Najat M’jid – Morocco

Linked with the BAYTI Association, and with Interview de Madame Najat M’jid.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “I made many personal sacrifices to achieve my life-long goal: the protection of children’s rights. I live in a rented flat and use my old car in order to pay the tuition fees of my daughters”.

She says also: “First of all, I love children. On returning to Morocco after my studies in France, I was walking one day through the streets of Casablanca and I saw a kid who seemed to have spent several days on the streets. I asked him what he was doing there, and was shocked when he replied that he lived on the streets. I did not think that went on in Morocco. A lot of anger welled up inside me and I realised the situation needed to be put right”. (full interview text).

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Najat M’jid – Morocco

She works for the Mother and Child Clinic, and for the BAYTI Association.

Najat M’jid is the drive force of the advocacy for children’s rights in Morocco over the last sixteen years. She has lobbied for and participated in effectuating new legislative reforms in the country, denouncing violations of Children’s Rights and raising awareness of children’s severe vulnerability.

Dr. M’jid has assumed her grassroots work through a number of foundations concerned with children’s welfare, at both national and international levels. She is a consultant for the UNICEF and the State Secretariat for Childhood, NGOs, and is the regional focal point for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), analyzing and evaluating issues regarding children sexual abuse, health, education, poverty and family rejection.

In 2000 Dr. M’jid was awarded a national prize for her work on Human Rights and was nominated for the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor) in France. Najat has worked hard towards the adoption of national rehabilitative plans for vulnerable children and for the establishment of state-run agencies to deal with children’s problems.

Her lobby has effectively assisted in improving the living conditions of minors in detention and saving street children from sexual exploitation, about which she has vocalized her concerns in the MENA region.

She has made strides forward on the creation of a network of Arab NGOs working for childhood welfare. She has also participated in a number of international conferences on the rights of children and connected issues in Stockholm, Yokohama and New York (the International Summit), with the sponsorship of the World Bank and European Union. The rehabilitative plans that M’jid has set up have been adopted in Tunisia, France, Cambodia, Spain, Jordan, Yemen, Senegal and Mali.

She was inspired to found the ‘BAYTI’ (my home), a charitable rehabilitative institution for children, which recruits social workers and the implements new operative programs with effective methodology and indicators. These include ‘research-action’ and psychosocial analysis techniques for approaching street children. M’jid has also launched some individualized living projects for rehabilitated young people to involve them into socio-economic activities and to develop a smooth partnership between them and the State, NGOs, INGOs, private sector, and local authorities.

M’jid is the first person in Morocco to have ever openly probed debate on street children and the sexual exploitation of children, which were always regarded as major bottom-up taboo issues in the country. However, underground issues of democracy are woven into the fabric of her programs and discourse, insinuating active participation of children, youth and educators with full transparency. Dr. M’jid is full of potential to advocate for human rights, particularly with respect to children. She remains humble, direct and amenable, despite the many awards she has received (Prix Nathalie Masse; Prix Européen de Pédiatrie; Sociale Droits de l’Homme, France; Chevalière de la Légion d’Honneur). (1000PeaceWomen).

A non-governmental organisation in Morocco says substance abuse among children has reached alarming levels. (full text).

Elle dit aussi: “Tout d’abord, tous ces enfants deviennent dépendants de la drogue. La violence est un autre danger qui pèse sur eux chaque jour. Il y a aussi le problème des maladies sexuellement transmissibles, de la tuberculose et des problèmes de peau. Mais il y a aussi des problèmes de comportement”. (lire tout l’interview).

Depuis quelques années, la problématique ‘enfants des rues ‘ons. Ce phénomène, jusque-là cantonné aux pays sous-développés du Sud, envahit les pays du Nord. Une autre facette de la mondialisation : celle du développement exponentiel de l’exclusion sociale des mineurs! Les associations et ONG ont été les pionnières dans le domaine des ‘Enfants des rues’, développant divers programmes : ateliers, sas-rue, drop-in centre, refuges, écoles, apprentissages … Le facteur clé commun à tous ces programmes étant l’éducateur-rue, dont la mission est complexe, difficile, usante, dangereuse. (lire le texte entier).

links:

more about the Bayti Association;

British Library Direct;

Morocco, Casablanca Kids;

STREET CHILDREN, Africa.

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