Mali has followed in the footsteps of Niger, Norway, the United Kingdom and Mauritania as the first States to make a formal commitment to implement the Protocol.

“The Republic of Mali has always wanted workers to have access to decent jobs and to be protected from the abuses arising from forced labour, child labour, trafficking in persons and modern slavery, said Fassoun Coulibaly, National Director of Labour for Mali.

“By ratifying the Protocol, Mali is making a commitment to ending forced labour and mobilizing the necessary resources to achieve this. We hold the ILO leadership in high esteem and we appeal to other countries to combat this global scourge,” he added.

The ratification demonstrates the ongoing commitment of Mali to combating forced labour. By becoming a member of the International Labour Organization in 1960, Mali immediately accepted the obligations arising from the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), and then, in 1962, those of the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105). Recently, in 2012, Mali reinforced its legislative framework for combating forced labour by adopting the Act on action to combat trafficking in persons and similar practices and by establishing the National Coordinating Committee to combat trafficking in persons and similar practices.

“This ratification by Mali sends a strong message to other countries in Africa and elsewhere to also take immediate measures and fulfil their obligations with regard to the Protocol: to prevent forced labour, to protect the victims by providing them with effective remedies, and to prosecute the perpetrators. The concept of a world without forced labour will only become a reality through international support,” said Beate Andrees, Chief of the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch at the ILO.