The Minister of Justice, Abdellatif Ouahbi, affirmed that the situation of the child and his criminal protection require more reform efforts.
Speaking on Monday in Skhirat, during the “National meeting on the protection of children in contact with the law: inventory and perspectives”, the Minister highlighted the importance of the contribution of the various actors in the process of handling issues of this societal segment.
“By examining the Moroccan legislative arsenal, we can see that the situation of the child and his criminal protection require additional reform efforts, one of the main concerns of the Ministry of Justice through its major legislative projects, in particular the draft revision of the Criminal Law and the Code of Criminal Procedure, the draft law on alternative sentences, the draft Children’s Code, and many others,” he said.
And to emphasize that the Ministry of Justice has worked, in recent years, on a set of legislative reforms by putting in place adequate legal mechanisms guaranteeing the protection of the child against any violation, whether in an illegal situation, victim of a crime or in a difficult situation, in compliance with the fundamental principles of the protection of children recognized at the international level, in particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This work, said Ouahbi, goes hand in hand with the procedures and measures taken within this framework, with a view to observing criminal phenomena in general, those perpetrated against children in particular, evaluating their evolution, analyzing their causes and drawing conclusions from them. conclusions in favor of criminal policy on this issue, adding that this will be the subject of the work of the National Crime Observatory.
After highlighting the various efforts made in this context by the Ministry of Justice, the Minister underlined that the legislative initiatives, as important as they are, remain “powerless” if they are not applied in an optimal way.
The efforts of law enforcement agencies alone are not enough to implement these initiatives, but it is a project that requires teamwork and close coordination, particularly between criminal policy and the rest of the state’s public policies, he continued.
The Minister presented, in this sense, figures related to the judicial journey of minors, indicating that 24,592 cases were registered in 2022, 29,412 minors were prosecuted the same year, 1,076 children in difficult circumstances and 355 people in pre-trial detention in end of May 2023. These figures require a reassessment of the situation of children in contact with the law and the development of a national action plan in which all partners and actors will contribute to achieving the expected objectives, he said. supported.
Initiated by the Presidency of the Public Ministry, in partnership with the Ministry of Solidarity, Social Integration and the Family and UNICEF, and with the support of the EU, these meetings are part of the consolidation of the achievements and progress recorded by the Kingdom in terms of the protection of children in contact with the law.
This event, organized under the theme “for the effective and integrated care of children in contact with the law”, is intended to be an appropriate opportunity to highlight the strengths and achievements accumulated but also to focus on the challenges and constraints on the child protection system.
It also offers the opportunity to discuss several topics related to this issue, through a series of thematic workshops with the aim of coming out with recommendations and conclusions that will mark a further step towards the protection and realization of human rights. children in Morocco.