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Ceremony to name the CNDH’s training Institute after renowned human rights defender late Driss Benzekri

Officially and after Royal approval, the National Human Rights Training Institute (INFDH) is named after late Driss Benzekri. The ceremony took place on Wednesday 5 July 2017 at the INFDH in Rabat, Morocco.

Attended by politicians, academics, associative and human rights activists. The deceased’s brother, sister, friends, people who worked with him and those who collaborate with him along the mandate of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) were present at this ceremony to pay tribute to the former president of the IER and one of the ‘architects’ of the transitional justice process in Morocco. This event was an opportunity to express the recognition and the symbolism of this initiative that attracted a large audience.

Organized on the tenth anniversary of the death of late Driss Benzekri, this ceremony was another way of paying tribute to the man who marked the history of human rights in Morocco. This activist has drawn the outlines of Morocco today, where diversity, democracy and pluralism are promoted.

Human rights training is one of the recommendations of the IER, of which late Driss Benzekri assumed the presidency between 2004 and 2006. M’Barek Bouderka, former member of the IER said that it is symbolic to give the name of late Driss Benzekri after ten years of his death to the INFDH. He added that he was the architect of the IER and that one of his objectives was to strengthen trainings on human rights in Morocco.

A philosophy shared by Driss El Yazami, who is convinced that in order to be effective, human rights need competent people, carry values, know how to pass messages and communicate with different strata of the population, parliamentarians, political actors and international partners in Morocco.

Hassan Semlali, President of the Benzekri Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy, recalled the efforts made by late Benzekri in favor of human rights and transitional justice issues. He also pointed out that this initiative is a contribution to implement one of the recommendations of the IER, which stressed that human rights training is one of the means to instill the culture of human rights within the society.

The INFDH is a result of a collaboration between the CNDH and other partners. It will contribute to rise new generation of human rights actors.

Open to all stakeholders in society, the mission of the INFDH is to develop a dynamic basic training on the various themes related to human rights. It also aims to set up professional courses and modules using human rights approach for members and staff of the CNDH, its regional commissions (CRDHs), institutions and public administrations. It wishes as well to contribute to strengthening the capacity of civil society actors involved in the defense, protection and promotion of human rights (NGOs, professional groups, trade unions, companies, etc.).

Since its opening in 2015, the INFDH has organized around 80 training sessions for more than 2,000 Moroccan and African participants.