Mali: NINA card, including date and circumstances of its introduction; method used to collect data on future cardholders, including data collection period; opportunity to correct or update card information, such as place of residence and occupation; procedure to correct or update card information (2009-September 2016) [MLI105618.FE]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Overview

In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, a representative of the Vital Statistics Data Processing Centre (Centre de traitement des données d’état civil, CTDEC), [translation] "the government body affiliated with the Malian Department of Territorial Administration (Ministère de l’Administration territoriale, MAT) responsible for building a vital statistics database in Mali," stated that the NINA card is an "identification card" indicating the cardholder’s national identification number (NINA number) that "can be used as a voter card but also [as] an identity card" (Mali 22 Aug. 2016).

Regarding the NINA, Law No. 06040 of 11 August 2006 on the Establishment of the National Identification Number of Natural and Legal Persons (Loi no 06040 du 11 août 2006 portant institution du numéro d'identification nationale des personnes physiques et morales) provides the following:

[translation]

Article 1: The National Identification Number of natural and legal persons, abbreviated as NINA, is hereby established in the Republic of Mali.

Article 2: The purpose of the National Identification Number is to individually designate all natural and legal persons with a unique number.

Article 7: The National Identification Number issued to a natural person appears on the national identity card, consular identity card, passport, driver’s licence, school record, health record, voter card, residency permit for foreigners, documentation related to legal persons and civil status records. (Mali 2006b)

Law No. 06040 is attached to this Response.

According to the CTDEC representative, [translation] "[s]ince April 2016, the NINA number has appeared on new passports and new national identity cards" (Mali 22 Aug. 2016).

1.1 Introduction Date

Sources report that NINA cards were introduced in the lead-up to the 2013 presidential election (Mali 22 Aug. 2016; RFI 18 July 2013; EU 13 Feb. 2014, 18), specifically, beginning on 28 June 2013 (ibid.; RFI 18 July 2013). In its final report on the 2013 parliamentary election, the European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission to Mali states that, according to the data provided by the Department of Territorial Administration in October 2013, 91 percent of cards had been distributed to cardholders (EU 13 Feb. 2014, 18). The Malian news website MaliActu.net reports that the Minister of Internal Security and Civil Protection told the media in February 2016 that more than 89 percent of the population had received their NINA cards (MaliActu.net 10 Feb. 2016).

1.2 Use of the NINA Card

With respect to the NINA card, Election Law No. 06-044 of 4 September 2006 (Loi électorale n° 06044 du 4 septembre 2006), amended in 2011 and 2013, provides the following:

[translation]

Article 88 (L 2011-085) (New): Voting shall take place in person.

Upon entry to the polling station, electors shall establish their identity with their NINA card.

The NINA card is the sole form of identification accepted at polling stations.

A citizen whose name appears on the voters’ list but who does not have a NINA card will not be permitted to vote, under any circumstances. (Mali 2006a)

The article published on MaliActu.net on 10 February 2016 reports the following:

[translation]

[The Minister of Internal Security and Civil Protection] appeared before the media to explain the reasons why an order was passed to give national identity card status to the NINA card. It does not, as a result, become a national identity card but, rather, becomes another piece of national identification …. . [T]he NINA card … could have the same status as the national identity card and the consular card to establish the identity of citizens of Mali both within and outside the country. (MaliActu.net 10 Feb. 2016)

According to the same article, the order conferring national identity card status on the NINA card was to come into force on 15 February 2016 (ibid.).

The CTDEC representative stated that the NINA card is now accepted as an identification card for police checks (Mali 22 Aug. 2016).

2. Card Information and Security Features

According to the CTDEC representative,

[translation]

[the NINA card] contains the individual’s given names and surname, occupation, date and place of birth, place of residence, photograph, fingerprints, NINA number … a service number and a bar code (specifically, a PDF 417 code). (Mali 22 Aug. 2016)

Similarly, the article on the MaliActu.net website refers to statements by the Minister of Internal Security and Civil Protection, according to which, the NINA card contains [translation] "security features," including the NINA number, serial number, bar code and fingerprints of the cardholder (MaliActu.net 10 Feb. 2016). In its final report on the 2013 parliamentary election, the EU Election Observation Mission to Mali writes that the NINA card contains [translation] "a number of security features to prevent counterfeiting" (EU 13 Feb. 2014, 18).

3. Circumstances of Its Introduction

The CTDEC representative explained that the NINA card resulted from the vital statistics census (Recensement administratif à vocation d'état civil, RAVEC), which was initiated in 2009 (Mali 22 Aug. 2016). According to the same source,

[translation]

[t]he census consisted of registering Malians both inside and outside the country in order to build a biometric database and assign each of them a national identification number (NINA number). … [I]t was carried out in phases:

  • The active phase, from March 2009 to the end of 2010, during which, the data were collected.
  • The completion phase, following the 2013 presidential and general elections, during which the government, through the Department of the Interior and Security, gave Malians the opportunity to correct errors identified upon receiving their NINA card.
  • The continuity phase, which began in November 2015 and involves the introduction of data collection officers at the municipal authority level to ensure continuity of the data collection system. The officers are responsible for recording vital statistics such as births, marriages and deaths. (ibid.)

4. Method Used to Collect Information about NINA Cardholders

The CTDEC representative described the method used to collect data during the active phase of the census in 200910 as follows:

[translation]

The Department of Territorial Administration and Decentralization deployed a census team in each village. Teams remained in the villages for approximately one week.

Prior to the team’s arrival, the head of the village notified household heads that a census was going to be conducted and set up a data collection centre in the village.

Then, in order to ensure that no one had been missed, officers from the Department of Territorial Administration and Decentralization went to all homes, door to door, to check whether all individuals had a receipt showing their participation in the census and to meet with individuals who could not travel.

People in transit were counted in the location where they were found. (Mali 22 Aug. 2016)

The same source stated that the data collected comprised an individual’s [translation] "vital statistics, fingerprints, photograph, occupation [and] place of residence" (ibid.). Additional information on the method used to collect data on NINA cardholders could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

5. Opportunity to Correct or Update NINA Card Information

Regarding the right of individuals to have their personal information corrected, Law No. 2013015 of 21 May 2013 on the Protection of Personal Data in the Republic of Mali (Loi n° 2013-015 du 21 mai 2013 portant protection des données à caractère personnel en République du Mali) sets out the following:

[translation]

Article 13: If personal data concerning an individual are inaccurate, incomplete, questionable, outdated or prohibited from collection, use, disclosure or preservation, upon proof of identity, that individual is entitled to require that such data be rectified, supplemented, updated, blocked or destroyed, as necessary, by the competent authority.

Where the individual concerned makes such an application in writing, irrespective of the medium used, the competent authority must show that the necessary actions have been taken, in accordance with the previous paragraph, within thirty (30) days of the application being registered, at no cost to the applicant.

In the event of a dispute, the burden of proof shall lie with the competent authority to whom the individual exercising the right of access addressed the request.

Where data were shared with a third party, the competent authority must make every reasonable effort to notify it of the actions taken in accordance with the first paragraph of this article. (Mali 2013)

The CTDEC representative pointed out that there was [translation] "no cut-off date for the correction of data collected during the 2009-10 census" (Mali 22 Aug. 2016). The same source explained that all of the data, including place of residence and occupation, could be modified (ibid.). However, without providing further details, he specified that [translation] "an individual’s date of birth was harder to correct in order to prevent fraud" (ibid.).

5.1 Procedure to Correct or Update Vital Statistics Information

According to the CTDEC representative, individuals can have their vital statistics information corrected or updated by following these steps:

[translation]

  • Go to any municipal authority office (since the database is centralized).
  • Review the information on the personal record: given name, surname, date and place of birth, given names and surnames of parents, etc.
  • If an error is detected, fill out a claim form, indicating the correct information, with the assistance of the data collection unit manager in the municipal authority office, if necessary.
  • Sign the claim form, which must also be signed by the mayor. (Mali 22 Aug. 2016)

The same source noted that the claim forms are sent to the CTDEC at the end of every month, or at the end of every week for communes close to Bamako and diplomatic and consular missions (ibid.).

According to the same source,

[translation]

[t]he documentation that must be provided in order to have NINA-related information corrected depends on the data in question:

  • Given names, surnames, and given names and surnames of parents: a copy of the birth certificate excerpt;
  • Occupation: no documentation;
  • Residence: no documentation (residence checked by the commune);
  • Date of birth: a copy of the birth certificate (volet n° 3), [which] can be obtained at the municipal authority office. (ibid.)

In addition, the same source indicated that

[translation]

[t]he CTDEC sends a table of annual births to each municipal authority at the end of every year. Parents can consult the table to check the information related to their newborn child. (ibid.)

Additional information on the procedure to have vital statistics information appearing on the NINA card corrected or updated could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

5.2 Procedure to Apply for a New NINA Card

The CTDEC representative stated that, if a NINA card contains erroneous personal information, an individual can apply for a new NINA card by following these steps:

[translation]

  • Send an application to the Minister of Territorial Administration specifying the reasons for the request.
  • Attach a photocopy of the old NINA card to the application. (Mali 22 Aug. 2016)

Additional information on the procedure to apply for a new NINA card could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

European Union (EU). 13 February 2014. Election Observation Mission to Mali. Rapport Final - Élections législatives 2013. [Accessed 19 Aug. 2016]

Mali. 22 August 2016. Centre de traitement des données d’état civil (CTDEC). Telephone interview with a representative.

Mali. 2013. Loi n° 2013015 du 21 mai 2013 portant protection des données à caractère personnel en République du Mali. Excerpts translated by the Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada. [Accessed 22 Aug. 2016]

Mali. 2006a (amended 2013). Loi électorale n° 06044 du 4 septembre 2006. Excerpts translated by the Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada. [Accessed 24 Aug. 2016]

Mali. 2006b. Loi n° 06040 du 11 août 2006 portant institution du numéro d'identification nationale des personnes physiques et morales. Excerpts translated by the Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada. [Accessed 23 Aug. 2016]

MaliActu.net. 10 February 2016. "Mali : quand NINA acquiert valeur de carte d’identité nationale !" (Factiva)

Radio France internationale (RFI). 18 July 2013. "Élection présidentielle au Mali : les cartes d’électeurs sont arrivées." [Accessed 19 Aug. 2016]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Mali – Direction générale de la protection civile.

Internet sites including: Amnesty International; ecoi.net; EdisonTD; European Union – Public Register of Authentic Travel and Identity Documents Online; Freedom House; Human Rights Watch; IRIN; Keesing Reference Systems; Political Handbook of the World; Transparency International; United Nations – Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Refworld; United States – Department of State.

Attachment

Mali. 2006. Loi n° 06 040 du 11 août 2006 portant institution du numéro d'identification nationale des personnes physiques et morales. [Accessed 23 Aug. 2016]