Morocco - Age of Consent

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MOROCCO LAWS: 1. Homosexual activity is illegal, which provides a penalty of between
6 months and 3 years imprisonment and additional fines from 120 to
1200 dirhams for "lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the
same sex".





Legislation against child sex tourism

Penalties relating to sex offences and crime against children in the country

  • for the sex exploiter (customer)

Age of child

Type of sexual offence/crime


Under 15 years
Art. 484 of the Penal Code
Indecent acts perpetrated or attempted without violence
2 - 5 years of imprisonment
Under 15 years Art. 485 of the Penal Code
Indecent acts perpetrated or attempted with violence
10 - 20 years of imprisonment
Females under 15 years Art. 486 of the Penal Code
Perpetration or rape
10 - 20 years of imprisonment
Females under 15 years Art. 485 and 486 of the Penal Code
Loss of virginity because of perpetration or rape
20 - 30 years of imprisonment
  • for the procurer or trafficker who procures, seduces or traffics another person for prostitution

Age of child

Type of sexual offence/crime


Under 18 years Art. 497 of the Penal Code
Whoever incites, encourages or facilitates the debauchery or corruption of minors
2 - 5 years of imprisonment
A fine of dirhams 120 - 5.000


Street Life in Morocco from:

A child dangles on a rope strung to the top of a six-metre high bulwark of cement that keeps Casablanca port free of its poor.
For Omar, a street-child aged ten, the rope is a lifeline. Over the ramparts, scores of tankers hold the promise of stowing
away to Europe.  Dozens of children climb the rope every night to flee the misery of street-life in Morocco. In a country where the king has 23 palaces, the child charity, Bayti, Arabic for home, estimates more than 10,000 children in Casablanca alone are now homeless. Until recently, all were male. Now girls stalk the street with  the gangs - a motley crew of abandoned children, runaway child maids, and the rejects of broken homes. Children as young as six live a life on the run from police hunting for children to dump in borstals run by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

The lucky find refuge in the fishing harbour, a safe haven from police round-ups. Sleeping on the roofs of makeshift huts, or
under the counters of the fish market, at night the foul smell of 'solution', or glue, competes with that of rotten sardine.
Children stumble like drunks at the quayside, sniffing sobs laced in glue. Morocco - better known for its tourist-luring beaches and medieval sites - is hardly alone in facing the problem. It is estimated that in Africa as a whole, two in five children
under 15 are working. And around the world the total is likely to be some 250 million. But in few Muslim countries has urbanisation reaped such a toll on traditional family values.

'Parents are raising their children for sale. They send them to work in the towns, and never see them except to collect their pay-packets'

Slave Trade
The neglect of Morocco's street-children is just the tip of  the iceberg of Morocco's child crisis. Across the kingdom, I
encountered dozens of children treated as commodities, just as the slave trade of old.   'Parents are raising their children for sale,' says Bashir Nzaggi, news editor with the respected Moroccan newspaper, Liberation.  'They send them to work in the towns, and never see them except to collect their pay-packets.'  According to a recent government survey, 2.5 million children
aged under 15 drop out of school, and more than half a million work. Many pursue the tradition of toil in the fields. But in exchange of $30 a month, tens of thousands of parents are now  contracting their children to urban families to work as domestic servants in conditions of near slavery. Dealers earn up to $200 per child. It's so institutionalized that kitchens are still
designed with low counters for child-maids to wash and cut vegetables.

'Millions of Moroccans live in regions where state services fail to reach'

Social Services
Social Services Social workers say most parents regret the loss  of their children, but argue they had little choice. Millions
of Moroccans live in regions where state services fail to reach. There are no accurate figures for the numbers of child maids,
but social acceptance ensures the practice is widespread. Non-Governmental Organization's say the state must regulate the trade, ensure children and parents receive 'security guarantees' from their employers, and perform regular inspections. 'In Morocco, a home is considered a castle,' says Najjat Majid, the founder of Bayti. 'We have no right to enter homes, even when we know maids are being abused.' Sixty per cent of the children in her refuge, she says, are victims of sexual abuse. Under Morocco's strict Islamic family law, the state treats pregnant child-maids as the accused. Abortion is illegal, and single
mothers giving birth in hospital are reported to the police.

Overseas Trade
As the numbers of child slaves grow, so does the clandestine  trade. A mere eight miles from Europe in Tangiers, brokers direct the cross-water traffic. Children are dispatched to climb onto the chassis of trucks loaded with hashish for southern Spain. Minors are preferable - if they're caught they're harder to prosecute than adults. Moroccan immigration officers say each
year they uncover children frozen to death in refrigerated lorries.  But the organisation is not just at ports. Across Morocco, cottage industries seek to cut costs by replacing adults with child workers. Shoe-shining seven year-olds hire their shoe-shine
boxes from Fagin-types for seven dirhams [70 cents] a day. And prostitution is often a step-up from penury. The US State department  report says there are tens of thousands of child prostitutes in Morocco, serving the cities and military barracks.

Sex Trade
Increasingly, Morocco's reputation for child sex is luring an international clientele. Sex tourists from the West tout the
old slave markets of Marrakech to buy sex with children. But now an export market has also begun to emerge. Last year, police in a market town in the plains north of Marrakech, bust a network trafficking in 13-year old boys destined for brothels in Italy. Police arrested the dealer, who had - said reports - paid parents $3,000 per child.  'We are determined to pursue a course of progress and development for all Moroccans, in particular the poor,' King Mohammed  VI promised his people in his first speech on the throne. Crowds hailed the young monarch as 'king of the poor'. But after a year on the throne, the problem has only got worse. His prime minister, the leftist leader Abderrahmane Youssifi, was elected  on a ticket of social reform, but has failed to change the law where vagrancy is treated as a crime, not a social disease. And the credibility of both king and his prime minister are suffering, as they fail to protect the very communities they promised to save.

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