14 Oct 2012

Morocco facing abandoned babies crisis

Morocco is seeing an alarming rise in the number of babies abandoned by single mothers, activists said on Saturday, blaming social prejudice and outdated legislation for the problem. "According to the information we have gathered, from people who take care of abandoned children born outside marriage, the numbers are getting much worse," said Omar Kindi, organiser of a conference on violence and discrimination against single mothers and children.

abandoned baby

Aicha Echanne, another speaker at the Casablanca conference, said the "mentality of society" and the lack of support for single mothers, who are often aggressively treated by officials, were driving factors behind new-born children being abandoned. "We need to shake Moroccan society, and to put pressure on the state, on parliament, to bring about change," said Echanne, who heads the Association of Women's Solidarity. "From 1990 to 2009, 23,000 babies were buried in cemeteries in Casablanca (Morocco's largest city). That gives you an idea that our children are being thrown away. They get eaten by dogs or are buried.