The MoU is part of Morocco’s Himaya program aiming to find alternative ways to protect child returnees from conflict zones from liberty deprivation.
Rabat – The Mohammed VI Foundation for the Reintegration of Detainees signed on Tuesday in Rabat a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UNICEF Morocco to protect the rights of child returnees from armed conflict zones.
The signing ceremony took place at the headquarters of the Mohammed VI Foundation during a visit of the UNICEF Regional Director for the MENA region, Ted Chaiban.
The National Coordinator of the Mohammed VI Foundation for the reintegration of detainees, Abdelouhed Jamali Idrissi, chaired the meeting. Also in attendance was Giovanna Barberis, the representative of UNICEF in Morocco.
Aiming to promote legal provisions on the protection of children in conflict areas, the meeting served as an opportunity to present and review the outcomes of the implementation of the partnership agreement signed in January 2018, as part of the “Himaya” program, according to a press release from the Mohammed VI Foundation.
The Himaya program seeks to identify ways to protect children returning from conflict zones from imprisonment. Such children need protection as they have suffered mentally and physically as a result of either participating in or witnessing violence, according to the program.
With support from UNICEF and the European Union (EU), the Moroccan program is also aimed at enabling children in prison to benefit from a reformed justice system adapted to the needs of child inmates.
During the meeting, the two parties agreed on the need to consolidate and promote their collaboration with a particular focus on priority projects, such as the rehabilitation and reintegration of children of returnees and those accompanying returnees from conflict zones.
Also part of the program’s roadmap is putting the child’s interest above all. With Morocco being a signatory of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the project’s roadmap includes ensuring that incarceration and institutional placement is the last resort for troubled children.
Under the convention, Morocco is committed to coming up with alternatives to the deprivation of liberty of children in conflict with the law or going through a hard patch.