Alliance against the sexual exploitation of children in Morocco, particularly in the context of travel and tourism – PAX Project.
- Pays : Morocco
- City, regions: Rabat, the administrative capital of the country – Casablanca, the economic capital and first city of the country – Tangier (north), Marrakech (centre), Agadir and Essaouira (south), the country’s main tourist cities.
These cities were selected because of their proven exposure to the phenomenon of sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT), and the existence of competent local partners to implement project activities in these areas.
The project is scheduled to run for 30 months. It will start on July 01, 2017 and end on December 31, 2019.
The quantitative extent of child sexual exploitation in travel and tourism is difficult to assess due to the lack of internationally shared indicators. In the case of Morocco, the illegality of the phenomenon, the taboo nature of prostitution and a fortiori of child prostitution, but also the issues of power, money and corruption linked to this exploitation and the financial manna it generates, clearly complicates the collection of information on this subject.
In addition, Morocco’s high tourist attractiveness, as well as the confused, incomplete or erroneous knowledge and perception of child protection actors, make it a country extremely exposed to the phenomenon of commercial sexual exploitation of children, and in particular to the phenomenon of sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. Tourism represents an important sector of the Moroccan economy. Although most of the actors in this sector feel concerned by the development of ethical and responsible tourism, their concrete involvement in the fight against CSEC remains timid.
In addition, child protection actors have few means and/or skills to effectively combat this phenomenon. Civil society structures must be oriented towards international donors in order to provide specific care for child victims and/or vulnerable children.
Social perceptions of the sexual exploitation of children are still too often stereotyped. Youth are seen more as offenders offering debauchery services and shameful to their communities, rather than as victims of exploitation in their own right. In some cases, the parents and family of the child victim may even benefit from this exploitation, without measuring the physical and psychological consequences for the child. Families and communities remain the guarantors of the protection of their children, so it is important to strengthen their skills and capacities so that they are able to play their role effectively.
Finally, case reports do not always lead to the child being put out of harm’s way and the abuser being prosecuted. The inability of local authorities to respond to the phenomenon often leads to a discouragement of the affected population to report these reports to the competent authorities. Lack of knowledge of procedures internally or with the competent services further hinders reporting decisions. On the other hand, the reporting is sometimes erroneous, insufficient or too late for the reported case to be properly studied both at the local level and at the level of the police services. The understanding of police authorities must be strengthened, since it is they who intervene to put the child out of harm’s way and prosecute abusers.
To combat the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism.
The direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project will be:
- Children and young people exposed to the risks and/or victims of CSEC (3,650 children and young people): minors in street situations, minors in vulnerable neighbourhoods in the country’s main cities, minors placed in childcare centres, young people in school.
- Parents, families and communities (10,800 households) reached directly and via the Internet.
- Private sector actors and users of their services (800 professionals): 300 tourism professionals, 500 tourism students, 2500 tourism and/or tourism professionals participate in ESEC awareness events.
- Child protection and education actors (30 professionals) from associations or public structures are specifically strengthened within the framework of the project and 100 professionals benefit from a module on CSEC, via the project partners (indirect).
- The actors of the Moroccan administration (officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Communication, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Population, Ministry of l´Education, Ministry of Interior).
- Other: journalists, lawyers, health workers, etc.
ECPAT Luxembourg’s approach is based on networking these different beneficiaries (public, private and community actors). Their involvement is necessary at all levels of the project: definition of activities, participation in their implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
- AMANE, an association under Moroccan law, will be in charge of the technical support of the project on Moroccan territory, and specifically in charge of actions in the tourism sector. Based on the experience of the first project where tools were developed, their mobilization and animation techniques are fun and participative and have already proven their worth. AMANE will ensure a follow-up of the training already carried out and will continue its training courses integrating the fight against CSEC within the framework of other complementary projects. AMANE is affiliated to the ECPAT network, they are a quality and trusted relay for ECPAT Luxembourg on the Moroccan territory.
- AL KARAM is a Moroccan association, recognized as a public utility, whose purpose is the family, school and pre-professional reintegration of children and young people in precarious situations. Its history and experience in raising awareness among public authorities, families, children and young people for a better implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child make it a key partner in the territory of Marrakech.
- WIDAD for Women and Children is a Moroccan association that fights against all forms of gender-based violence against women and children. Having developed a network of partner schools and colleges in its environment, WIDAD will be in charge of prevention activities for children and youth in schools and colleges in disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Marrakech.
- BAYTI, the Moroccan association of Casablanca is a member of the ECPAT network. It works for the protection and psycho-social reintegration of children in difficult situations, and for the defence of their rights since 1995; and allows to have a reference actor in the first city of Morocco. On the other hand, its founder, Ms. Najat Malla M’Jid, former UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, was a member of the working group that led ECPAT’s international global study on ESET. Finally, Bayti collaborates with the Youth Without Borders Network and has developed innovative and creative youth participation techniques that they will share within the project.
- Keep Smiling, a Franco-Moroccan association, is a key partner for the city of Marrakech. Its work on the streets and mainly in tourist areas makes it an essential partner in approaching and involving the project’s direct targets, namely the most vulnerable children and young people exposed to sexual exploitation.
- ANIR, a Moroccan association working in the city of Agadir and Inezgane (adjoining Agadir), allows the project to work in the southern territories and in the country’s second most touristy city. The association intervenes in the protection of vulnerable young people, in particular by taking charge of the education and rehabilitation of girls in the Agadir Safeguard Centre and works to reduce the precariousness of street children through its Mobile Unit. Identified in the previous project, ANIR is a recognized actor in Agadir.
- Finally, 100% mamans, a Moroccan Tangierian association that works to defend the rights, dignity and citizenship of single mothers and their children, has also developed awareness-raising activities on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS issues and wishes to include an information and prevention module for young people facing sexual exploitation. It will enable the project to work with young people in Tangier.
Each of these partners has experience, good practices, knowledge of the local context and the targeted targets that they will share with all project stakeholders. The selected cities are the main tourist cities in the country; this project will thus complement the interventions with tourism stakeholders (led by AMANE) in each of these cities.
Other key actors will be involved in the project such as the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Solidarity, Women, the Family and Social Development, etc.; UNICEF, with whom AMANE actively collaborates and leads complementary joint projects, private and public actors in the tourism sector. In addition, the French group ACCOR, and the Luxembourg group LUXAIR are specially involved in the project and say they are ready to share their commitment to the fight against ESET.
 AMANE est une association marocaine, affiliée au réseau ECPAT International.
 ECPAT Luxembourg (et le Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et Européennes) est partie-prenante du projet REPERES, mais seulement sur 4 pays de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (Burkina Faso, Mali et Niger et Côte d’Ivoire)
 1 des 5 centres de placement étatique au Maroc pour les jeunes filles en danger et/ou en conflit avec la loi.
 Cf. Annexe 10 : CR de l’Atelier du 15 décembre 2016 à Marrakech