National Children’s Day: a renewed commitment to children’s rights

National Children’s Day: a renewed commitment to children’s rights
National Children’s Day: a renewed commitment to children’s rights

Rabat – Morocco celebrates National Children’s Day on Saturday, an opportunity to renew the commitment to promoting and strengthening the rights of the child within society, particularly in light of the orientations of the New Model of development and the generalization of social protection.

Launched by the late HM Hassan II in the message to participants in the 1st national congress on the rights of the child organized in May 1994, this celebration constitutes an opportunity to take stock of a year of continuous action with a view to promoting the efforts and the achievements and to compensate for the deficiencies and dysfunctions identified.

This annual meeting, which coincides with May 25 each year, is an opportunity to highlight the particular attention that His Majesty King Mohammed VI continues to pay to improving the conditions of childhood, as well as the personal involvement of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem, President of the National Observatory for the Rights of the Child (ONDE), to promote and strengthen the rights of children.

The Observatory, as the body responsible for monitoring and implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, recognizes the particular interest given by Morocco to guarantee the rights of the child and give them the status they deserve within society.

The celebration of this day takes place within the framework of an unprecedented dynamic initiated for several years for the promotion of childhood in the Kingdom, several major projects having been launched in terms of strengthening children’s rights and their preservation.

One of the flagship programs of this national project was the development of the Integrated Child Protection Policy (2015-2025), which was approved by the Ministerial Committee responsible for monitoring the implementation of national policies and plans in the field of child promotion and protection.

This public policy aims to lay the foundations for an environment that protects children against all forms of neglect, aggression, violence or exploitation, and to put in place an effective and comprehensive arsenal of protection for children in accordance with with the provisions of international conventions and treaties.

The Ministry of Solidarity, Social Integration and the Family has, in this sense, launched health programs for the protection of children against violence.

To strengthen the prevention of dangers linked to the Internet, the ministry has also launched a “Guide for families to protect children from the dangers of the Internet”, which provides answers to the most frequently asked questions, in order to improve the knowledge and skills of families to provide support to children on the Internet.

The ministry also launched the “Kafala” integrated national program for the promotion and care of children deprived of family support and the “Mouwakaba” program intended for children and young people expected to leave social protection establishments.

The “Kafala” program was launched in coordination with 13 ministerial departments, 5 public establishments reporting to ministerial departments or under their supervision, the judicial authorities, the presidency of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the National Observatory of Human Development, the National Observatory of rights of the child (ONDE), the Moroccan League for the Protection of Children and 51 associations working in the field of children and UNICEF.

On a legal level, Morocco has made significant legislative progress through the ratification of a set of international and bilateral agreements which establish and improve the conditions of childhood.

Given the circumstances of the earthquake that struck the Al Haouz region last September, this year was marked by several initiatives to support children affected by the earthquake aimed at alleviating their suffering and instilling hope in them.

In line with the High Royal Concern for children, His Majesty the King ordered the identification of orphans who lost their families and found themselves destitute following the earthquake and granted them the status of Wards of the Nation, which allows them to benefit from material and moral support from the State, mainly in the form of a monthly allowance of 1,250 dirhams.

These children will benefit from free hospital and surgical care in civil and military health establishments affiliated with the State and several reductions for rail transport, in addition to the granting of financial assistance at each start of the school year and at occasion of Eid Al-Adha for every family.

Child victims of the Al Haouz earthquake will also benefit from priority access to education and training establishments and scholarships, in addition to priority access to public service within state administrations , public establishments and local authorities.

The issue of children, in general, benefits from particular attention on the part of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), since it is present in all its annual reports, as well as in its various thematic reports.

National Children’s Day remains an opportunity to draw attention to an important segment of society and to intensify awareness campaigns on the need to protect children against all forms of violence, exploitation and of negligence.

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