Mali | Towards the adoption of an implementation decree for the law on protection of human rights defenders

Article disponible en français ici

Mali has made significant headway with the adoption of a national law for the protection of human rights defenders. Now, an implementation decree has to be adopted to implement the law and establish a protection mechanism for human rights defenders.

On 15 and 16 May 2018, ISHR and the Coalition Malienne des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (COMADDH) co-hosted a two-day workshop in Bamako, Mali to discuss and finalise the draft implementation decree on the human rights defenders’ law, adopted in January 2018.

‘The proposed draft implementation decree represents a great opportunity for human rights defenders to give substance to the law and promote, with more serenity, the effectiveness of their activities towards the promotion, realisation and monitoring of human rights.’ said the Malian Minister of Human Rights Me Kadidia Sangaré Coulibaly. ‘The workshop provides a unique opportunity to enrich the draft implementation decree to guarantee that the law benefits defenders and is effectively implemented throughout the country,’ Mahamar El Moctar, COMADDH chairperson added. ISHR’s Vincent Ploton emphasised salient provisions of the Malian law, including on the protection of relatives of human rights defenders, women defenders, and defenders with disabilities.

Local and international civil society organisations, as well as commissioners from the National of Human Rights’ Commission and representatives of the Executive branch participated in the workshop.

Speaking about protection mechanisms for human rights defenders, Adélaïde Etong Kame, ISHR’s Africa advocacy consultant, presented two options for the creation of such a mechanism:

  • the establishment of a new independent institution (as it is the case in various Latin American countries) or
  • the designation of the national human rights commission.

As envisaged in the Model Law on the recognition and protection of human rights defenders, she emphasised that the mechanism must be enabled to prevent, protect against and investigate all attacks and violations against defenders.

The draft implementation decree proposed by civil society was adopted upon the conclusion of the workshop. It guarantees that no exceptional circumstances can be invoked to undermine the work of the defenders and it identifies the main functions and attributions of the protection mechanism, its composition and financing. The draft was subsequently submitted to the Minister of Human Rights for consideration.

ISHR and the COMADDH reiterate their willingness to continue to support the implementation of the national human rights defender protection law in Mali, and the designation of an effective protection mechanism for defenders.


For further information, please contact:

[email protected]




Related articles

Stay in the loop!

Would you like to be informed of future events, news, updates on our work, invitations and appeals? Please enter your email address below!