Home Institution

Ithaca College & St. Michael’s College

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Program Name

Morocco: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media

The Pitch

In Morocco, Illegitimate Children Struggle for Rights

153 illegitimate children are born in Morocco every day. These children, born to unwed mothers, are among the lowest ranks of society. They live without an education, healthcare or the possibility of official employment. Legally, illegitimate children have no rights. They cannot have their identities recognized without a mother registering them with a marriage license as proof of a legal sexual relationship. The Penal Code punishes any couple with relations out of wedlock and parents who do not register their children with the state risk imprisonment.

This story describes and documents the daily struggle of life without identity in Morocco, focusing on two specific cases. We introduce Khadija, a young homeless mother of four, and Aziza Kanzi, a 39-year-old with five unregistered children living in a slum just outside the capital city of Rabat.

The story is accompanied by a photo essay of Kanzi and her children in their home.


Journalism Studies


Article Location