Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights


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United Nations

E/C.12/MAR/4



Economic and Social Council

Distr.: General

24 March 2014

English

Original: French
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under articles 16 and 17 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights


Fourth periodic reports of States parties due in 2009

Morocco*

[Date received: 24 January 2013]

Contents

Paragraphs Page

Acronyms and abbreviations 3

I. Introduction 1−11 4

II. Implementation of general recommendations 12−271 6

Article 1 – Exercise of the right to self-determination 23–27 13

Article 2 – Economic, social and cultural rights 28–35 14

Article 3 – Equal rights of men and women 36–56 16

Article 4 – Employment 57–72 22

Article 7 – Working conditions 73–85 28

Article 8 – Trade unions 86–101 32

Article 9 – Social security 102–113 35

Article 10 – Family-marriage 114–146 39

Article 11 – Poverty 147–186 46

Article 12 – Physical and mental health 187–216 57

Article 14 – Education 217–246 63

Article 15 – Culture 247–271 71

Acronyms and abbreviations

ADS Social Development Agency

AIDS acquired immune deficiency syndrome

CNDH National Council for Human Rights

CNEF National Charter for Education and Training

CNOPS National Fund for Social Welfare Organizations

CNSS National Social Security Fund

DIDH Interministerial Delegation for Human Rights

FWBD food and/or water-borne diseases

GDP gross domestic product

HIV human immunodeficiency virus

HCP Office of the High Commissioner for Planning

ICT information and communications technology

INDH National Initiative for Human Development

IRCAM Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture

MDGs Millennium Development Goals

MSFFDS Ministry of Solidarity, Women, the Family and Social Development

ONDH National Observatory for Human Development

ONEP National Office for Drinking Water

PACTE Territorial Convergence Action Plan for the Protection of Children

PANE National Action Plan for Children

RAMED Medical Assistance Scheme for the Economically Underprivileged

SAMU Emergency Medical Assistance Service

SMAG guaranteed minimum agricultural wage

SMIG guaranteed minimum inter-occupational wage

STI sexually transmitted infections

UNHCR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

VSE very small enterprise

WHO World Health Organization

I. Introduction

1. The Kingdom of Morocco, which has been a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (hereinafter “the Covenant”) since 3 May 1979, is submitting its fourth periodic report pursuant to articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant.

2. The report has been prepared in accordance with the guidelines on treaty-specific documents (E/C.12/2008/2) and in response to the concluding observations (E/C.12/MAR/CO/3) adopted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (hereinafter “the Committee”) following its consideration of the third periodic report (E/1994/104/Add.29). It reviews the measures taken by Morocco during the period 2006–2012 to give effect to the economic, social and cultural rights recognized in the Covenant, and it highlights the progress made and the difficulties encountered in implementing appropriate policies and actions designed to ensure more effective compliance with the provisions of the Covenant. It reviews each of the Committee’s recommendations and provides as much statistical data as possible.

3. The report was prepared on the basis of a participatory approach involving all stakeholders representing ministerial departments, national institutions and civil society. Extensive consultation meetings were held to provide a solid basis for the report and to ensure its validity. The report was prepared in accordance with a procedure based on dialogue and wide-ranging consultations involving all stakeholders who participated in the preparation of reports submitted to the Human Rights Council and other treaty bodies.1

4. Since the submission of the third periodic report in 2005, the Moroccan Government has spared no effort in promoting economic, social and cultural rights, particularly on behalf of vulnerable groups, and it has taken action on the points raised in the concluding observations on the third periodic report.

5. Morocco is engaged in far-reaching constitutional and institutional reforms at the time of submission of this report, including the adoption in 2011 of the new Constitution, which marks a historical and decisive turning-point in the process of building a State based on the rule of law and the Kingdom’s democratic institutions.

A. Strengthening of the institutional framework for the promotion of economic, social and cultural rights

6. Morocco reiterates its commitment to the promotion of economic, social and cultural rights and environmental rights through the establishment of a legal and institutional framework that contributes to the consolidation of the rule of law, the development of an environment that fosters participation and the establishment of inclusive economic and social institutions. The adoption of the new Constitution in 2011 resulted in the constitutional recognition of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council which was established in February 2011, the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH), the Office of the Ombudsman and the Competition Council, as well as the creation of the Interministerial Delegation for Human Rights (DIDH) in 2011.

7. The reform process and the strengthening of the institutional framework for the promotion and protection of human rights have continued and led to the establishment of the following institutions entrusted with general or specific mandates: the High Authority for Audiovisual Communication; the Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research (CSEFRS); the Central Authority for the Prevention of Corruption (ICPC); the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture (IRCAM); the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS); the National Observatory for Human Development (ONDH); the National Commission to Oversee the Protection of Personal Data (CNDP); and the National Commission on International Humanitarian Law (CNDIH).

8. All of these institutions are highly active in their respective areas of responsibility. The Constitution provides for the establishment of additional institutions with human rights mandates: the Authority Responsible for Parity and the Fight against All Forms of Discrimination; the Advisory Council on the Family and Children; the Advisory Council on Young People and Social Action, etc.

B. Development of the legislative framework

9. The new Constitution provided for the adoption of about ten organic laws dealing with economic, social and cultural rights. Special attention was given to strengthening the rights of specific groups and to provisions for the protection of categories of persons or of particular fields such as trade union law, health care, safety in the workplace, consumer protection, care for vulnerable persons, recognition of the Amazigh language as an official language, the advanced regionalization project, the Emergency Plan for Education adopted in 2007 to speed up implementation of the guidelines set forth in the National Charter for Education and Training adopted in 2000, a strategy for the “Green Morocco Plan” adopted in 2008, adoption of a new Local Authority Charter, reform of the audiovisual media, drafting of the National Charter for the Environment and Sustainable Development, launching of the second stage of the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), and implementation of a gender-sensitive budgeting system (arrangements to ensure accountability for the full enjoyment by women of their economic, social and cultural rights). As part of the budgetary reform based on results and performance, detailed reports on the public authorities’ finance and budget laws are published in the press and on the Internet and widely discussed in the written and audiovisual media. This process is to be sustained through the adoption of the new organic law on financial legislation. The purpose of the law is to modernize public administration by enhancing the performance, oversight, transparency and accountability of administrators. It will develop budget policy tools and promote the preservation of macroeconomic balance. It will also support the process of regionalization and strengthen local governance and the development of synergies at the local level.

C. The economic and financial situation in the Kingdom

10. Morocco has enjoyed a period of sustained economic growth of over 4.5 per cent per annum during the past ten years. This successful trend is due, on the one hand, to an economic strategy aimed at opening up markets and attracting foreign investment with a view to bolstering sectors at the forefront of economic growth and, on the other, to vigorous action at the national level, primarily in the context of the INDH, to reduce social exclusion and to combat poverty and insecurity. Structural unemployment has declined. Progress in the management of public finance has enabled the State to step up investment in infrastructure and to improve the economic climate. As a result of this progress, the country has been able to enhance its citizens’ enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights. Action to ensure access to basic facilities throughout the territory is a basic prerequisite for the democratization of social life and for the enjoyment by the population of economic, social and cultural rights.2

11. Morocco has established institutional and political conditions on the ground that facilitate participation and dialogue at the national and local levels. Civil society has developed apace, benefiting in particular from the consultation arrangement established as part of the INDH. Staff elections have been held in companies and in chambers of trade and crafts so that the status of representatives of occupations and employees has been legitimized and a solid basis has been set for economic and social dialogue. The new Local Authority Charter requires the authorities to publish their budget. Extensive legal bases have been laid to enable all economic and social actors to express their views and to exert an impact on decisions affecting them. The practical implementation of these new facilities, which promote the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, depends on collective experience and a collective learning process.

II. Implementation of general recommendations

Recommendation 34: Establishment of a database to monitor the realization of the
rights enshrined in the Covenant


12. There is no database specifically designed to monitor the Covenant. However, public agencies such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP) and the National Observatory for Human Development (ONDH), and many other bodies have established structured databases that can be used for monitoring purposes.3

Recommendation 36: Adoption of legislative and other measures to give effect to all
the provisions of the Covenant


13. Morocco has undertaken under its new Constitution to give effect to all the provisions of the Covenant. The preamble to the Constitution, which now constitutes an integral part of the text, stipulates: “Considering the vital importance of enhancing its role on the world stage, Morocco, as an active member of international organizations, is committed to the principles, rights and obligations enshrined in their respective charters and conventions; it reaffirms its commitment to universally recognized human rights and its determination to continue taking action to preserve peace and security in the world.” Moreover, article 31 of the new Constitution stipulates that the State, public establishments and local authorities shall take steps to mobilize all available resources to facilitate equal access of citizens to conditions that enable them to exercise their rights to vocational training, work and support from the public authorities for access to employment or self employment and to sustainable development. Furthermore, article 35 of the new Constitution enshrines the right to property and free enterprise and guarantees free competition. The article also guarantees free access to investment.

14. The constitutional regime of the Kingdom of Morocco is based on the principles of separation, balance and collaboration among authorities, the principles of citizen-based and participatory democracy, and the principles of good governance and accountability. In this context, continuous action is taken to establish a cohesive, well-adapted and progressive legislative and regulatory framework. The new Constitution provides for the drafting of organic laws in a number of fields, including those of economic, social and cultural governance. The duration of the first legislative period following its promulgation was fixed as the time limit for the drafting of the organic laws and their submission to the Chamber of Representatives for approval (art. 86).4

15. In the linguistic and cultural field, the Amazigh language has been recognized as an official language alongside Arabic under article 5 of the Constitution. The National Council for Languages and Culture has been established. The procedures for implementing these measures will be laid down in the organic laws.

16. Major advances have also been achieved in the area of consumer rights protection (for instance, the adoption of Act No. 31-08 in February 20115) and in the area of environmental law (national debate in 2009 and 2010 on a National Charter for the Environment and Sustainable Development6).

Recommendation 37: Provision of accurate and detailed information on, and real-life examples of, the legal remedies available to victims of violations of the rights
enshrined in the Covenant


17. Statistics on administrative legal proceedings provide information on registered, decided and pending cases before the administrative courts and the administrative appeal courts. In 2010 a total of 18,081 cases were registered with the administrative courts, 17,138 had been decided and 12,169 were pending. A total of 4,880 cases were registered with the appeal courts, 3,521 had been decided and 7,283 were pending. Disputes concerning expropriation accounted for 15 per cent of cases and those concerning abuse of authority and taxation accounted for 9.4 per cent and 10.9 per cent respectively of cases registered with the administrative courts.7 There is as yet no analytical register of case law in Morocco.8

18. However, alongside the administrative courts, there are national institutions such as the CNDH and the Office of the Ombudsman which look into cases involving violations of economic, social and cultural rights. The Office of the Ombudsman, which replaced the institution known as Diwan Al Madhalim in 2011, was created to promote the effective delivery of justice and the rule of law, to reduce the number of cases of injustice due to wrongful application of the law and to provide redress, in accordance with the country’s international obligations and the treaties ratified by Morocco.

Recommendation 56: Take into account, in negotiations and bilateral agreements,
all the obligations incumbent upon it under the Covenant, so as not to impinge upon economic, social and cultural rights. Evaluate the impact of the free-trade agreements
that entered into force in 2006 on the economic, social and cultural rights of the population, especially the most vulnerable sectors


19. Morocco pursues an economic strategy based on open markets. It has stepped up the strategy of open markets and trade liberalization during the past decade through the establishment of a network composed of free-trade agreements at the regional or bilateral level.9

20. The negotiations concerning cooperative action to address the economic and social impact of the free trade agreements took the social impact of such agreements into account on a systematic basis.10 A core objective of the INDH, which was launched by His Majesty King Mohamed VI on 18 May 2005, consists in taking long-term action to address the risks involved in opening up the country’s economy.11 The Government has launched a number of programmes to address these risks. The programmes are implemented by the Ministry of Social Development and its agencies (the Social Development Agency and Entraide Nationale), the technical departments and the Ministry of the Interior in the context of the INDH and of international cooperation.12

Recommendation 60: Dissemination of the concluding observations (E/C.12/MAR/CO/3) widely among all levels of society and, in particular, among State officials and the judiciary; provision of information in the fourth periodic report about all steps taken to implement them, and involvement of non-governmental organizations in the formulation
of the report


21. The DIDH has introduced and developed a participatory approach based on consultations and coordination with all stakeholders in the area of economic, social and cultural rights. In accordance with this approach, the DIDH endeavoured to involve all relevant actors, including the media and civil society, in the preparation of the fourth national report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Recommendation 61: Submission of the fourth periodic report by 2009

22. As Morocco opted for the establishment of an interministerial structure, the DIDH, as the coordinating and monitoring body responsible for formulating and supervising the implementation of the Government’s policy concerning the defence, protection and promotion of human rights, has taken steps to intensify interaction with the United Nations human rights system. Since its establishment in March 2011, the DIDH has developed an approach based on coordination, a strategic plan for the period 2012–2016 and an emergency plan aimed at ensuring compliance with the country’s international obligations under human rights treaties, including submission of all overdue periodic reports. Adopting a similar coordination-based approach, the DIDH monitors implementation of the recommendations issued by the various treaty bodies, including the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.13
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