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A recent US Department of Labor report noted Morocco’s significant advances in combating child labor despite the practice’s persistence in the country.

Minister of Labor and Vocational Integration Mohamed Amekraz reitereated on Wednesday Morocco’s commitment to the International Labor Organization (ILO)-sponsored International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor. 

During a video conference, Amekraz laid out Morocco’s 10-year plan to combat child labor within the country and cited the royal announcement on the issue during the Africities Summit of 2018 in Marrakech, state media reported.

The summit takes place every three years and serves as the pinnacle of cooperation between African nations for globalization and urbanization. The next Africities Summit will take place in Kisumu, Kenya in November of 2021.

The minister referenced the ILO’s international labor laws such as Convention 138 regarding the minimum age requirements of workers, Convention 182 about the worst forms of child labor, and Convention 189 on domestic workers.

Additionally, Amkeraz highlighted the importance of Labor Code Article 143, “minors may not be employed or admitted to companies or employers before the age of fifteen years,” and Article 147, “it is forbidden for any person to have minors under 18 years of age perform perilous feats of strength, acrobatics, contortion or entrust them with work involving risks to their life, health or morality.”

Morocco remains committed to ending child labor and the minister stressed this commitment citing Target 8.7 of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which Morocco adopted in 2015. The Goal 8 target encompasses all forms of labor violations such as human trafficking, forced labor, modern slavery, and child labor. 

In Amekraz’s concluding statement, he confirmed Morocco plans to eradicate these forms of labor malpractice from the country by 2025. Currently, Morocco boasts a variety of state-funded programs such as “After-School Program for a Second Chance” (E2C) and “Cities Without Street Children” that seek to keep children in school and away from unlawful labor practices.

The US Department of Labor released a report in 2019 stating that “[Morocco] significantly increased the number of prosecutions related to the worst forms of child labor, from 5 cases in 2018 to 170 cases in 2019.” Moroccan institutions name the growing, foreign migrant population as a large factor in the prominence of child labor as they are “vulnerable to exploitation for child labor.”

Source: Morocco World News