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World Day Against Child Labour: CNDH calls for harmonizing national legislation with the relevant international regulatory framework

Every year, the world celebrates the World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June. This year, it is held under the theme “In conflicts and disasters, protect children from child labour”.

In Morocco, the World Day Against Child Labour is an opportunity to raise awareness on the impact of child labour on society and to evaluate the preventive measures aiming to reduce child labour in Morocco at least, if not to eliminate this phenomenon.

According to Mr. Khalid Hanfioui, human rights officer at the National Human Rights Council of Morocco (CNDH), the council welcomes the various measures taken by the Moroccan government to protect children’s rights (the integrated public policy for child protection). The CNDH also appreciates the ratification of a large number of conventions and protocols and the efforts of national authorities to harmonize national legislation with the principals and provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its protocols.

The CNDH notes that the effective implementation of these rights, in particular the right of the child to be protected against economic exploitation, remains insufficient and that labour legislation in Morocco is not fully adapted to children’s need. The statistics of the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP) on child labour show that around 193,000 children between 7 and 17 years old were involved in hazardous labour in 2015: 80% of them in rural areas (78% male) and affects 75.3% of children aged 15-17 years.

Mr. Hanfioui stressed that “it is not enough to prevent a child from working and leave him on his own to fight against child labour.  No law can eradicate child labour without the implementation of a policy to support working children, and without the establishment of a mechanism enabling the development of future plans for children concerned.

In order to achieve these objectives, a number of measures should be strengthened, including:

  • Harmonization of national legislation with international normative framework on the rights of the child,
  • Improvement of children’s access to basic services without discrimination,
  • Establishment and strengthening of information and awareness programs on the rights of the child,
  • Raising parents’ awareness on the need to educate their children especially girls.

The CNDH also advocates:

  • Improving children’s access to information and systematizing their participation,
  • Supporting associations and NGOs working on children’s rights,
  • Developing partnerships with the private sector in order to encourage corporate social responsibility (CSR) to protect children’s rights.

At the international level, and according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), a significant proportion of 168 million children engaged in child labour, including 100 million boys and 68 million girls, live in areas affected by conflicts and disasters.

The CNDH recommended in its memorandum on Bill No. 12-19 on domestic workers employment conditions, published in November 2013, to set the minimum age for admission to domestic work at 18 years.  The same recommendation was included in the report of the CNDH addressed to the UN Committee on the Right of the Child in September 2014.