Morocco / Western Sahara

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Morocco / Western Sahara

The adoption of the new Constitution in Morocco took place in 2011 in times of tense political, economic and social changes, when the Arab world was witnessing historic upheavals. The progress enshrined by the Constitution included the new separation of powers, primacy of human rights, strengthening the judiciary’s independence, the principle of non-discrimination, gender equality, recognition of the Amazigh language, the importance of the role of civil society and the right of petition.

However, some provisions were restrictive, limiting their scope. The primacy of ratified international treaties is only recognised in so long as they respect ‘national identity.’ For example, gender equality is guaranteed in so far as it conforms to “constants of the Kingdom.”

Three years after the adoption of the Constitution, the constitutional provisions are yet to be implemented, in law and in practice. The justice reform remains one of the major challenge for Morocco.

While the 2014 regularisation process of undocumented migrants was an important milestone in recognising the rights of migrants and refugees, it was accompanied by mass arrests, arbitrary detentions and forced evictions, especially of sub-Saharan nationals.

Restrictions on freedom of demonstration and assembly are common in the Kingdom. In the specific context of the Western Sahara, de facto administered by Morocco, violations of public and individual freedoms as well as the systematic repression of dissenting voices occur in contravention to Morocco’s international commitments. EuroMed Rights has called for the extension of MINURSO mandate to include an independent monitoring mechanism ensuring respect for fundamental rights.

 

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