HRC38 | Mali must establish a defenders’ protection mechanism


While the adoption of the law is an important step towards the protection of human rights defenders, ISHR encourages the government of Mali to adopt the implementation decree and establish an efficient and effective protection mechanism which should prevent and investigate all attacks and violations against defenders.

On 28 June Mali was reviewed under the Universal Periodic Review mechanism. During its review, ISHR delivered a statement about the environment in which human rights defenders work in the country.

Since its last review, Mali has made important steps to better guarantee the protection of human rights in the country. ISHR congratulates Mali for setting up a Ministry solely responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.

Mali recently became the third African country to adopt a national law for the promotion and protection of human rights defenders. For this law to be fully effective, Mali needs to adopt an implementation decree which will establish a protection mechanism. This mechanism should be the cornerstone of the protection of defenders in the country by, among other things, preventing and investigating all attacks against defenders.  

“Such a mechanism is essential to guarantee a safe and enabling environment for defenders in Mali” said Salma El Hosseiny, ISHR Human Rights Council Advocate. 

During the review, ISHR further called on Mali to:

  • Investigate and prosecute all attacks and false accusations against journalists
  • Develop and support a two-year strategic plan for the National Human Rights Commission aiming at building the Commission’s institutional capacity and independence so it is fully compliant with the Paris Principles
  • Provide the National Human Rights Commission with the necessary resources for it to be fully functional and able to fulfill its mandate as a defender protection mechanism.

Watch the statement here: 



Contact: Adélaïde ETONG KAME,



  • Africa
  • Human rights defenders
  • United Nations
  • UN Human Rights Council
  • Universal Periodic Review
  • Mali