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CNDH hearing before the European Parliament on human rights development in Morocco

The European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) invited Mr. Driss El Yazami, President of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), on 15 May 2018 to speak at the European Parliament in Brussels at a hearing on human rights development in Morocco.

Mr. El Yazami stressed that the CNDH is now having a new founding law, by which it shall discharge the mandate of three mechanisms provided by international human rights instrument namely: National Mechanism on for the Prevention of Torture (NPM), National Redress Mechanism for Children Victims of Human Rights and National Mechanism for Protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In addition, Mr. El Yazami welcomed the high level interaction between the Moroccan parliament and the CNDH in accordance with the Belgrade Principles which govern the relationship between NHRIs and parliaments. About 30% of the CNDH’s recommendations were incorporated into laws. In December 2014, the CNDH signed an understanding memorandum with the Parliament and the two Houses. Under this agreement, CNDH opinions were requested 14 times; 6 by the House of Councillors and 8 by the House of Representatives.

The Moroccan Constitution is not fully implemented. Indeed, almost all laws provided by it, have been passed, such as: laws on the High Council of the Judicial Power, the independence of the Public Prosecutor Office, the right of access to information, the fight against violence against women and others. However, the CNDH regrets the delay in adopting two very important texts; the Penal Code (which is being discussed in the Parliament) and the Criminal Procedure Code (which is being deliberated by the government), outlined the CNDH Chairperson.

On the other hand, Mr. El Yazami specified that some laws on institutions such as the Authority for Parity and the Fight against all forms of Discrimination (APALD), Advisory Council on Family and Children, Central Authority for the Prevention of Corruption and the Competition Council, were adopted. However none of these institutions has been established. “It is a delay that should be caught up as soon as possible”, said Mr. El Yazami.

The President of the CNDH called on the European parliamentarians especially members of the DROI to strengthen their cooperation with Moroccan parliament on the Moroccan’s new migration policy.  Until now, Morocco has launched two campaigns to document migrant and presented a roadmap to the African Union on this issue. It will also organize an international conference on migration next December in Marrakech (Global Compact on Migration).

Before closing his speech, Mr. Driss El Yazami underlined three significant social trends in Morocco. The first trend is the extensive of debate on social issues that has been launched in Morocco several years, such as inheritance, abortion, death penalty, individual freedoms, freedoms of religion and conscience… He pointed that these public debates on these sensitive issues are part of the democratic consolidation process in Morocco. Although, they can be controversial, they are also healthy feedback from society.

The second trend is about the social protests movements in Morocco in Al Hoceima and more recently in Jerada, as well as the boycott of certain products. This rises two questions to which all stakeholders should answer: what ways of mediation between society and the State, particularly following the rising level of claims and awareness? The other question concerns the achievement of social justice (effectiveness of economic and social rights).

The third trend concerns the active role that civil society plays and the public debates it launches on: bioethics, the rights of older persons, AIDS and human rights, the rights of persons with disabilities, added Mr. El Yazami. The public actions in this field remains lacking, but civil society is taking daily at innovative initiatives.

To be noted that members of the DROI welcomed the quality of level of relations and cooperation with the CNDH, its independence and availability to cooperate with the Subcommittee as well as Morocco’s openness to various mechanisms.

 View the recording of Mr. El Yazami’s hearing