Casablanca — The General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM), in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO), organized on Tuesday in Casablanca the virtual launching ceremony of the "Moroccan Private Sector Initiative for the Fight against Child Labour" dubbed "ILTESAM".
Speaking on this occasion, CGEM President, Chakib Alj, said that "ILTESAM is the Arabic equivalent of the word commitment. And the event we are holding today confirms the mobilization and determination of the CGEM and its partners to combat this scourge that causes several economic and social problems."
"Although child labor has decreased significantly in recent years, it continues to be a major issue of development perpetuating the vicious circle of illiteracy, poverty and insecurity," Alj said.
The Moroccan private sector "is strongly committed to the initiatives to fight against child labor launched by our country. These awareness-raising actions in particular, are continuing today with the adoption of new approaches," he added.
"The support of all - Government, private sector, international institutions and NGOs - is essential to combat this phenomenon that compromises the future of children and therefore that of our societies and their prosperity," Alj stated.
For her part, Director of ILO Office for Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Mauritania, Rania Bikhazi stressed that over the past two decades, Morocco has made considerable efforts to fight against child labor, noting that this has achieved remarkable results for children under 15 years.
"According to the 2019 National Employment Survey in Morocco, 34,000 children under 15 are still working, compared to 517,000 in 1999. However, the number of children who drop out of compulsory education annually is still high and the situation is still worrying, mainly for children over 15 years old," she observed.
As for Hicham Zouanat, President of the Social Commission of the CGEM, he described as remarkable the efforts made in the fight against child labor in Morocco, as the number of working children posted a 92% decrease, going down from 517,000 in 1999 to 42,000 in 2018.
Held as part of the celebration of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor, this meeting was attended by the Deputy Director of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), Matthias Thorns, and it brought together experts on the issue of child labor from over 25 countries.