UPR Media Briefing Note


Tuesday, 22 May 2012 (Afternoon)
For use of information media; not an official record

State under review

Morocco
Represented by 26-member delegation headed by Mr. Mustapha RAMID, Minister of Justice and Liberties of Morocco.

Documents

To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit Morocco page on the UPR website.

Troika *

Burkina Faso, Bangladesh, Italy.

Opening statement by State under review

Key points from opening statement of State under review:

  • Since its first UPR, the Kingdom of Morocco has received the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the UN Independent Expert on Cultural Rights, and the Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice.  Moreover, the Special Rapporteur on Torture will visit the Kingdom next September;
  • The Kingdom has also ratified several international treaties, in line with its first UPR recommendations.  These include the CRPD and its Optional Protocol, the First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, and the Optional Protocol to CEDAW.  Moreover, the State has withdrawn its reservations to some provisions of the CEDAW;
  • The Kingdom has also ensured that the measures and actions to prevent torture were strengthened in law and practice and that prison conditions were improved;
  • The Moroccan new Constitution provided for the criminalization of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and all systematic and serious human rights violations; the Constitution also enshrined the concept of participative democracy, and guaranteed the independence of the judiciary;
  • Pursuant to the Constitution, Morocco witnessed in November 2011 legislative elections, which were fair, free and professionally organized, according to national and international observers;
  • The Government of Morocco has given particular attention to the reform of justice and a number of activities have been instituted to improve the work of law enforcement; great efforts have also been made to better manage penitentiary institutions and improve their situation;
  • In order to capitalize on the national gains in the areas of freedom of opinion and expression, a broad national debate on freedom of media and publishing has also been launched;
  • The State was also striving to promote solidarity and facilitate access to health services, provide adequate housing, ensure universal primary education, and combat poverty;
  • Regarding women’s rights, the Kingdom of Morocco has taken several measures to promote gender equality and is combatting gender-based violence;
  • Several measures have also been taken to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities, children, migrants and refugees.

(See full statement on Morocco page on the UPR Extranet)

Participants

In total, 91 States participated in the discussion:  38 HRC members and 53 observers  (Statements available on Morocco page on the UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The establishment of the National Action Plan for Democracy and Human Rights, the Office of the Ombudsman and of the National Human Rights Council;
  • Action taken to lower the unemployment rate;
  • Steps taken to uphold the rights of migrants;
  • The lifting of reservations to the CEDAW and acceding to the CRPD;
  • The enactment of the State’s new Constitution;

Issues and Questions

Main issues and questions raised by the Working Group:

  • Measures to censure the press and to restrict press freedom and the imprisonment of journalists and students because of opinions expressed;
  • Allegations of police brutality against peaceful demonstrators and torture of prisoners and steps to safeguard peaceful protests;
  • Progress made by the National Human Rights Council since its establishment last year;
  • The respect for human rights in Western Sahara;
  • Steps to reduce child mortality and to reduce school dropout rates.

Recommendations

In total, States participating in the discussion posed a series of recommendations to Morocco.  These included, among others: 

  • To take further measures to remove disparities in terms of health care and to ensure better access to health care and education by women and girls; to codify the principle of gender equality in all areas of its national legal framework;
  • To adopt a specific law on domestic violence and step up efforts to ensure the protection of women against violence in general; to step up efforts to prevent and combat sexual exploitation and trafficking in women and children;
  • To adopt measures to abolish the regulation whereby a rapist can escape persecution if they marry their victim;
  • To implement measures to prevent marriage of minors;
  • Take additional steps to increase representation of women in elected and decision-making positions;
  • To ratify ILO Conventions 87 on trade unions and 198 on domestic workers;
  • To take immediate steps to implement the new Constitution’s provision that international human rights were fully respected, including freedom of expression, the press, assembly and association; to enhance dialogue with all members of civil society;
  • To revise the press code to abolish provisions leading it to the restriction of freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of religion or belief and to bring it in line with international standards; to decriminalize offences committed by the media based on opinions expressed through social media;
  • To intensify efforts to combat impunity and access to justice;
  • To complete the ratification of the OPCAT and accede to the second OP of the ICCPR; to ratify the Rome Statute on the ICC;
  • To consider the full abolition of the death penalty;
  • To investigate all allegations of police brutality and torture and prosecute all security force officials accused of harsh treatment; to consider increasing resources allocated to the prison system;
  • To extend a standing invitation to all Special Procedures mandate holders;
  • To give particular attention to improve the human rights situation in Western Sahara and the inclusion of a broader human rights monitoring mechanism in the mandate of MINURSO;

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Morocco is scheduled to take place on Friday, 25 May 2012.

The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR. 

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