Morocco / Western Sahara

  • Letter to heads of state concerning the MINURSO mandate: read the letter here
  • Situation report on Violence against Women in Morocco: read our factsheet here

Morocco adopted a new constitution in 2011, at a time when the country was undergoing intense political, economic and social change and the Arab world was shaken by historic uprisings. The new constitution endorsed the separation of powers, the primacy of human rights, the strengthening of the independence of the judiciary, the principle of non-discrimination, gender equality, the recognition of the Amazigh language, the importance of the role played by civil society and the right of petition. 

Ten years after the adoption of the Constitution, several provisions still need to be implemented in law and in practice. The reform of the judiciary is, for instance, one of the main challenges in Morocco. Other provisions have also proved to be restrictive, limiting their scope of application. For example, the primacy of ratified international treaties is only recognised if they respect the “national identity”.  

Limitations on freedom of demonstration and assembly remain commonplace in the Kingdom. In the specific context of Western Sahara, which is de facto administered by Morocco, violations of public and individual freedoms and the systematic repression of dissenting voices are committed in violation of Morocco’s international commitments. EuroMed Rights advocates for the extension of MINURSO’s mandate to examine the human rights situation. 

 

Recent results

The Open Government Morocco Initiative, the High Authority for Audio-visual Communication, the Inter-ministerial Delegation for Human Rights, the Council of Europe, Nordic embassies, two Spanish writers, and several important media… These are but examples of the actors that have reached out to EuroMed Rights in 2020 to draw on the monitoring and knowledge of the network and its members and partners in Morocco.

This shows how EuroMed Rights is increasingly seen as a credible actor and partner in Morocco. Requests for inputs, cooperation or participation came from CSOs, academia, Moroccan government institutions, EU and UN agencies. For instance, the Inter-ministerial Delegation for Human Rights of Morocco contacted EuroMed Rights to gather more details following a press release deploring the situation of Moroccan citizens stranded in Ceuta & Melilla (Spanish enclaves) and calling for their safe return. Another example is the invitation received from the EU delegation to take part in a consultation as part of an online monitoring mission of the EU support programme for justice reform in Morocco.

With events being cancelled, the COVID-19 pandemic did allow more time to focus on the strengthening of these new relations. The regular monitoring of the situation of human rights in Morocco also helped the development of closer relations with media. While these results have not yet contributed directly to policy change, they did increase EuroMed Rights’ visibility in Morocco and, in turn, participated in raising the network’s future scope of influence in the country.