The Jood association, which works with the homeless, will launch a national petition to call for maximum penalties for the commercial exploitation of children. Giving a coin to a child, “it’s a crime” which destroys their future for good, says Hind Laidi, president of JOOD, in a statement to Hespress FR.
Launched on March 10, the JOOD association’s children’s begging awareness campaign was placed under the slogan “For his own good, don’t give him anything” and was accompanied by the hashtag #Sa_place_est_en_classe.
While the campaign has shocked some citizens, the association assumes because it is a subject of great importance, a scourge that rages in the Moroccan streets. The exploitation of children for professional begging purposes today is not a cause of poverty, it has turned into a lucrative business for organized gangs that use children.
These children are often disabled, deliberately manhandled to stir up pity, are drugged with drugs that help to fall asleep, or even trained to stick pedestrians in order to extract money from them.
To explain his initiative and why we should no longer give money to children in the street, JOOD has published a 12-minute short film entitled “Chouk Lem7anna” to reveal the backdrop of the human trafficking networks where these children are trapped.
Giving a coin to a child is not doing him a favor, “it is a crime against this child and we are contributing to it,” said Hind Laidi, president of the Jood association, joined by Hespress FR. “We do not have the right to contribute to a crime that defectively destroys the future of these children,” she argued.
A national petition to make a difference
The campaign “For his own good, give him nothing” lasts until April 30 and should see the launch shortly of a new stage to materialize the association’s commitment to the defense of children’s rights, with the posting of a national petition.
“We will soon be launching a petition to the population for the penalties in the law to be heavier and more restrictive towards adults who exploit children within the framework of professional begging”, explains Hind Laidi.
The dormouse stipulates that when someone who exploits a child who is not his own for begging, he must serve a sentence ranging from 3 months to 1 year. We consider it to be extremely light compared to (the magnitude) of the facts, ”she said. It is still a trade in human beings! », She added.
The petition, which is part of the ambitious campaign of the JOOD association, will be posted on the internet on “Campagne.jood.ma” and through the association’s social networks. The petition will also circulate on Whats’App tells us the president of JOOD.
Moroccans are called upon to sign this document to help fight the scourge of begging among children often locked in criminal networks. “We end the campaign on April 10, so by that date we are supposed to collect the maximum number of signatures (…) so that there are much more restrictive sentences”.
Jood responds to criticism
Responding to the criticisms of certain Internet users who denounced the lack of solutions proposed in the approach of the association by raising the fact that these children are victims of violence when they do not bring back money at the end of the day, Hind Laidi remains uncompromising.
“There is nothing to be done,” she said, referring to the need not to contribute to and feed these child trafficking networks. “Children do not have to assume the responsibilities incumbent on parents,” she asserted.
And to add: “There is a law which will be released soon which will condemn parents who do not send their children to school, to prison terms”, taking up the hashtag of the campaign which calls for children to be educated to offer them a possibility. to better integrate into society.
Confident, Hind Laidi praised the work of the authorities and said that “the Ministry of Justice will do the right thing, the Ministry of the Interior is working to find these people and penalize them, the Ministry of Solidarity led a major campaign in 2020, and despite the health crisis he was able to save 142 kids from these networks ”.
She stressed, however, that most of the work has to start with the citizen in the first place since it is he who feeds these child trafficking networks. “Our share of responsibility is even more important as citizens (compared to ministries, editor’s note). As long as we give these children money, there will be a market, and as long as there is a market, these people will always find ways “to recruit even more children.