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HUMAN RIGHTS AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE MOROCCAN NEW CONSTITUTION

Following a referendum on July 1st, 2011, Morocco has adopted a new constitution that recognizes human rights as they are universally recognized. It provides for their protection and respect for their universality and indivisibility.

The new Fundamental Law covers almost all human rights contained in the Universal Human Rights Declaration. It provides for the primacy of international convention ratified by the Morocco and the domestication of their provisions.

- Equality: “Men and women shall enjoy, on an equal footing, the civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights and freedoms…” article 19;

- Non-discrimination: “…prohibit and combat discrimination against anyone on the grounds of sex, color, creed, culture, social or regional background, language, disability or any other personal consideration”, preamble

- Right to life: “The right to life is the most fundamental right of every human being. This right shall be protected by law”, article 20

- Right to physical integrity: “Everyone shall have the right to their physical integrity, to that of their relatives…” article 21

- Freedom from torture: “No one shall inflict upon another, under any pretext whatsoever, any cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment which undermines their dignity. The practice of any form of torture, by anyone, shall be a crime punished by law.” article 22

- Right to be treated equally by the law: “The law shall be the supreme expression of the will of the nation. All natural and legal persons, including public authorities, shall be equal before the law and must comply with it” article 6

- Right for all to effective remedy by competent tribunal: “Access to justice shall be guaranteed for any person to defend his or her rights and interests which are protected by the law.” article 118

- Freedom from arbitrary arrest: No one shall be arrested, detained, prosecuted or sentenced except in cases and conditions provided by law. Secret or arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance are crimes of the utmost gravity. Their perpetrators shall be liable to the most severe punishment.” article 23

- Right to fair trial and presumption of innocence: “The presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial are guaranteed.” article 23

- Right to privacy in home and correspondence: Everyone has the right to privacy. The home shall be inviolable. Searches can be carried out only in such conditions and forms as provided by the law. Private communications, in whatever form, shall remain secret.” article 24

- Freedom of movement: “The right to freedom of movement and residence within the national territory, and the right to leave and return to the country are guaranteed for everyone, in accordance with the law.” article 24

- Right to marriage and family: “The family, based on the legal bond of marriage, is the basic unit of society. The State shall seek, through the law, to protect the family from the legal, social and economic perspectives in order to ensure its unity, stability and preservation. It shall ensure equal legal protection as well as social and moral consideration for all children, regardless of their family status.” article 32

- Right to own property: “The right to property is guaranteed.” article 23

- Freedom of religion: “The State shall guarantee the free exercise of religious practices.” article 3

- Freedom of opinion and expression: “All forms of freedom of thought, opinion and expression are guaranteed.” article 25

- Right to access information: “Citizens shall have the right to access information held by public authorities and elected institutions and bodies with a public service mission.” article 27

- Freedom of Association and assembly: “Freedom to gather and freedom of assembly and peaceful demonstration shall be guaranteed, together with freedom to belong to a trade union or a political party.” article 29

- Right to take part in and select government: “Citizens of full age who enjoy their civil and political rights shall have the right to vote and to stand as candidates. The law shall make provisions to facilitate equal access of women and men to elected office. Voting is a personal and a national duty.” article 30

“Sovereignty shall belong to the nation. It shall exercise it directly, by means of a referendum, or indirectly, through its representatives. The nation shall choose its representatives in elected institutions through free, sincere and regularly held elections.” article 2

- Right to work, health, education and adequate living: The State, public institutions and local authorities shall seek to muster all the means available to facilitate equal access of citizens to their right to healthcare; social protection, medical coverage, mutual insurance or solidarity schemes organized by the State; modern, accessible and quality education; education on commitment to the Moroccan identity and the nation’s immutable values; vocational training and physical and artistic education; decent housing; employment and government support to find a job or secure self-employment; access to public office on the basis of merit; access to water and a healthy environment; sustainable development.” article 31

- Right to participate in cultural life: “Public authorities shall seek to bring about conditions conducive to effectively generalizing freedom and equality for all citizens, in addition to ensuring their participation in political, economic, cultural and social life.” article 6

In addition to these rights, the new constitution provides for cultural rights. It recognizes Morocco’s Arab-Islamic, Amazigh and Saharan-Hassani components and its African, Andalusian, Hebraic and Mediterranean constituents. It didn’t fail to stipulate the protection of group’s rights, mainly women, mothers, children and persons with disabilities. It criminalizes genocide and other crimes against humanity, war crimes and all systematic grave human rights violations.

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