Morocco : Back to School

A circus school on the coast of Morocco is one innovative community effort among many to get children out of work and into school. According to a new Global Report on child labour from the International Labour Organization, the economic impact of eliminating child labour by replacing it with universal education yields enormous benefits.

Date issued: 30 May 2006 | Size/duration: 00:02:10 (3.4MB)
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Script:

An unusual sight on the coast of Morocco. A circus tent looms high above the ruins of an old fort.

Inside, an unusual way to recover children who live their lives working on the street. Set up by a local community group, the free circus school attracts children from surrounding neighbourhoods. Lessons on the trapeze go hand in hand with lessons in the classroom; all aimed at giving kids a second chance.

In Morocco, children work on farms, as domestic workers, in auto repair shops and markets. Most of them work instead of going to school to help their families earn enough to survive ...

Abdellilah

I have been selling plastic bags in this market with friends for two years. Sometimes I carry bags for people and they pay me whatever amount of money they want.

Working children here put in on average almost 45 hours a week, as much as any adult worker.

El Bouchtaouia

I have been working as a domestic labourer in South Morocco for two years. I was working hard. My employers were beating me. Whenever I saw children going to school it reminded me that I could not go to school myself and I was heartbroken.

A new Global Report from the International Labour Organization says the economic impact of eliminating child labour by replacing it with universal education yields enormous benefits. In North Africa and the Middle East spending on education has been calculated to bring an 8-fold return on the investment.

Attracting children to the classroom, through government and community efforts may be one reason why, the number of children working is on the decline in Morocco and in other regions of the world.

For these children the end of child labour is now a goal that is not only within sight....it is within reach.