Morocco’s involvement in efforts to combat the recruitment of child soldiers is motivated by the adoption, in 2020, of the Vancouver Principles, which frames the protection of children in times of conflict and puts an end to their exploitation by armed groups and militias in the world, said Mr. Filali in an interview with MAP.
Today, Morocco is a provider of peace at the regional, continental and international level, through various mechanisms and instruments, whether in Africa or in other countries, he noted, noting that the Kingdom is currently ranked among the top 11 countries contributing blue helmets in the world and second in the Arab world after Egypt.
Mr. Filali, who is also a professor at the Universities of Ottawa and Saint-Paul in Canada, indicated that the choice was made for Dakhla to set up this Research Center, based on the fact that this city has a national influence. , continental and international.
“The pearl of the South is today an economic, diplomatic, tourist and cultural crossroads par excellence, and why not become a melting pot of academic research promoting scientific exchange at continental and international levels”, he said. for follow-up.
The idea of establishing a Center for Research on the Prevention of Child Soldiers came about after careful consideration and careful study of topics dealing with this phenomenon by similar international think tanks and research centers, he said. noting that research on the subject suffers from a selection bias.
The academician also noted that the Center has high-level mechanisms and tools, developed equipment and some programming software dealing with artificial intelligence and managed by experts and engineers, the purpose of which is to control and monitor the indoctrination and enrollment of children by armed militias in Africa or certain Latin American countries, among others.
This research structure also includes a space dedicated to welcoming international researchers, master’s and doctoral students from around the world and people interested in the question of child soldiers in the world, with a view to granting them research grants, he added.
Mr. Filali, in this sense, underlined that the Center will look forward to examining and monitoring the phenomenon of the recruitment of child soldiers throughout the world, by calling on managers and academics from all the continents that will be equipped with mechanisms to monitor and follow up on the various violations in conflict zones around the world.
The ultimate goal, he noted, is to provide accurate, qualitative and quantitative data in order to formulate action informed by academic research, following an approach based on accuracy, credibility and follow-up.
The Center, which considers the recruitment of children an inhumane crime, aims to make more efforts to control the recruitment of child soldiers around the world without exception, he said, saying that he has also aims to disseminate comprehensive research with compelling arguments in order to contribute to advocacy efforts for the benefit of lawyers in international humanitarian law.
It also aims to position itself as a spokesperson within multiple international forums and an international advocacy mechanism, especially since it will work in coordination with United Nations agencies working to promote respect for human rights. children, refugees (UNHCR) and those responsible for fighting terrorism, he continued.
Referring to the priorities of the Centre, he indicated that this research structure with an international vocation will also focus on research on the African continent, which is experiencing a high rate of recruitment of children in armed conflicts, by countries and groups who exploit children for military purposes in a systematic and dangerous manner.
While investigating cases related to this scourge, Mr. Filali noted that “we must not go unnoticed on the recruitment of children in the Tindouf camps. As a researcher and observer of this phenomenon, it is a denial of the basic rights of the children recruited into these camps”.
“Similarly, the Center focuses its action on the monitoring and control of the recruitment of children in conflict zones around the world, in particular armed groups in the islands of the South West of the Philippines, Indonesia and the Yemen, as well as organizations that adopted murderous ideologies during the Cold War in some Latin American countries,” he said.
As for the Centre’s future projects, Mr. Filali stressed that the Center will focus its action on three important projects, the first of which is the “Dakhla Appeal” aimed at combating the recruitment of child soldiers in the world, like the “Geneva Call”, “Paris Call” and the “Vancouver Principles”, serving as advocacy in international fora and forums in favor of this category.
The second project, meanwhile, will be carried out over the next three years, he said, noting that it will focus on the organization of an international congress which will be crowned by the adoption of a Global Compact. aiming to fight against the phenomenon of child soldiers in the world.
As for the third project, it aims to support all the Centre’s projects and actions, through targeted research having an impact on public policies and likely to draw the attention of the international community to the seriousness of this phenomenon. , he concluded.
It should be noted that the Center for Research on the Prevention of Child Soldiers was recently inaugurated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, Nasser Bourita, in the presence of officials and local elected officials. , in addition to diplomats from several African countries accredited to Dakhla.
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The creation of a research center on the prevention of child soldiers in Dakhla reflects Morocco’s firm commitment to the fight against this phenomenon – Atlasinfo
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