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Morocco Pushes for End to Child Soldier Exploitation in AU's Peace and Security Council Meeting


In an address on Tuesday in Addis Ababa, Morocco urged the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) to take decisive action against the impunity of those responsible for recruiting and criminally exploiting child soldiers, alongside other severe violations. Chaired by the Permanent Representative Ambassador of the Kingdom to the AU and the ECA-UN, Mohamed Arrouchi, the second PSC meeting via video conference focused on combatting the use of child soldiers.

The Moroccan delegation emphasized the need for a comprehensive and inclusive approach, balancing global and local considerations, both in theory and practice. They advocated for a strategy that combines prevention and direct intervention to effectively tackle the grave issue.

Calling on the AU Commission to draft a reference document outlining best practices, the Moroccan delegation highlighted the disproportionate presence of recruited and exploited children in Africa compared to global figures.

Morocco reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to protecting and promoting the fundamental rights of all children. The delegation emphasized the importance of a holistic approach and robust international coordination to combat the persistent issue of child soldiers.

As a major contributor to peacekeeping efforts on the continent, Morocco's proactive measures aim to break the cycle of human exploitation associated with child soldiers. This includes raising awareness about the plight of child soldiers, the recruitment processes, and manipulations, and addressing the root causes sustaining this scourge.

The delegation also recalled the adoption, under the Moroccan presidency, of Statement 1110 in October 2022. The statement, condemning the recruitment and use of children by armed forces, groups, and terrorist organizations in Africa, emphasized the need to preserve the civilian and humanitarian character of education centers, refugee camps, and displaced persons. It called for an immediate halt to the targeting and use of schools and camps as recruitment centers.

Morocco's proactive stance reflects its commitment to tackling the global issue of child soldiers and highlights the importance of international cooperation to bring an end to this grave violation of human rights.


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