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The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) took part in the 7th pre-session of the Committee of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 15 March 2017 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Also attended by disability rights NGOs, this pre-session was held to prepare the list of issues to be answered by the government of Morocco before the review of its initial report on the implementation of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

We received 163 complaints and allegations of disability rights violations in 2015-2016, the CNDH said in its statement. The majority complained about access to the right to inclusive education, employment and the right to health.

Article 33 of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (paragraph 2) provides for one or more independent mechanisms to promote, protect, and monitor the implementation of the Convention. The Council shared the ambition and will to play the role of this mechanism. The draft of its new law (to be adopted by Parliament, hopefully, in the next session), designates the CNDH and entrusts it with the mandate of this mechanism.    

The pre-session was an opportunity for the participants to share their views on the list of issues and their recommendations and observations on the situation of persons with disabilities in Morocco.

In this regard, the CNDH stressed the need for an inclusive education policy for all persons with disabilities, regardless of the type or degree of disability. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be taken into consideration, the CNDH said, particularly goal four (that aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all) and target five (4.5) that aims to ensure equal access for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, to all levels of education and vocational training by 2030.

In terms of employment and employability of persons with disabilities, the CNDH advocated in Geneva for measures and indicators on the employment of persons with disabilities, in public and private sector, to be included in the Finance Law.

Concerning access to social protection, the CNDH noted with concern that the health care package does not meet the needs of the persons with disabilities, despite the medical assistance scheme (RAMED) and the social cohesion fund.

Another concern for the CNDH is the fact that persons with disabilities receive aid allocation for schooling from associations. This in fact excludes persons with disabilities who aren’t members of these associations.

In a report on prison conditions published in 2012, the CNDH noted that it was difficult for persons with disabilities to move around, due to the lack of accessibilities in prisons. Some detainees had no wheelchairs to move around, get outside prison cells or easily access sanitary facilities.

In 2015, the CNDH drew a report on accessibility for persons with disabilities. The report noted that road, rail and air transport infrastructure is not disabled friendly. In this regard, the Council recommended the government to adopt a comprehensive strategy to provide accessibilities and guarantee the right to personal mobility for all.

The CNDH also noted that restricting legal capacity on the basis of disability in the Moroccan law is still a major constraint for persons with intellectual and visual disabilities in terms of managing their financial and administrative affairs.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted on 13 December 2006 by the UN General Assembly. It entered into force on 3 May 2008. To date, the Convention has been signed by 160 States and ratified by 172 Parties (171 States and one regional organization). 92 countries have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention.

Morocco ratified the convention and its Optional Protocol in 2009. The initial report of the Government of Morocco was submitted in 2014. It will be reviewed by the Committee of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the period between 14 August and 1 September 2017.