October 10, 2017

ABA ROLI to host criminal law reform and anti-human trafficking program in Mali

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2017 — The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is cosponsoring the International Colloquium on Law and Slavery in West Africa on Oct. 16-18 in Mali. The conference will convene with opening remarks by Malian Prime Minister Modibo Keita on Oct. 16 at 9 a.m.

What:   ABA ROLI Mali country program’s International Colloquium on Law and Slavery in West Africa, cosponsored by the School of Oriental and African Studies of London, the University of Law and Political Science of Bamako, the French Cultural Institute of Bamako, the Embassy of Denmark, and the Agence Universitaire Francaise (AUF).

When:  Monday- Wednesday, Oct. 16-18

Where: University of Law of Bamako

Bamako, Mail

The program will include several African and international experts, who will discuss internal slavery in Africa with a major focus on Mali, including the lack of legislation to address the issue.

International experts will also examine recent issues including human trafficking, hereditary slavery, slave identity, slavery and terrorism, human rights, policy reform and legislation, and victims of slavery, among other issues. 

ABA ROLI’s Mali country program combats descent-based slavery in Mali by partnering with Malian civil society organizations—Temedt, Association des Jurites Maliennes, and Observatoire des Droits de la Femme et de l’Enfant—to train justice sector actors on how to litigate slavery cases and has helped victims file cases seeking compensation from perpetrators of slavery.

Program highlights include:

“Slavery Behind the Scenes” Benjamin L. Lawrence, University of Arizona, USA, will focus on slavery behind the scenes including domestic services, laws against the slave trade and the persistence of forced labor in West Africa.

Oct. 16, 10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

“Slave Identity in Mali” — Kawèlè Togola, University of Law and Political Science of Bamako, Mali, will discuss the intricacies of slave identity and its impact in Mali.

Oct. 16, 3:45 – 4 p.m.

“Plenary Session” M. Biram Dah Abeid, Initiative for the Resurgent Abolition Movement (IRA), Mauritania, will discuss the political fight of the IRA against slavery and discrimination in Mauritania.

Oct. 17, 9– 10 a.m.

“Human Trafficking” M. Freddy Guzan, La Mission Civile de l’Union Europèene de Soutien Aux Forces de Sècuritè Intèrieure, Sahel, Mali, will present the evolution of international conventions against human trafficking.

Oct. 17, 10:15 – 10:30 a.m.

“Slavery and Terrorism” Moussa Zangaou, University Abdou Moumou de Niamey, Niger, will discuss views on slavery and terrorism on the Niger-northern Mali border.

Oct. 17, 10:30 – 10:45 a.m.

“Hereditary Slavery” M. Mohammed Ag Akeratane, Temedt, Mali will focus on the traditional, persistent practice of hereditary slavery in Mali.

Oct. 17, Noon – 12:15 p.m.

“Fighting Slavery” Lury Nkuessom, director, Pays, ABA ROLI, Mali will discuss the assessment of support to civil society organizations fighting slavery and to victims of slavery.

Oct. 17, 2:30 – 2:45 p.m.

“Slavery Reforms” —. Inamoud Ibny, Yattara et Aziz Ag Haibala, Université des Sciences, des Techniques, et des Technologies de Bamako, Mali, will discuss the issues of slavery and education in the context of institutional reforms in Mali.

Oct. 18, 9:00 – 9:15 a.m.

“Judges Addressing Human Rights Violations” — Mamadou Kassogue, Magistrat, Mali will discuss the role of judges in the face of human rights violations of victims of slavery.

Oct. 18, 9:30 – 9:45 a.m.

“Advocating for Laws Against Slavery” Mme Keita Fatoumata, Cissoko, Prèsident de la Coalition Nationale de lutte contre l’esclavage au Mali, will focus discussion on advocating for the adoption of laws against hereditary slavery in Mali.

Oct. 18, 9:45 – 10:00 a.m.

This event is open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Theresa Melton at 202-662-1516 or Theresa.Melton@americanbar.org.

Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that will cite case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

ABA ROLI works with in-country partners to build sustainable institutions and societies that deliver justice, foster economic opportunity and ensure respect for human dignity. ABA ROLI implements legal reform programs in roughly 60 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa. ABA ROLI has more than 700 professional staff working around the world, including volunteers who, in fiscal year 2016 alone, contributed more $3.2 million in pro bono technical legal assistance.

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