Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Western Sahara

2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Western Sahara

Moderate Advancement

In 2014, Morocco, which currently controls most of the territory of Western Sahara, made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in Western Sahara. The Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs established a mechanism to coordinate efforts to address child labor. However, the Government of Morocco does not conduct research on the extent or nature of child labor in Western Sahara or provide specific information on actions carried out in the territory to combat child labor. Evidence suggests that children engage in child labor.

 

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Although research is limited, there is evidence that children are engaged in child labor in Western Sahara including in the agricultural sector.(1) In general, research has not been conducted on the extent of child labor in Western Sahara, nor has there been research about education levels. Data on key indicators on children's work and education are not available from the sources used in this report.

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The territory of Western Sahara is currently subject to Moroccan laws.(2-5) The Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro (Polisario Front), a Sahrawi national liberation movement, controls 15 percent of the territory, and information on the laws applicable in this area is unavailable.(1, 4, 6) Morocco has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor, and those conventions extend to the areas in Western Sahara administered by the Government of Morocco (Table 1).

Table 1. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor

Convention

Ratification

ILO C. 138, Minimum Age

ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor

UN CRC

UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict

UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons

The Government of Morocco has established laws and regulations related to child labor that extend to Western Sahara (Table 2).

Table 2. Laws and Regulations Related to Child Labor

Standard

Yes/No

Age

Related Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

15

Article 143 of The New Labor Code of 2004 (7)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Article 147 of The New Labor Code of 2004 (7)

Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Children

Yes

 

Hazardous Child Labor List; Decree no. 2-10-183 (8)

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Article 10 of The New Labor Code of 2004 (7)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

No

 

 

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Article 503 of the Penal Code (9)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

Yes

 

Hazardous Child Labor List; Decree no. 2-10-183 (8)

Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment

N/A*

 

 

Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service

Yes

18

Royal Decree of 9 June 1996 (10)

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

15

Law No. 04-00 (11)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Law No. 04-00 (11)

* No conscription (10)

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The Government of Morocco has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 3).

Table 3. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs (MOESA) Child Labor Task Force

Enforce child labor laws and oversee programs on child labor. Employ labor inspectors in 51 sectors across Morocco; one inspector in each sector dedicated to child labor.(12-15)

The Ministry of the Interior (MOI)

Enforce prohibitions on prostitution and other exploitive crimes involving minors as established in the Penal Code. (15)

Ministry of Justice (MOJ)

Prosecute criminal offenses against children, such as commercial sexual exploitation and child trafficking.(15)

MOJ's Child Labor Units

Process cases involving women and children within the court system.(2)

Information available on law enforcement activities carried out during the reporting period does not specify the region in which actions took place. Therefore it cannot be determined which actions took place in Western Sahara.

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The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4).

Table 4. Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body

Role & Description

MOESA, Office for the Fight against Child Labor*

Coordinate policies and efforts to combat child labor.(13, 16) Provide guidance and limited funding to NGOs working against child labor.(2) Provided $166,000 to NGOs in 2014.(13)

Ministry of Solidarity, Women, Family, and Social Development (MSWFSD)

Coordinate the implementation of the National Plan of Action for Children (PANE) (2006 — 2015). Coordinate the Integrated Public Policy on the Protection of Children.(17) Establish continuity of child protection efforts, increase access to education, and eliminate child labor.(12, 15)

The National Observatory for Children's Rights

Register complaints related to child welfare and refer them to labor inspectorate units and law enforcement officials. Operate a toll-free hotline available to child victims of violence, including commercial sexual exploitation.(2) Operate 84 Child Reception Centers that provide services to child victims of violence, sexual abuse or neglect.(2) Operate 75 Child Reception Centers that provide services to child victims of violence, sexual abuse, or neglect.(15)

Inter-Ministerial Delegation for Human Rights

Establish policies that promote child protection policies.(13)

Ministry for Moroccans Resident Abroad and Migration Affairs

Coordinate efforts to reduce migrant vulnerability to child labor. Promote access to public education facilities for migrant children, decreasing their vulnerability to child labor and human trafficking.(13)

*Mechanism to coordinate efforts to address child labor was created during the reporting period.

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The Government of Morocco has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5).

Table 5. Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

MSWFSD's National Plan of Action for Children (PANE) (2006–2015)*

Establishes policies that promote children's health, protection, civic participation, and education. Supported by UNICEF.(12, 13)

MSWFSD's Integrated Public Policy on the Protection of Children

Promotes an interdisciplinary approach to analyze the scope of services that prohibit, prevent, and respond to abuse, exploitation, and violence against children. Designates MOESA as the coordinating body for the fight against child labor. (13)

National Strategy on Migration*

Establishes policies that promote human rights-based approach to migration. Facilitates integration of legal immigrants. Provides services including expanding access to public education facilities for migrant children, decreasing their vulnerability to child labor and human trafficking.(2, 13)

UNDAF (2012–2016)*

Promotes education, health, and socioeconomic development in an effort to alleviate poverty. Focuses on equal access to education for vulnerable children.(17, 18)

*Child labor elimination and prevention strategies to not appear to have been integrated into this policy.

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In 2014, the Government of Morocco funded and participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms, that extended to Western Sahara (Table6).

Table 6. Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

Social Protection Program*

National Union of Sahrawi Women program that organizes home schools, clinics, and community centers.(5)

Anti-Trafficking in Persons Advocacy†

USDOS-funded, Government of Morocco and United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime initiative that provided support for anti-human trafficking efforts. Led workshops to support anti-trafficking in persons legislation, including the prohibition on trafficking children. (13) Provided training to the MOI and MOJ on legal frameworks, identification and assistance to victims and investigative techniques. (13)

National Initiative for Human Development Support Project Phase II (INDH2)*

$2 billion World Bank-funded, government program that increases access to basic services, such as schools; provides enhanced income-earning opportunities, such as micro-credit for women; and supports improved civic participation, to assure sustainability.(13, 19, 20) Western Sahara receives more funding per capita under the INHD program than does Morocco proper.(21, 22)

Tayssir Conditional Cash Transfer Program*‡

2014 — 2015 budget of $235 million, MONEVT program that provides direct cash transfers, between $7 and $16 a month, to qualifying families if the children meet school attendance criteria. Provides transportation and student housing through a program with Entraide Nationale. (13) Aims to increase school enrollment and reduce dropout rates, particularly in rural areas.(15, 23-25)

Social Welfare Program*

UNDAF program that addresses education, including equal access to education, especially for vulnerable children. Also addresses health and socioeconomic development of children.(2)

Rural Social Service Support*

Royal family funded-Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity program to provide funding to NGOs that improve living conditions for very low income populations.(13)

* The impact of this program on child labor does not appear to have been studied.
‡ Program is funded by the Government of Morocco.

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Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Western Sahara (Table 7).

Table 7. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Ensure that laws prohibit child trafficking.

2014

Enforcement

Disaggregate enforcement data for Western Sahara and publish information on the number of investigations and prosecutions and the amount of penalties imposed for violations of child labor and child exploitation laws.

2013–2014

Government Policies

Integrate child labor elimination and prevention strategies into policies.

2014

Social Programs

Assess the impact that existing programs may have on child labor.

2014

Conduct a comprehensive study of children's activities to determine whether they are engaged in or at risk for involvement in child labor.

2013–2014

 

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1.U.S. Department of State. "Western Sahara," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2013. Washington, DC; .

2.U.S. Embassy- Morocco. reporting, January 16, 2014.

3.Human Rights Watch. "Morocco/Western Sahara," in World Report 2014. New York; 2014; .

4.Álvaro Longoria. "Sons of the Clouds, The Last Colony," 2012; Documentary;

5.Sharif Abdel Kouddous. "Letter From Western Sahara, a Land Under Occupation." The Nation, (2013); .

6.Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook: Western Sahara, CIA, May 2, 2013 [cited 2014]; .

7.Government of Morocco. Le nouveau code de travail, enacted 2004. http://www.maroc.ma/NR/rdonlyres/9A951844-BCA6-4468-9EFD-7460E229E00F/0/codedetravail.pdf.

8.Morocco. List of Hazardous Occupations Prohibited for Children, Decree no. 2-10-183 enacted November 16, 2010.

9.Government of Morocco. Code Penal, enacted 1962.

10.Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. "Morocco and Western Sahara," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2008. London; 2008; http://www.childsoldiersglobalreport.org/files/country_pdfs/FINAL_2008_Global_Report.pdf.

11.UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total. [accessed February 4, 2013]; . Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary school. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. For more information, please see the "Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions" section of this report.

12.Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco. Submission to 2013 TDA; 2014.

13.U.S. Consulate- Casablanca. reporting, January 15, 2015; 2015.

14.U.S. Consulate- Casablanca. reporting, January 19, 2012.

15.U.S. Consulate- Casablanca. reporting, January 30, 2013.

16.U.S. Consulate- Casablanca. reporting, December 4th, 2014. Rabat; 2014.

17.U.S. Consulate Morocco official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. February 18, 2015.

18.UNDAF. Plan Cadre des Nations Unis pour Aide au Developpement UNDAF 2012-2016. Action Plan. Rabat; 2011. .

19.World Bank. MA-National Initiative for Human Development 2. Washington, DC; 2012.

20.Save the Children Sweden. Country Profile of Morocco: A Review of the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Beirut; August 2011..

21.Moroccan American Center for Policy, Government of Morocco. Morocco's Commitment to the Economic and Social Development of the Sahara. Rabat; 2012. [source on file].

22.U.S. Consulate- Casablanca. E-mail communication to USDOL official. March 20, 2013.

23.Siham, A. "Education Assistance Pays off in Morocco." [online] October 31, 2012 [cited July 15, 2013]; .

24.Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco Washington DC official. Fax communication to USDOL official. February 3, 2012.

25.ILO Committee of Experts. Observation concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Morocco (ratification: 2001) Published: 2013; accessed December 1, 2013; .

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