In 2016, Mali made a significant advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government ratified the ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labor Convention, drafted a law that increases the minimum age for work to 15, and obtained its first conviction for child trafficking under the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Law. The National Unit to Fight Against Child Labor also drafted an amendment to the Hazardous Occupations List and conducted activities to raise awareness of child labor in the mining sector. In addition, the Government launched a National Strategic Education Sector Plan and participated in a number of programs targeting the worst forms of child labor, including a new program to support the implementation of the National Plan to Combat Child Labor. However, children in Mali perform dangerous tasks in agriculture, particularly in the production of cotton and rice. Children also engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in gold mining and in armed conflict. Laws related to the worst forms of child labor are insufficient, and gaps in enforcement have left children unprotected, especially in northern Mali.
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