The official institution confirmed that the number of child laborers in Morocco continues to decrease, compared to previous years. In 2021, the number of active working children decreased by 14%, and this number decreased by about half compared to 2017.
The data revealed by the delegate on the occasion of the International Day against Child Labor showed that most children work in rural areas, indicating that this phenomenon is more common among men than among women and is often linked to early school dropouts.
Poverty is the most important title
Commenting on these figures, Abdel Ali Al-Rami, head of the Association Forum de l’Enfance, warned that “the phenomenon of exploitation ruins poses a real threat to the physical and psychological safety of minors who are exploited in search of profit at least cost”. .”
He continued in a statement to “Sky News Arabia” that “children in this age group are in school, noting that the phenomenon has seen a noticeable decline in recent years, in addition to the decline in the employment of domestic children”.
Regarding the reasons for the exacerbation of the phenomenon, the speaker underlined that “poverty contributes greatly to child labor, because some Moroccan families living in villages send their minor children to town to work in factories or commercial shops, artisan shops, cafes and other hard crafts.” And the mistake these families make is to hold their children responsible for more than their age, seeing them as a support that helps them manage the expenses of life, such as he says so.
Solutions to reduce the phenomenon
In his address, the President of the Children’s Forum stressed the need for concerted efforts to end the phenomenon of child labor and raise awareness among families of the seriousness of their exploitation. He also welcomed the launch of “Facilitation” programs of conditional financial transfers to support families and help reduce school dropout among village children in particular, and the “One Million Wallet” initiative which has a great positive impact, calling to launch similar initiatives. limiting the spread of the phenomenon, as well as encouraging the creation of projects and cooperatives in marginal rural areas to help needy families.
Al-Rami pointed out, in an interview with “Sky News Arabia”, that the legal sanctions against child laborers are “very light”, and that they must be reviewed. He recalled in this respect that article 143 of the Moroccan Labor Code stipulates that the employment of a minor under the age of fifteen may lead the exploiter of the child to pay a fine, which may turn into a prison term of three to six months. if the affair was repeated, which he considered expert in “unfair and not dissuasive”, underlining the “need to update the laws so that they are dissuasive and more rigorous”.
The Moroccan authorities, as well as several specialized associations, are stepping up their efforts to combat the phenomenon of child labor, by raising awareness, strengthening the follow-up of workshops and encouraging the reporting of cases of violation.
It should be noted that, out of 7,690,000 children aged 7 to 17, the number of child laborers in Morocco reached, during the year 2022, 127,000 children, which represents 1.6% of the total number of children of that age. band.
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