Morocco Vows to Respond to Increase in Crimes Against Children

Morocco Vows to Respond to Increase in Crimes Against Children. Photo: Minister of Human Rights Mustapha Ramid

Rabat – The Minister of Human Rights Mustapha Ramid issued a statement to announce his department’s plans to hold a series of consultations “with several stakeholders” to discuss the increase of crimes against children in Morocco.

Ramid said on Facebook that the ministry decided to organize consultation meetings with ministries, institutions, and specialized bodies to study the national record in terms of the rights of children and “mechanisms and means or protection and prevention of violations, gaps and possible breaches in law and practice in this regard.”

The minister’s statement comes after the death of Naima, a 5-year-old girl found dead in an area far from where she lives in Zagora, southeastern Morocco.

A shepherd found the remains of Naima decomposed. The shepherd informed authorities immediately.

The father of Naima identified his daughter from her clothes. 

The public prosecutor in Ouarzazate announced the opening of an investigation to determine the cause of Naima’s death.

The father told the media that he wants justice for his daughter, who went missing on August 17.

“I want whoever is responsible for her death to receive punishment if the cause of death is unnatural.”

Many citizens linked Naima’s disappearance and death to kidnapping, rape, and murder of Adnane Bouchouf, an 11-year-old boy in Tangier.

The boy was kidnapped by a 24-year-old man, who raped Adnane and killed him in cold blood.

The perpetrator buried Adnane near his house and changed his appearance to avoid arrest after citizens launched a campaign on social networks in efforts to find the missing child.

Police also arrested three other suspects for not turning in the perpetrator.

The increase in publicized cases of pedophilia and child abuse in Morocco led several activists to defend the application of the death penalty as punishment for crimes against children.

The issue has divided public opinion, with some activists calling on the government to strengthen the legal framework to protect children.