Children of Moroccan villages and mountains suffer from the triad of “scarcity, marginalization and poverty”

The tragic reality lived by childhood in the mountains and villages of the Kingdom of Morocco, especially the one characterized by uneven terrain, lack of road network and the simplest needs of daily life, where he lives between destitution, poverty and exploitation in hard work, whether agricultural or otherwise.

Many interested in childhood in Morocco have found that children in the mountains and remote areas face different kinds of deprivation and marginalization. This is a consequence of the poverty of their families and their environment, which requires the creation of a national plan for the protection of children in general, and especially in mountains and inaccessible areas, so that they can benefit from all the services provided by their peers in cities and centers, within the framework of the principle of equal opportunities of the Moroccan people, according to their understanding.

The suffering of mountain children in the Kingdom of Morocco is not only limited to poverty and destitution, but also suffers from the distance of health and educational institutions, as well as the most basic necessities that can facilitate communication between them and their outside world, such as a network of roads and means of transport, telephone and internet networks and some public administrations.

unfavorable childhood

Despite a set of framework laws previously announced by Morocco, which deal with the promotion of children’s rights in all areas, especially in education, children from mountainous and remote areas have not benefited from them, as they still suffer from deprivation and marginalization in all areas, especially those related to education and health. According to the statements of a number of parents of children in mountainous regions and villages.

“Children in the mountains and remote villages are the most affected group due to the lack of spatial justice between urban and marginal areas, as a result of which they spend their young years in misery, oppression and poverty,” says Hassan Ashbahar, a human rights activist organization working on childhood in the region. Draa-Tafilalet.

Rural and mountain childhood lives, adds the same lawyer, in a statement to Hespress, “great deprivation in all fields, be it education, health or the right to play”, emphasizing that “some laws that have been approved in Morocco primarily serve childhood in urban and advanced centers, and childhood cannot Mountains and margins benefit from them”, as he said.

On the other hand, Khadija Ait Abdelali, an activist from the Midelt region, said: “There is discrimination among children in Morocco.

Ait Abdel-Aali added in a statement to Hespress: “The time has come to give great importance to the childhood of mountains, villages and the general population, which is groaning under the burden of marginalization and extreme poverty,” stressing that “In the absence of spatial justice between cities, villages, centers and mountains, it is not possible to talk about children’s rights or comprehensive development.” “.

Child labor is a crime

“In Morocco there is a law that prohibits the employment of children, and it is considered a crime punishable by imprisonment and a fine. It is in the documents. As for the reality, there are thousands of children between the ages of 10 and 16 working in many professions under the eyes of labor inspectors and other public bodies,” says Idriss Naciri, an association activist from the province of Errachidia.

Al-Jamawi himself added, in a statement to Hespress, that “the law to prevent child labor must be activated in all regions of Morocco and not be limited to major cities or urban areas”, noting that “some employers take advantage of the weakness of families to hire children, and children are tortured the most during hard work.” and great; And they must be rewarded for what they do,” he said.

Many people interested in childhood in Morocco have confirmed that there is a large and significant percentage of children in the mountains and remote villages who are exploited in work, whether agricultural or other jobs that represent a real threat to their lives and the future of children, stressing that the Ministry of Labor should conduct secret field investigations tours and visits to some places, identify the phenomenon of child labor and work on its immediate stop.

On the other hand, a source from the Labor Inspectorate said: “Morocco is one of the African countries that is involved in international law to protect children and achieve all the conditions for their dignified life. Therefore, it passed the law in this context, as well as in the context of efforts to the requirements of the new constitution are implemented.”

The same source clarified that “responsibility for further employment of children under the age of 18 cannot be solely on the state, but part of it is borne by associations and families”, calling on all associations to report any employment of children. , not only in the mountains and villages, but also in the cities, so the competent authorities will fulfill their duty.

The same spokesperson confirmed, in a statement to Hespress, that “local and security authorities must also intervene in this framework in order to hold every employer involved in the employment of minors responsible, and to inform the competent state attorney’s office, which will conduct its legal proceedings. duty and notify the labor inspector of the area of ​​influence to perform his duty.” He added: “All these steps would reduce the large number of child labor, if only citizens would play their national and humanitarian role.”

Education and health

The lack of educational and health facilities and the lack of means of transportation is another major problem that children suffer from in the mountains and villages of Morocco, especially in the absence of a quality road network in many mountainous regions and remote villages.

The statements of many parents of children in a series of villages and mountains in the Drâa-Tafilalet region unanimously agreed that the distance of educational and health institutions is a burden for children in this region, trying to provide them with means of transportation, similar to other children of charitable Morocco, as one of them described .

The distance of educational and health institutions, according to parents and guardians of children, causes them to drop out of school and poor learning, pointing out that some children travel distances of 7 to 11 km to school and back every day, “which is a distance that greatly affects their level of learning and their desire to continue their academic journey.” .

Hayat Aberdane, an activist from the Drâa-Tafilalet region, said: “Childhood in the mountains and remote villages did not earn the right to education, health and other sectors.” At his age in the city, the school bus comes to the door to pick him up. It’s a strange paradox.”

The same spokeswoman added, in a statement for Hespress, that “the state should not deal with children with double standards.”

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