Morocco: Government Accepts Recommendations to Enact VAW Law at UPR in Geneva

Geneva 25 May 2012. Enact a specific law on violence against women with civil and criminal provisions, abolishing the notorious Article 475 of the Penal Code, and revise the Family Code to prevent the marriage of minors. These were among the key recommendations of the Working Group of the Council of Human Rights United Nations responsible for the UPR at its thirteenth session in Geneva this week.

"We are very satisfied that the Moroccan government has accepted many recommendations on the need for a specific law against violence against women in Morocco, who followed those recommendations in the shadow report that we prepared as a network of ten local associations," said Halima Oulami Amane from the Association for the Development of Women in Marrakech.


Women's rights figured prominently in debates last Tuesday and in the recommendations of the Working Group during the adoption of the report this afternoon. The Moroccan government has accepted 140 of the 148 recommendations of the Working Group. 34 of these recommendations address issues of women's rights; among these, 15 call for a specific law against violence against women.
 
An alliance of local associations of women's rights, in collaboration with the international NGO Global Rights, conducted an advocacy mission this week. 

"This week, we were able to meet with more than fifty members and observers of the Council to present the main lines of our report on violence against women and to encourage our claims representatives to include in their questions and recommendations in the interactive dialogue with the Moroccan government," said Master Lahbib Mohamed Ben Sheikh of the Association of Young Lawyers Khemisset.

The Working Group noted that in 2008 Morocco had already declared to the Council of Human Rights that a bill on violence against women was being worked on, but no legislation has emerged thus far.

However, the picture is not all positive for women's rights. The government declined to support a recommendation of the members of the working group to lift the remaining reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. He also declined recommendations to revise the Family Code to prohibit polygamy and guarantee equality of men and women regarding inheritance.

The shadow report on violence against women in Morocco has been developed by the field office in Morocco of the international NGO Global Rights, in collaboration with Advocates for Human Rights, and an alliance of NGOs Moroccan women's rights. This report and the recommendations of the Working Group, other official documents, and more information on the UPR, are at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/MASession13.aspx

 

The alliance includes the Moroccan NGO Amal Association for Women and Development (El Hajeb), El Amane Association for the Development of Women (Marrakech), Tawaza Association for Advocacy of Women (Martil) The Association Tafiil Moubadarat (Taza), the Association Tafoukt Souss Development of Women (Agadir), Voice of the Amazigh woman (Rabat), Draa area of Women and Development (Zagora), the Association Bades (Al Hoceima), the Young Lawyers Association (Khemisset), and Oasis Tafilalet Area Development (Rissani).

For more information contact the office of Global Rights in Morocco 0537.66.04.10/49.