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UN human rights expert to visit Morocco to assess racism, discrimination

Arabic | ​French

GENEVA (12 December 2018) – The UN Special Rapporteur on racism will visit Morocco from 13 to 21 December 2018 to examine the country’s efforts to eliminate racial inequality and discrimination.

“My mission to Morocco, which will include visits to Rabat, Tangier, Tétouan, Agadir, and Casablanca, will focus on all facets of racial inequality that pose an obstacle to the full enjoyment of human rights,” said  Ms. E. Tendayi Achiume.
“I seek to collect information on possible incidents of racism and related intolerance in the country, as well as structural forms of discrimination and exclusion.”

The Special Rapporteur said she would examine the situation of the Amazigh population of Morocco, as well as the life experiences of black Moroccans, Jews and other minorities.

The independent expert’s visit to Morocco begins just a few days after Marrakech hosted the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. “I anticipate that my mission will closely monitor refugees and migrants’ experiences with discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance,” Achiume said.

During her official mission, Achiume intends to convene civil society consultations during which she can meet with a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society actors, community representatives, and individual victims of racism and discrimination. She will also speak with government officials.

“I especially look forward to hearing from women, young people, faith leaders, refugees, migrants, people deprived of liberty, those with disabilities, and others whose experiences with racial and ethnic discrimination are likely to be compounded with other grounds of discrimination,” Achiume said.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference on 21 December 2018 at 11:30 am to share her preliminary observations and recommendations. This press conference will take place at Hôtel La Tour Hassan, 26, Avenue Chellah, Rabat. Access to the news conference will be strictly limited to journalists.

Achiume will submit a full report of her visit to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in July 2019.


Ms E. Tendayi Achiume (Zambia) was appointed by the Human Rights Council as Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in September 2017. Ms. Achiume is currently a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, and a research associate of the African Center for Migration and Society (ACMS), at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Morocco

For more information and press inquiries, please contact:
In Morocco (during the visit): Ms Karima Chakiri (+212 6 60 85 03 20 / karima.chakiri@one.un.org)

In Geneva (before and after the visit): Mr. Guillaume Pfeifflé (+41 22 917 9384 / gpfeiffle@ohchr.org) and Ms Elena Dietenberger (+41 22 917 98 36/ spbconsultant11@ohchr.org) or racism@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)
This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org