Washington, DC (September 11, 2013) — King Mohammed VI embraced recommendations from Morocco’s National Human Rights Council (CNDH) on protections for migrants and asylum seekers, saying the often controversial issue “should be addressed in a comprehensive and humanist manner,” according to international law and multilateral cooperation.
The CNDH report, “Foreigners & Human Rights in Morocco: For a Radically New Asylum & Migration Policy,” outlines specific measures to create a domestic and international framework to deal with migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and human trafficking. The report reaffirms Morocco’s commitment, as embodied in the country’s 2011 Constitution and ratified international agreements, to protect the rights of foreigners.
The report, which the King underscored in a meeting with government leaders yesterday, calls on all government entities to enact the reforms, with particular emphasis on the Moroccan Parliament. It urges public authorities “to act together to develop and implement a genuine public policy that protects human rights” for migrants, setting a positive example for the region and rest of the developing world. The report includes recommendations for businesses, trade unions, and the media, and counsels against negative stereotypes of migrants and other foreigners.
The CNDH policy recommendations focus on four major components:
1. Refugees and asylum seekers — Establish a legal and institutional framework for asylum and legally recognize refugee status as issued by UNHCR, issuing residency documents to statutory refugees. Establish integration policies and support for refugees and their families.
2. Foreigners with irregular administrative status — Ban all forms of violence against undocumented migrants during arrest procedures and respect existing rights of foreigners under the Constitution. Provide registration for new births and death certificates, and guarantee access to labor inspectors without fear of retribution.
3. Human trafficking — Reform the criminal code to prohibit all human trafficking, and expand the legal definition of exploitation and protection of victims and witnesses. Launch a national survey to establish the scope of the problem and develop a collaborative national plan of action, with training programs for law enforcement and better departmental and international cooperation.
4. Documented immigrants — Revise laws to expand the rights of documented immigrants in political participation and trade union association.
CONTACT: Garth Neuffer, 202.470.2055
The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. For more, please visit www.moroccoonthemove.com
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