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Protection of Child Rights amidst the Atlas Earthquake: CNDH Recommendations Resulting from Digital Monitoring and On-site Visits

The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) presented, on Friday 24 May 2024, at its headquarters in Rabat, Morocco, its report, entitled “Protection of Child Rights amidst the Atlas Earthquake- September 8, 2023: CNDH recommendations resulting from digital monitoring and on-site visits.”

Representatives of the relevant government sectors and civil society associations took part in this meeting.

A group of children also participated in this event in implementation of the principle of child participation, which the CNDH is advocating to institutionalize.

These conclusions and recommendations address child rights issues in the digital space and beyond. They are founded on the centrality of protecting child rights across its normative, procedural and value-driven dimensions and the place of this specific protection in the CNDH priority directions. This commitment is reflected in the CNDH’s focus on monitoring, follow-up and redress, whether in ordinary circumstances or during crises.

In his opening statement, Mr. Mounir Bensalah, CNDH Secretary-General, confirmed that these conclusions and recommendations, which coincide with the commemoration of the National Day for the Rights of the Child, resulted from the CNDH’s strategic approach to addressing child rights. They also emerged from monitoring the digital space following the September 8 tragedy, complemented by on-site visits and CNDH consultations with children, NGOs and relevant local authorities. These actions were conducted in response to the September 8 earthquake and its impact on child rights, recognizing children as one of the most vulnerable groups in disaster contexts.

In her Foreword to the report, Ms. Amina Bouayach, CNDH Chairperson, stated that the CNDH aims, as reflected in its recommendations approved by the CNDH General Assembly in October 2023, to enhance proactiveness and resilience in disaster response, promote the principle of children’s participation and advocate for conditions conducive to a safe digital environment, thus limiting misinformation.

Among the CNDH recommendations:

- Updating the national strategy for managing risks and natural disasters for the period 2020-2030, with a commitment to implementing a child rights approach and involving active NGOs;

- Accelerating the adoption of a law on child protection centers, taking into account the CNDH opinion on the previously submitted draft law to the relevant ministry;

- Developing a guide for managing natural disasters designed mainly for child protection centers;

- Considering the best interest of the child, in its entirety, at public authorities’ interventions. Besides, addressing all dimensions of prevention to minimize potential impact on children and protect them from potential risks due to their relocation from their original environment;

- Prioritizing the effectiveness of preventing potential violations and risks to children as a central component of the integrated public policy for child protection;

- Organizing training sessions on the normative framework for child rights for the benefit of journalists and professionals in the media industry;

- Ensuring contribution towards providing a digital environment that fosters, strengthens and protects opportunities for children to participate safely and equitably.

Download the report (Available in Arabic)