On 12 June 2021, WNCB in Mali launched an awareness-raising and advocacy campaign in Sikasso in collaboration with the ILO and the National Unit for the Fight against Child Labour (CNLTE) to mobilize communities, employers, unions, opinion leaders, development partners and the media on the worst forms of child labour in general and on the issues of child labour in the gold panning sites and agriculture particular.
The Governor of Siskasso affirmed in his opening speech that child labour is a degrading phenomenon for children, compromises their schooling and that their health is threatened. He also acknowlegded that one third of the children in the region do not attend school.
The event was graced with performances and songs by children, who expressed to the authorities and their parents that they want to go to school and do not want to be exploited in the agricultural fields and gold mining sites. They showed that without a school there is no development, and that every child must be treated well because he is not only the future of the family but also of the country.
WNCB handed over laptops to the Malian Coalition for the Rights of the Child and the Regional Directorate of Labour to better equip them in their fight against child labor. Also, more than 200 supplementary judgments have been established for children who do not do not have a birth certificate, so that they can enroll in school.
In his closing speech, the Governor pledged to support the actions of organizations to fight effectively against child labour and showed that he was moved by the messages of the children. Media coverage of the event was provided by the ORTM television channel and the Journal Mamelon Infos.
WNCB country lead in Mali, Fanta Koné, was very satisfied with these results. “Having the participation of key stakeholders and coverage by national TV and radios is important in the fight against child labour in this region. We need all stakeholders to be involved and we need their commitment.”