Prostitution in Mali

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Prostitution in Mali is legal,[1] but third party activities such as procuring are illegal.[2] Prostitution is common in Malian cities.[3] UNAIDS estimate there to be 35,900 prostitutes in the country.[4] Prostitution is on the rise,[5] many having turned to prostitution because of poverty.[6][7]

In the capital, Bamako, many prostitutes are from Nigeria[8] and other West African countries.[9] In July and August there is an influx of students from various areas of West Africa who work as prostitutes during the summer vacation.[10] There are also many Chinese bars in the country where prostitution occurs. It is estimated that the Chinese sex workers send 2 billion Cfa back to China annually.[11] Many Nigerian prostitutes work in the area around the Morila Gold Mine.[12]

In early 2012, rebel and Islamic extremist groups occupied northern Mali prompting the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to be sent to the country. The influx of military personnel caused a rise in the demand for prostitution. In the Gao Region, prostitutes from Burkina Faso, Niger, Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon came to the area to service the needs of the UN personnel.[13]

The cities of Bamako, Kayes, Ségou, Mopti, Timbuktu, Gao and Sikasso have a problem with teenage prostitution and sex tourism.[14][15]

Sex trafficking[edit]

Mali is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking. Internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking; women and girls from other West African countries, particularly Nigeria, are exploited in prostitution and sex trafficking throughout Mali. Nigerian authorities estimate more than 5,000 Nigerian girls are victims of sex trafficking in Mali. Some members of Mali's black Tuareg community are subjected to slavery practices rooted in traditional relationships of hereditary servitude and reports indicate it is worsening. Other Africans transiting Mali to Europe, primarily via Algeria and Libya and less so via Mauritania, are vulnerable to trafficking. Nigerian traffickers fraudulently recruit Nigerian women and girls with promises of taking them to Europe but exploit them in sex trafficking in Mali. Malian women and girls are victims of sex trafficking in Gabon, Libya, Lebanon, and Tunisia.[16]

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) investigated 23 cases of conflict-related sexual violence, including forced prostitution and sexual slavery, in Gao, Timbuktu, Kidal, and a refugee camp in Mauritania in 2016. MINUSMA investigated four members of GATIA, three members of the Mali Defense and Security Forces (MDSF), and civilians in these cases, although it did not report any prosecutions or convictions for trafficking offenses.[16]

Law 2012-023 Relating to the Combat against Trafficking in Persons and Similar Practices criminalizes all forms of trafficking of adults and children. The law prescribes penalties of five to 10 years imprisonment, and a maximum of 20 year imprisonment for cases involving aggravating circumstances.[16]

The United States Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons ranks Mali as a 'Tier 2 Watchlist' country.[17]


  1. ^ "The Legal Status of Prostitution by Country". ChartsBin. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Droit-Afrique - Portail du droit des 24 pays d'Afrique francophone" (PDF). Droit-Afrique. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-09. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  3. ^ Report on Human Rights Practices 2006: Mali. United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (6 March 2007)
  4. ^ "Sex workers: Population size estimate - Number, 2016". UNAIDS. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Prostitution increasing in Mali". UPI. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Les Carnets Secrets de la prostitution au Mali : Fifi explique avoir couché avec 2 780 hommes * * Mali". Niarela (in French). 26 February 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  7. ^ Neubauer, Inès (2014). "Prostitution in Bamako, Mali". World University Service (in German). Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  8. ^ Global Perspectives on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Oceania. Lexington Books. 2011. p. 24. ISBN 9780739132777.
  9. ^ Röschenthaler, Ute; Schulz, Dorothea (2015). Cultural Entrepreneurship in Africa. Routledge. p. 168. ISBN 9781317529620.
  10. ^ Ditmore, Melissa Hope (2006). Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 533. ISBN 9780313329708.
  11. ^ Thera, Kady. "La prostitution à bon marché à Bamako". Bamada (in French). Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  12. ^ Plasse, Stéphanie (24 May 2008). "Quand les mines d'or du Mali profitent à la prostitution". Afrik (in French). Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  13. ^ Thienot, Dorothée (7 October 2014). "Prostitution : les soldats de la paix sont-ils de bons clients ? –". Jeune Afrique (in French). Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Preventing teenage prostitution in Mali". Swiss Info. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
  15. ^ James, Jean Pierre (6 December 2011). "Prostitution : les grandes destinations du tourisme sexuel au Mali". Afribone (in French). Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  16. ^ a b c "Mali 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2018.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  17. ^ "Mali 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 29 July 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.