Comments and replies of the Government of Morocco to the concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child : Morocco. 01/12/2004.
Convention Abbreviation: CRC
COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 44 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations: Morocco
Comments and replies of the Government of Morocco to
the concluding observations of the Committee on the
Rights of the Child (CRC/C/15/Add.211)
[26 July 2004]
Comments of the Ministry for Moroccans Abroad reporting
to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
concerning paragraph 58 of document CRC/C/15/Add.211
(on the subject of child migrants)
1. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, referring to child migrants in paragraph 58 (pp. 13 and 14) of document CRC/C/15/Add.211 of 10 July 2003, provided its comments and recommendations on the steps that the Moroccan authorities ought to take to prevent the migration of unaccompanied children and to liaise with the Spanish Government to guarantee that child migrants are returned to their families or are placed in special institutions with a view to their protection and reintegration.
2. In that regard, the Moroccan Ministry for Internal Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding with its Spanish counterpart on 23 December 2003, establishing a framework for joint cooperation aimed at repatriating unaccompanied minors in accordance with conditions and procedures to be established by a special joint committee at a meeting scheduled for 17 March 2004.
3. Under this agreement, each side committed itself to cooperating with the other in order to combat the phenomenon of clandestine migration of minors and to facilitate the repatriation of unaccompanied minors present in the territory of the other side, according to the best interests of the children concerned. The parties also agreed to create the necessary conditions for the reintegration of children into their families or society.
4. To that end, the following terms were agreed:
(a) Children are to be handed over to the authorities of their country of origin whenever they are caught in the act of migrating illegally. They must be returned to their families or placed in special centres for minors;
(b) Unaccompanied minors whose parents claim them are to be repatriated, as are abandoned children, after their circumstances have been reviewed. Particular care will be taken with children who have disabilities, children who are ill and children who are dependent on drugs;
(c) Reception centres shall be created along the lines of the Spanish model to accommodate minors who are repatriated and provide them with appropriate care pending their social and vocational reintegration;
(d) A special joint committee shall review repatriation and reintegration schemes and shall make recommendations about these schemes to the Moroccan-Spanish Standing Committee.
5. As a token of the Moroccan side's commitment to resolving the problem of child migration in the context of cooperation and the sharing of responsibility between the two countries, and pending the implementation of this agreement with the Spanish Government, the Ministry for Moroccans Abroad delegated to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation has sent a note on this subject to Morocco's diplomatic missions and consular offices in Spain, providing them with instructions on how to deal with assessments of the social and health status of Moroccan children whose repatriation has been requested by the Spanish side and on how to evaluate each child's chances of reintegrating successfully, taking account of his or her best interests.