Former Moroccan underage maid Fatima, 17, is pictured inside a house in Rabat on March 14, 2018. / AFP / FADEL SENNA
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"Even a pet animal is better treated," sobbed 17-year-old Fatima, one of thousands of young girls exploited and too often abused while working as housemaids for unscrupulous employers in Morocco.Fatima al-Maghnaoui, who runs the Annajda shelter, talks of slavery and says teenage Fatima should be at school.conditions'There are no official figures on the employment of maids.But a study carried out in 2010 by non-governmental bodies reported that Morocco had between 66,000 and 80,000 domestic workers aged under 15 .Latifa's story caught public attention recently after the 22-year-old was taken to hospital in Casablanca with third-degree burns and broken bones. She had been a maid since adolescence and long-abused by her employer. Caught in a trap, Fatima decided to run away.Long-awaited amid years of debate, legislation to protect maids was passed in the summer of 2016 .However, it allows another five years for the employment of 16-18-year-olds, much to the annoyance of human rights activists, and there has been little or no assessment of the law's implementation.
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