Since 2012, disruption in Mali has killed thousands who’ve gotten caught in clashes between security forces and jihadist fighters. According to the UN, the war has displaced nearly 500,000 people including children.
A new report by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) says 148,600 displaced children in Mali do not have a legal identity.
Lack of official documentation means children are at risk of marginalisation and potential human rights violations.
In a press release, the NRC country director Mr. Maclean Natugasha said, ‘ensuring the children hardest hit by the conflict can obtain their birth certificate is essential to enable them to overcome the violence, displacement, and hunger they have faced since the conflict started.’
More than half of all displaced children in #Mali lack birth certificates proving their legal identity. This can mean:
⚠️No formal schooling ->no employment
⚠️No freedom of movement
⚠️No right to vote
⚠️No right to rent or own a property
Our latest presser:https://t.co/qFCnfSuSMn
— NRC (@NRC_Norway) November 21, 2022
Mali has been facing a humanitarian crisis for a decade. Unstable political tension and internal war has led to five successful coups since its independence in 1960.
In 2018, thousands fled due to intercommunal violence that left many children orphans and separated from their families.
Despite the country being one of Africa’s biggest gold producers, more than half of the population live below the poverty line.
Poverty has forced an estimation of 40,000 children to work in these gold mines to earn a living for their family. These child labourers are unable to attend school and haven been deprived of their basic rights.
These children are classed as undocumented refugees and are forced to offer cheap labour to mining companies and private entities for profit gain.