Rabat – Morocco has tackled 142 cases of street beggars engaged in child exploitation in the Rabat-Sale-Kenitra region.
The Attorney General of the King at the Court of Cassation and President of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Mohamed Abdennabaoui, made the announcement on Monday during the annual review of the pilot program of Morocco’s child protection plan against panhandling exploitation.
Launched in December 2019, the plan was set to cover the cities of Rabat, Sale, and Temara before expanding to other regions across Morocco.
Abdennabaoui said that the handling of the 142 cases varied, depending on the situation at hand.
Some children returned to their families, while others joined a social care institution.
The public prosecutor emphasized that the people in charge were able to verify the identities of some children and record them in the registers of civil status. The process sought to enable these children to receive education.
He also assured the public that authorities took action against the exploiters and handed down many verdicts.
The national child protection plan against panhandling exploitation launched in December 2019.
The program to safeguard children against panhandling exploitation is a joint effort between workers in different fields, including health care, education, judicial protection, and social and psychological intervention.
Activists have long urged Morocco’s government to develop such plans given the significant number of child exploitation and abuse cases in the country.
Earlier this week, Minister of Justice Mohamed Ben Abdelkader said that 6,172 cases of child abuse happened in 2019.
The children experienced a variety of abuses, including rape, he said.