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Geneva: NGO Calls for Opening Investigation on Children’s Rights Violations in Tindouf Camps

The NGO Promotion of Economic and Social Development (PDES) called, Wednesday in Geneva, for opening an investigation into the children situation in the Tindouf camps, in southwestern Algeria.

In an address to the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council, PDES said that some of the children’s rights violations in the camps in the hands of the polisario are “gross violations of human rights because of their widespread and systematic recurrence, and some of them constitute war crimes because of their gravity. Hence the need for investigation and monitoring on site.”

The “child refugee” is supposed to be covered by protection through the Algerian law 12-15 of 2015, against all forms of discrimination, neglect, violence, ill-treatment, or any type of physical, moral or sexual abuse, the Organization added, regretting, however, that the impact of legislative and institutional measures to protect children does not benefit children in the Tindouf camps, where they continue to suffer from exploitation.

In addition to the arbitrary transfer and forced labor of children, the polisario continues to exploit school curricula, for purposes other than educational goals, through content that promotes violence, hate speech and encourages the carrying of weapons, the NGO said.

Although the law 12.15 has emphasized the protection of the rights of children victims of armed conflict, “Algeria remains out of context of what is happening in the camps where the polisario continues to deprive groups of children of schooling and force them to integrate its armed lines,” said PDES.

It concluded that in the absence of a comprehensive legal framework for refugees and asylum seekers, and in the absence of an office for the protection of refugees and stateless persons, the human rights situation in the camps of Tindouf needs great attention.

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