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Moving toward a culture of Human Rights

Morocco has made significant progress in educating its society about human rights. The National Program for Education on Human Rights trained 3,000 education supervisors and updated textbooks to reflect Conventions and other Instruments.

Morocco ratified almost all of them and is abiding by the obligations that ensues from them by producing regular reports.

Morocco ratified the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights on May 3rd 1979 and presented its initial report to the Human Rights Committee in 1981.

After the ratification of the International Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on May 3rd 1979, Morocco presented on May 5th, 6th and 10th 1994 its initial report regarding Articles 1 and 15 of the Pact to be examined by the Committee.

Morocco signed the International Convention on the elimination of all the forms of racial discrimination in December 18th 1970.

On June 21th 1993 Morocco signed four UN Conventions on Human Rights, the Convention against torture and other cruel, degrading and inhuman treatments, the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, the Convention relating to children’s rights and the International Convention relating to the proctection of migrant workers and their family members. The two additional protocols to the Convention relating to the trafficking of children and pornography involving children as well as the implication of children in armed conflicts were ratified by Morocco on September 8th 2000.

According to Article 19 of the Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments, Morocco had submitted its initial report regarding the implementation of this Convention on November 16th, 1994.

Morocco also submitted its initial report regarding the implementation of the Convention relating to children’s rights to the Committee on September 24th and 25th,1996.

Regarding the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, the Committee examined Morocco’s initial report on January 14th and 20th 1997 and then examined the second report in July 2003.

The submission of all these reports show Morocco’s political commitment to pursue the promotion and the protection of Human Rights and its cooperation with international bodies and the United Nations institutions responsible with promoting Human Rights.

Aware that education and schooling play an important role in developing a culture of Human Rights, the a Convention between the Ministry of Human Rights and the Ministry of Education was adopted in December 1994 in order to teach the principles of Human Rights in schools and high schools.

In addition, a National Education Program on Human Rights was implemented in 1999, in order to achieve the goals of the United Nations10-year program aimed at promoting Human Rights worldwide. More than 3000 educators were trained in 100 training classes. This Program has now been generalized at all levels of the Moroccan education system with the publication of 131, 000 brochures integrating references to Human Rights in such vital subjects as Arabic and French, history and geography, philosophy and religious education.

Human Rights are also taught in training schools for policemen and military police.

A basic example of the cooperation between Morocco and UN institutions is the creation of a Documentation, Information and Training Center on Human Rights financed by the United Nations High Commsion for Human Rights and the United Nations Development Fund.

Still with the same objective of promoting Human Rights, peace and dialogue between civilizations, the Ministry of Education and UNESCO signed a partnership, creating a Human Rights Chair at the King Mohammed V University in Rabat and a Peace Chair at the School Mohammed 1er in Oujda.

Moreover, in order to enrich the cultural ethnic diversity of Morocco, the Royal Institute of the Amazighe Culture (IRCA) was created in October 2001 to promote the various forms of expression and the national heritage of the berbers. The teaching of the Amazighe language was introduced in several primary schools throughout the Kingdom in 2003-2004.