The International Observatory for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights in Geneva (IOPDHR) called on the international community to intervene to put an end to various forms of exploitation of children by polisario separatist militia in the Tindouf camps, in Algerian territory.
In a statement on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labor (June 12), IOPDHR-Geneva pointed to Algeria’s full responsibility in the polisario’s persistent and serious violations against the population of Tindouf, denouncing in particular a large number of abuses suffered by children and women in the said camps.
Chaired by Aicha Douihi, the Observatory alerts in this sense on “the ordeal of children in the camps of Tindouf in south-western Algeria, who are still subjected to forms of exploitation by the polisario, in the suspicious and complicit silence of the host country, the Algerian state.”
The Observatory recalls that “since the installation of the Tindouf camps on Algerian soil, the polisario militias have targeted groups of children and youth who have been forcibly displaced to other countries, under the pretext of schooling, a situation that marked the beginning of an unprecedented family, identity and social tear in the region, which has deprived these children of family warmth and a normal psychological development.”
“These children are subjected during their prolonged stay there, to a policy of indoctrination through intensive courses of militia ideology and military training, and forced to work in vast fields in extreme conditions, forced into military service from an early age. Children who suffered recurrent sexual abuse according to testimonies reported by some former victims,” the same source continued.
The Geneva-based NGO raised in this regard against the inaction of the Algerian state in the face of crimes against children that occur in the camps of Tindouf, where polisario leaders deliberately exploit children by indoctrinating them and inculcating them with ideas calling for violence and hatred instead of an education in the principles and values of freedom, equality and tolerance. Children are deprived of their childhood and are engaged at an early age in hard military work, with the physical and psychological complications that ensue, in flagrant violation of all international norms and conventions,” deplored IOPDHR-Geneva.
The international community is called upon to intervene with the host country, the Algerian state, so that it assumes its legal and moral responsibility for the violations committed against children in the Tindouf camps on its territory, to put an end to this phenomenon, and to provide protection to these children and basic social services.