Continued Practice that Delayed Advancement,” 2022, (accessed June 9, 2023).

[24] Republic of Mali, Law No. 2017-021 of June 12, 2017 amending Law No. 92-020 of September 23, 1992 on the Labor Code in the Republic of Mali (Loi n° 2017-021/ du 12 juin 2017 portant modification de la loi n° 92-020 du 23 septembre 1992 portant Code du travail en République du Mali), art. 187.

[25] Republic of Mali, Labor Code, art. 185.

[26] Republic of Mali, Order No. 2017-4388 MTFP -SG of December 29, 2017 completing the list of hazardous work prohibited for children under 18 years (Arrêté n° 2017-4388 MTFP-SG du 29 décembre 2017 complétant la liste des travaux dangereux interdits aux enfants de moins de 18 ans).

[27] UN Environment Programme, Minamata Convention on Mercury, “Parties and Signatories” [n.d.], (accessed May 25, 2023).

[28] Boris Ngounou, “MALI : le gouvernement mène une croisade contre l’usage du cyanure dans l’orpaillage,” September 20, 2019, (accessed February 25, 2022).

[29] “Plan d’Action National pour l’Extraction Minière Artisanale et à Petite Échelle d’Or au Mali Conformément à la Convention de Minamata sur le Mercure,” Government of Mali, March 2020, (accessed February 25, 2022).

[30] Togo is reportedly the main hub for the import of mercury into West Africa. See United Nations Environment Programme and GRID-Arendal, The Illegal Trade in Chemicals, April 1, 2020, (accessed March 1, 2022); see also United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Curbing Illicit Mercury and Gold Flows in West Africa: Options for a Regional Approach, November 2018, (accessed March 1, 2022).

[31] Republic of Mali, Loi n° 2012-023 relative à la lutte contre la traite des personnes et les pratiques assimilées, July 12, 2012.

[32] Republic of Mali, Loi n° 01-079 portant Code pénal, August 20, 2001. Article 244 defines child trafficking as displacement of a child in conditions that are exploitative and turn the child into a commodity.

[33] Republic of Mali, Loi n° 99-046 portant loi d’orientation sur l’éducation, December 28, 1999, art. 7.

[34] “Mali: Basketball Federation Covers Up Sexual Assault of Girls,” Human Rights Watch news release, June 14, 2021,; Jeré Longman and Romain Molina, “World Basketball Chief Steps Aside Amid Sexual Abuse Investigation,” New York Times, June 13, 2021, (accessed June 14, 2023).

[35] “Mali: Inquiry Links Basketball Federation to Sexual Abuse,” Human Rights Watch news release, September 27, 2021,

[36] McLaren Global Sport Solutions, McLaren Independent Mali Basketball Abuse Investigation, Integrity Officer Report to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), September 14, 2021, (accessed May 25, 2023).

[37] “Mali: Coach of younger basketball participant sued for sexual assault” [n.d.], newsline,; “Mali: Girls’ Basketball Coach Indicted for Sexual Assault,” Human Rights Watch news release, July 30, 2021,

[38] Kalika Mehta, “Sexual abuse: How FIBA fail to protect Malian athletes,” DW, January 26, 2023, (accessed May 25, 2023).

[39] Ibid. See also Alexis Billebault, « Abus sexuels dans le basket malien : le retour de Jean-Claude Sidibé ravive le scandale », jeuneafrique, January 14, 2023, (accessed May 31, 2023).

[40] “FIBA decisions and measures to protect young players in Mali,” FIBA press release, June 21, 2023, (accessed June 23, 2023).

[41] Geoff Berkeley, “FIBA's draft of safeguarding policy set for approval after final review,” Inside the Games, November 25, 2022, (accessed June 14, 2023); FIBA, “FIBA announce members of newly created Safeguarding Council,” May 23, 2022, (accessed June 14, 2023).

[42] Republic of Mali, National Institute of Statistics (Institut National de la Statistique or INSTAT), Cellule de Planification et de Statistique Secteur Santé-Développement Social et Promotion de la Famille (CPS/SS-DS-PF) et ICF, Enquête Démographique et de Santé au Mali 2018 : Rapport de synthèse (Bamako, Mali, and Rockville, Maryland, USA: INSTAT, CPS/SSDS-PF et ICF, 2019), (accessed May 25, 2023).

[43] United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), “World Population Dashboard” (webpage), 2023, (accessed May 24, 2023).

[44] Ibid.

[45] Republic of Mali, INSTAT, Cellule de Planification et de Statistique Secteur Santé-Développement Social et Promotion de la Famille (CPS/SS-DS-PF) et ICF, Enquête Démographique et de Santé 2018 (Bamako, Mali, and Rockville, Maryland, USA: INSTAT, CPS/SS-DS-PF and ICF, 2019), as cited in Girls not Brides, Child Marriage Atlas, (accessed May 24, 2023).

[46] UNFPA, Worlds Apart: Reproductive health and rights in an age of inequality, The State of World Population 2017, (accessed December 8, 2022).

[47] Republic of Mali, Loi N°2011 – 087 Portant Code des Personnes et de la Famille du 30 Décembre 2011, art. 281.

[48] See Human Rights Watch, “A Brighter Future: Empowering Pregnant Girls and Adolescent Mothers to Stay in School,” index, August 29, 2022,

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