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Morocco's NHRI addresses Head of Government over mandatory vaccine pass

The National Human Rights  Council, Morocco's NHRI, addressed a letter, on Oct. 25, to the Head of the Government over the use of mandatory vaccine pass, introduced on Oct. 18. The  mandate entered into application on Oct. 21, as a new precautionary measure against COVID-19.

Morocco's National Human Rights Institution noted several challenges and issues related to the implementation of this mandate, mainly:

  • The massive influx of citizens seeking the jab at vaccination centers, in all Regions, since Oct. 21;
  • Cases of vulnerable groups, especially the elderly and women as well as persons in rural areas, facing difficulties downloading the pass;
  • Protests and complaints (addressed to the institution) of citizens with no proof of vaccination deprived from multiple services (including means of transport and access to shops and administrations, etc.);
  • Access to some rights was restricted, with no other alternatives to the vaccine pass;
  • Public administrations and private businesses handled the situation differently vis-à-vis employees and staff who have not been inoculated yet;
  • Overcrowding in public transport, including buses and tramways, etc. due to the measures taken to implement the pass mandate.

The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) has therefore issued a set of recommendations to the government, including the following:

  • Strengthen communication and advice to unvaccinated people to achieve community immunity against COVID-19;
  • Ensure that citizens have access to public places, particularly of public interest. Such access cannot be restricted without a decision nor without taking the necessary transitional measures and definitely without prejudice to the rights of individuals and groups to benefit from public services;
  • Replace the vaccine pass with a health pass, which is proof that a person has either:

• been vaccinated against COVID-19;
• received a negative test result;
• recovered from COVID-19; or
• received a medical certificate duely proving that s/she cannot be inoculated.

  • Give a reasonable time to citizens to adapt to the measures (whether by taking the first and second jabs or getting their medical certificates, etc.) as well as to public authorities to provide the necessary relevant technical tools (proof for the first jab, the health pass, etc.); and
  • Examine the possibilities of easing further restrictions applied based on the adoption of the health pass.

The CNDH encouraged citizen to positively engage in the national vaccination campaign. It will launch debate initiatives and opportunities to exchange on the vaccine pass and means of replacing it with a health pass as a step to overcome the current constraints.

In its letter to the Head of the Government, the CNDH also recalled the recommendations of its 2020 annual report, particularly those related to presenting the extension of the State of Health Emergency to Parliament and ending its implementation when the condition of necessity no longer applies.