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In a message to participants in the Fifth Islamic Conference of Ministers in Charge of Childhood, which opened Wednesday in Rabat at the initiative of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) with the coordination of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Sovereign highlighted the efforts made, since his accession to the throne of his glorious ancestors, for the establishment of relevant institutions and legislation to support child protection systems.

"We sought to give a strong impetus to the protection of children and the advancement of child issues," said HM the king in this message, read out by minister of State in charge of Human Rights, Mustapha Ramid, recalling that the “Constitution stipulates that the State is expected to provide children with legal protection and to safeguard the social and moral standing of all children, on equal footing, regardless of family status.”

“It also stipulates that basic education shall be provided to children as a right and shall be a binding obligation for the family and the State. The Constitution also provides for the establishment of an advisory council for the family and child, whose legislative text has been adopted and which I hope to inaugurate soon,” underlined the Sovereign.

Furthermore, HM the King recalled the launch of “the National Initiative for Human Development. One of the Initiative's core objectives is the improvement of the situation of children, especially among marginalized and under-privileged segments of the population, and to save them from illiteracy, poverty and exclusion.”

“At the same time, I am keen to evaluate and ensure follow up to the National Plan of Action for Children adopted by the interested parties during the Twelfth National Conference on the Rights of the Child,” the Sovereign went on to say.

Being aware that the protection of children and the preservation of their rights cannot be ensured outside the family sphere, HM the King reiterated the actions taken to strengthen family cohesion, notably through the adoption of an advanced Family Code that takes into account the best interests of the child and protects his or her rights in all circumstances.

“The implementation of that Code should be closely monitored and evaluated to address the shortcomings revealed by past experience,” HM the king said.

The Sovereign added that “to further promote the policy aimed at ensuring child security and protection, a number of related laws have been passed, including the review of the law on granting Moroccan nationality to a child born to a Moroccan mother and a non-Moroccan father, the law forbidding child labor and the legislation on the establishment and management of social welfare institutions.”

Also as part of the efforts to provide children with a better family and social environment, HM the King recalled His High Instructions that “the scope of beneficiaries from the Family Mutual Assistance Fund be expanded to underprivileged mothers who are exposed to neglect and poverty after the dissolution of the marriage bond, and to widows suffering from vulnerability and exclusion.”

Moreover, the Social Cohesion Fund has started providing services and a number of support groups have been set up to give assistance to women and children in courts and public hospitals and to offer psychological support for children, the Sovereign noted.

“These constructive measures and initiatives have culminated in the establishment of a comprehensive, integrated system that enhances prevention and protection for the benefit of children and the family. This system constitutes our national response to the various issues relating to child protection,” HM the king pointed out.