Thursday, August 10, 2006

Moroccan luncheon on child slavery

Tomorrow at the Houston Marriott there's going to be a free luncheon about the Western Sahara. It's aimed at evangelical Christians (who apparently are involved in Saharawi aid). I'll be going for the "deluxe" lunch.

It's a pro-Morocco presentation. According to the nice person at Sahara Watch the Moroccans have been trying for a while to reduce Saharawi support in the evangelical community. Tomorrow's issue combines an emotional touchstone, children, with America's favorite boogey-man, Cuba. The organizers claim thousands of children have been abducted from refugee camps like Tindouf and transported to Cuba, for child prostitution and soldiering.

I'd read about the child abduction issue before, so I wanted to check it out once and for all. Since Morocco began occupying Western Sahara, Saharawi children have voluntarily gone to university in Cuba, Algeria, and other countries because there are no universities in the camps.

The UN High Commission on Refugees produced two reports on the abduction charges, and found that the children were protected and treated well. In 2005, 143 students were studying in Cuba. After they graduate, the program would be shuttered.

My quick and dirty child abduction info came from here. I hope you're down with using Wikipedia as a source, because there's going to be a lot of it.

Reaction and possible pictures from the presentation tomorrow.

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