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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Action against abuse of Moroccan girls in earthquake areas


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Following the devastating earthquake in Morocco, concerns are growing about the safety of Moroccan girls in the area. This concern stems from the fear that girls can become victims of kidnapping, human trafficking and sexual abuse. The authorities have therefore launched a telephone number to report complaints.


After the earthquake in Morocco, alarming messages circulated on social media. On Facebook, men were encouraged to marry earthquake victims, allegedly as a ‘noble act’ to ‘save them from their tragedy’. There was even a video circulating (which has now been deleted) of a man taking pictures of underage girls and asking them if they were good at housework. Some men saw this as an opportunity to marry ‘vulnerable country girls’. Halima Begum of the women’s rights organization ActionAid said about various news outlets: ”The situation is dire. Families and children sleep outside, and women and girls are extra vulnerable.”

A few days ago, police arrested a 20-year-old student in the eastern city of Errachida. He is suspected of spreading information on social media that encouraged the sexual abuse of girls in the affected area. Moroccan media report that investigations are also underway into other men trying to exploit children.


To ensure children in dangerous areas remain safe, aid groups have called on authorities to protect the girls from human trafficking and exploitation. The National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons in Morocco has created a special telephone number: +212 0800004747. This telephone number is intended for reporting suspicious situations regarding human trafficking or threats to minors.


Authorities are asking people in the area to be alert and help protect at-risk children. They work together with organizations such as Unicef. Unicef ​​says that emergency workers in the area are trained to recognize children in need. Referral systems have been set up for assistance and for finding family. In addition, the living conditions of girls and women in the affected area are also examined. Attention is paid to the amount of food and drink, such as whether they can shower in privacy. For example, the most vulnerable families receive financial support to prevent children from being exploited through child labour.



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