MDDH’s conclusions on Morocco’s national report for the 4th round of the UPR

Alongside the holding of the pre-session meetings of the 41st session of the working group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), whose advocacy meeting on Morocco was organized recently, with the participation of representatives of civil society and the national human rights institution to share their recommendations and concerns with representatives of UN member states, the Mediator for Democracy and Human Rights (MDDH) presents to national public opinion the conclusions of its parallel report to Morocco’s national report for the 4th round of the UPR which was submitted to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights during the month of March 2022.

This report has been prepared on the basis of data monitored and capitalized on since the publication of the UPR recommendations for Morocco during its third round in 2017, dealing with issues that have a direct intersection with the main concerns of the mediator, which looks like this:

Firstly: Regarding the situation of Morocco’s treaty practice and its levels of interaction with United Nations mechanisms, the mediator reported on the progress made and dwelt on certain challenges relating to Morocco’s voluntary commitments in relation to the conventions. and fundamental protocols in relation to human rights during the preparation and discussion of laws, the development of public policies and finance laws; which slows down the pace of the effective exercise of rights and freedoms for all. Also, the mediator encouraged Morocco to complete the process of accession to the remaining fundamental protocols, in particular the second optional protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which aims to abolish the death penalty, and to work for the lifting of the interpretative declaration in relation to article 2 and paragraph 4 of article 15 of CEDAW, and to lift the reservation on article 29, and the interpretative declaration in relation to the first paragraph of article 14 of the Convention on to the rights of the child.

Second: The mediator focused on the pioneering role that Parliament should play in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčinteraction with United Nations mechanisms and the effectiveness of rights and freedoms. In this context, the ombudsman noted the positive interaction of Parliament with the UPR mechanism during all its stages and praised the good practice in terms of the involvement of Parliament by the government during the evaluation phase in mid-term of the implementation of the recommendations accepted by Morocco during the year 2019.

In the same context, the ombudsman drew attention to the need to institutionalize the role of Parliament in terms of interaction with the various United Nations mechanisms, and to strengthen its role, in particular with regard to the interaction with the mechanisms established under the treaties, starting with participation in the initial and periodic national reporting phase in order to contribute to the interactive dialogue with the treaty bodies and to the open consultations in relation to the draft general comments, but also to work to monitor the degree of consideration of recommendations and concluding observations in relation to human rights during legislation and the development of various public policies.

The mediator also insisted on the need to work on the modification of the rules of procedure of the two Houses of Parliament in order to include the missions concerning the contribution and the interaction with the treaty bodies and the bodies established under the Charter of the United Nations. and also to consider the possibility of creating a parliamentary committee in the two Chambers of Parliament with a special mandate to monitor human rights issues, in application of the good practices recommended by the Human Rights Council in its report on cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Third: With regard to the effectiveness of the right to life, the mediator drew attention to the fact that the treatment of the right to life should be based on the most recent jurisprudence within the United Nations system to protect this right, with particular reference to general comment No. 36 of the Human Rights Committee concerning anything that may infringe the right to life and lead to premature death, not only because of legislation, but also due to unjust policies and weak public services incompatible with the needs of citizens, and growing social, economic and psychological vulnerabilities, resulting in neglectful responsibilities of governments to protect this right.

Fourth: Since freedom of association constitutes one of the most important indicators of the existence of an open and permeable space, the mediator focused on presenting the challenges and highlighting the various prohibitions which hamper the freedoms of association, and considered the need to harmonize the legal framework regulating freedom of association and the work of human rights defenders with the Constitution and relevant international standards, in particular article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the declaration on the protection of human rights defenders. He also presented his reading of the judgment for the dissolution of the Roots Association as the most important feature of the period framed by the fourth round of the UPR 2017-2022.

Finally, this parallel report includes 12 recommendations related to the four axes and issues mentioned above, which the mediator wishes to find echoed in the summary report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights relating to the summary of the data received by the parties. stakeholders, and among the recommendations that Morocco will receive during the 41st session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review to be held from November 7 to 18, 2022.

Youssef Ghouirgate
General secretary
Ombudsman for Democracy and Human Rights.

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