Access to education

Bild von Giovanna Cornelio auf Pixabay

Many boys and girls interviewed had not had any formal education or had dropped out of school. While for boys, schooling access was limited by a need to begin working to support their families, for girls it was most likely to be driven by social norms and adult family members’ low appreciation of girls’ schooling. In at least one case, school fees proved to be an insurmountable obstacle for a girl’s family. The desire to pursue education was a major factor in girls’ decisions to migrate. Some girls described excelling in school in their countries of origin but being pressured to quit, most often to get married, but sometimes to provide financial support for their families.

Zakia, 16, had excelled in school in her Moroccan village. Yet her older brothers insisted on pulling her out of school: “I was never late; I was always on time or early. The principal told me that he wanted my mom or brother to come talk about me, to tell them that they shouldn’t take me out of school. My mom can’t get up. My mom can’t walk well, so she couldn’t go to the school for the meeting. My brother didn’t want to. I told the principal that I wanted to study, but they didn’t want me to.” This was a major driver of her decision to set off for Spain: “I wanted to come here to study and work, the most important thing, to be good in my life and help my mom live better. Even if my brothers were bad with me, I left all the bad things in Morocco and I came here to make a new life.”

from: “Girls on the move in North Africa” (SAVE THE CHILDREN)

Sexual and gender-based violence

Use of smugglers to travel