Morocco launches new initiative to end exploitation, abuse of children through begging
London, May 27, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Morocco The Ministry of Solidarity, Social Development, Equality and the Family announced “Wladna” (our children), the newest addition to Morocco’s ongoing plan to end the exploitation of children through begging.
The new initiative tagged “Wladna” is the second stage of the program and seeks to expand government reach in combating child exploitation through public begging
While the current program is primarily based in Rabat, the new program aims to expand government child protection services to more cities throughout Morocco including Meknes, Tangier, Agadir, and Marrakech. The government intends to nationalize the program by 2025.
In December 2019, Princess Lalla Meryem worked with the National Observatory of the Rights of the Child (ONDE) to launch a multifaceted program for ending child poverty.
An independent study released by the SIT Graduate Institute in 2016 estimated that nearly 30,000 Moroccan children are homeless.
Difficult situations in Moroccan households such as substance abuse and prostitution lead to the exploitation of Morocco’s youth as street beggars.
Moroccan state-media stated that the previous program rescued “142 children from precarious situations and 66% of these children were between the age of just a few months old to 4 years.
“13 children were of foreign nationalities,” reported the same source.
The misfortune of children in Morocco is not a new phenomenon. In 2010, a documentary titled “Casablanca Kids” showed the abhorrent state of child poverty in Casablanca. Children in the video used drugs and threatened social workers with knives as their trust and perception of reality faded.
King Mohammed VI announced the new national social protection plan in 2018 which seeks to support more Moroccan workers with a nationalized health care system, increased government funding for impoverished families, and a new pension disbursement system.
The generalization of family allowances will benefit 7 million children of school age and the government plans to implement this phase in 2023-2024.
By offering more social protections to families, the government hopes to eradicate child poverty at the root of the problem.
1n 2019, the police department of Agadir, Morocco launched clampdown on professional begging with DNA tests. The police used DNA tests to verify the relationship of beggars to the children accompanying them.
This initiative comes after the discovery of several networks specialized in begging and exploiting children and infants.
The “human trafficking” mafias go even further by teaching the children how to trigger people’s pity. The professional beggars also give the children sleeping pills to assure they’re calm during ‘begging hours’.