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CNDH calls for national mobilization to end child marriage

Mr. Mounir Bensalah, Secretary-General of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), participated on Wednesday 19 April 2023, in the closing ceremony of the #IDONT campaign against child marriage, organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in cooperation with the National Library of the Kingdom of Morocco (BNRM).

In his statement, Mr. Bensalah reaffirmed the CNDH support for this campaign and its commitment to fully cooperate to effectively and permanently protect children from early marriage.

Mr. Bensalah added that the CNDH considers child marriage as a form of sexual violence. It is one of the most serious forms of violation of the child's rights, dignity, physical and mental integrity and development, etc., particularly their fundamental rights, he added.

He also stressed that ending child marriage requires political will and national mobilization based on child rights approach.

Mr. Bensalah emphasized the importance of ending violence against children. He said that it is necessary to adopt a transversal, coordinated and multidisciplinary approach based on child rights and involving all child protection actors as well as children themselves.

Within the same context, the CNDH stressed the importance of enhancing the harmonization of the Family Code with the requirements of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The CNDH also underlined the importance of accelerating the development of a Childhood Code to be a comprehensive legislative and regulatory framework. The CNDH also recommended developing a standard and consensus definition of the child’s best interest to ensure taking it into account in all actions and initiatives against this phenomenon.

The #IDONT campaign was launched in 2022. Around 50 activists for the rights of women and girls, institutional representatives, artists, journalists and influencers took part in this event. This campaign highlighted the threats that lead to child marriage and its devastating repercussions on the rights, health, education and future of tens of thousands of girls married each year.

Several officials, including the Minister of Solidarity, Social Integration and Family, Canadian Ambassador to Morocco, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Morocco, Representative of the UNFPA in Morocco, UNICEF Assistant Representative and the BNRM Director participated in this event.