Over 120 NGOs decry alarming situation of children sequestered in Polisario camps
The Civil Coalition for the Protection of Children in the Tindouf Camps, which includes more than 120 NGOs, sounded the alarm bell over the alarming situation of Moroccan children sequestered in the Polisario-controlled Tindouf camps, noting that the Algeria-backed separatist group recruits thousands of children, exploits them sexually, enslaves them and forces girls to marry armed militiamen.
In a statement released on the occasion of the International Day against the use of Child Soldiers, celebrated on Feb.12, the Coalition said “hundreds of people are still held in these camps, many of them women and children, suffering unbearable living conditions in Tindouf, southern Algeria.
The Polisario armed militia continues to violate the basic rights of children, preventing them from getting the appropriate education, health care, the right to family life and nationality, said the NGOs, noting that these troubled children are fueled with hatred, belligerent and warmongering discourse.
They called on the international community to protect these children from Polisario abuse and honor its commitment to prevent their military recruitment in line with international conventions and treaties, affirming that “no one has the right to steal children’s dreams or their innocence”.