By Youssef El Kaidi
By Youssef El Kaidi
Morocco World News
Fez, March 25, 2013
A young housemaid died on Sunday morning in Agadir, after being severely affected by burns on her body. Despite attempts by the medical staff of the regional hospital Hassan II of Agadir to rescue her life, a seventeen years old housemaid passed away, after being allegedly tortured by her employers. The maid’s body showed that it was the subject of wanton infliction of physical and psychological violence by branding and burning torture.
The maid was taken to the hospital by her employers on Saturday after deterioration of her health conditions but she survived only a day to surrender finally to death. Law enforcement officials opened an investigation to shed light on whether the employers are behind the torture inflicted on the maid.
The maid left her town of Tata to work as a domestic servant to support her poverty-stricken family, which is the case of many other minor girls coming from impoverished rural villages who work with no legal protection and are subject to mistreatment and abuse. The death of this maid brings to light the stories of many other similar cases reported hither and thither in Morocco, such as the case of Khadija from the high Atlas who lost her life after a brutal torture by her employers.
In a previous report entitled “Lonely Servitude: Child Domestic Labor in Morocco,” Human Rights Watch organization praised Morocco’s efforts to reduce the phenomenon through a set of legal measures, but it also noted that laws prohibiting the employment of minor children are still not effectively enforced. “Girls are being exploited, abused, and forced to work long hours for extremely low wages,” Jo Becker HRW’s children’s rights advocacy director said in the report.
“Morocco has taken important steps to reduce child labor, but it needs to take targeted actions to protect these child domestic workers and enforce the law,” he added.
On November 19th, 2011, the Moroccan TV channel 2M broadcasted a special documentary on the phenomenon of minor housemaids in Morocco. The graphic and tragic content of the documentary attests to the brazen exploitation, abuse and violence against the girls interviewed. Many were talked about in the third person because they didn’t survive to tell their stories!
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