The phenomenon of child labor affected 109,000 households in 2021, or around 1.3% of Moroccan households, according to the High Commission for Planning (HCP).
These households are concentrated in rural areas (82,000 against 27,000 in cities) and nearly 9.5% of them are headed by women, specifies the HCP in an information note published on the occasion of the Day Against Child Labor (June 12).
And to add that it is the large households which remain the most affected by the phenomenon of working children. The proportion of households with at least one working child is 0.5% for households of three people, and it increases gradually with size to reach 3.5% among households of 6 or more people.
Moreover, the level of education of the head of household is a factor at the origin of this phenomenon. The proportion of households in which at least one child is working is 2% among households whose head has no level of education, whereas it is insignificant among those whose level of education is higher.
The HCP also indicates that the further up the social ladder one goes, the more the number of working children decreases. Thus 50.4% of working children come from households headed by farmers, 16.6% by labourers, 21.3% by middle managers, employees, shopkeepers, operators of installations or craftsmen, and 11.4% come from households headed by inactive people.
The phenomenon remains almost non-existent in households headed by senior executives.
In addition, the number of children aged 7 to 17 and engaged in economic activity stood at 148,000 in 2021, according to the High Commission for Planning (HCP).
“In 2021, among the 7,493,000 children aged 7 to 17, Morocco has 148,000 children who carry out an economic activity, which represents 2% of this category of the population”specifies the HCP.
This share is 3.8% in rural areas (119,000 children) and 0.7% in urban areas (29,000 children), said the same source, adding that compared to 2019, the number of working children has decreased. by 26%.
These children are 80.4% rural, 79.5% male and 87.5% aged 15 to 17, says the HCP. In addition, 12.1% of them are in school, 85.7% have left school and 2.2% have never attended.
Nearly 65% of working children benefit from medical coverage, while this proportion rises to 75% for all children aged 7 to 17.
At the same time, the note highlights that the phenomenon of working children remains concentrated in certain economic sectors and differs according to place of residence. Thus, in rural areas, 82.2% work in “agriculture, forestry and fishing”.
In urban areas, “services”, with 58.4%, and “industry”, with 24.7%, are the main sectors employing children, notes the same source, noting that nearly three quarters of children in rural work are family aids; in urban areas, 45.2% of working children are employees, 27.5% apprentices and 20.5% family helpers.
The HCP also reports that nearly 6 out of 10 working children (59.4%) perform hazardous work (88,000 children), which represents 1.2% of children in this age group, explaining that hazardous work is any work which, by its nature or the conditions in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of the child, any work carried out for an excessive period of time in relation to the age of the child; as well as any work whose schedule is partially or entirely at night.
Among the children engaged in hazardous forms of work, 73.7% are rural, 88.6% male and 81.9% aged between 15 and 17 years.
By sector, children working in industry remain the most exposed to danger, with a share of 90.2%. This proportion is 73.3% in services, 71.2% in construction and public works (BTP), and 51.1% in agriculture, forestry and fishing.
The World Day Against Child Labor is celebrated in 2022, under the theme “Universal social protection to end child labour”.