Morocco Renews Concerns About Continued Recruitment of Child Soldiers
Rabat - Morocco’s permanent representative at the UN, Omar Hilale, has renewed the country’s concerns about the continued recruitment of child soldiers by armed groups across the world.
Hilale made his remark in a speech before the Security Council in New York on Monday, emphasizing that recruitment of children by insurgent groups is “one of the most serious” violations of human rights.
Arguing that depriving children of their parents' protection and all of their rights “represents a violation of international law,” Hilale said the perpetrators of these violations as well as those who help them “must be fully” held accountable
He added that in conflict situations, it is children who pay the “heaviest price,” particularly those who live in refugee camps and those who are internally displaced.
“The fundamental rights of all children, in particular those without parental protection, must be respected, protected, affirmed and considered as a priority,” said the Moroccan diplomat.
Hilale also called on members of the Security Council to prioritize education, food, health, and safety for the world’s most vulnerable people, including children in situations of armed conflict.
Morocco has repeatedly called on the international community to increase actions to protect children from exploitation and abuse.
In defiance of both the UN resolutions on the Sahara conflict and all the international conventions on the rights of children, the Polisario Front continues to force desperate children into populating its armed units, Hilale lamented.
He added that children in the Polisario-controlled camps are exposed to all forms of exploitation and abuse by the Polisario leadership, “under the indifferent eyes of the host country, Algeria, and in total defiance to the international community.”
“They deserve to go to school and get the qualifications and skills needed to build a successful and brighter future,” Hilale said of the situation of Tindouf camp's children.
He also denounced Algeria’s involvement in the situation of children, saying that the Algerian regime does not allow NGOs and associations advocating human rights to visit Tindouf because it does not want them to witness the inhumane conditions in the camps.