Morocco Told to Stop Child Labor

Published May 29th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Morocco was urged by a conference held in Casablanca to abolish child labor - a practice which delegates branded an abuse of children's rights, reported Sunday.  

Some 300 member of the Union of Moroccan Women heard testimonies from girls sent by their parents to work as bonded domestic labor in cities, added BBC.  

One of the girls bared her legs to reveal burns, which she said, were caused when her employer threw hot tea over her.  

A third told how her father sold her to a family hundreds of kilometers away, and that they beat her every day.  

A Moroccan official was quoted as saying that Morocco admitted that these were not isolated cases, and bore witness to the kingdom's institutionalized and socially-accepted abuse against children.  

Official figures show that more than 2.5 million Moroccan children skip school - most are girls, BBC added.  

Parents told the conference that they are so poor they are forced to sell their children - some as young as six - to spare their families starvation, BBC said.  

Employers would argue that they act as foster parents, providing children with better conditions in the cities than they could ever expect in the mountains, BBC said.  

But the lack of legal safeguards, BBC added, means abuses go entirely unpunished. And while the government admits the scale of the problem, the trade of hundreds of thousands of children continues -  


© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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