Creation of Institutions for the Protection of Human Rights
In order to improve and increase the respect of human rights, Morocco has put in place a wide array of institutional and legal provisions to guarantee fundamental liberties, prevent any abuse and render justice to any victims of abuse. These institutions include the Consultative Council for Human Rights the Justice and Reconciliation Commission and Diwan Al Madalim.
The Consultative Council for Human Rights (CCDH)
Established in 1990, the Consultative Council for Human Rights has been a major factor in increasing the country’s political openness and has generated reforms in the area of human rights protection. His Majesty King Mohammed VI took steps to expand the duties of this council, including the identification of rights across socio-economic levels and the provision of rights for Moroccan expatriates.
This expansion has caused the CCDH to gain international recognition as a champion of human rights. The CCDH was elected to the chairmanship of the International Committee for the Coordination of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (CIC). As chairman, the organization played a role in organizing international human rights conferences. CCDH is also a member of the Coordinating Committee of Africa’s National Institutions and the Board of Directors of the Francophone Association of Human Rights Commissions. Finally, the CCDH assisted His Majesty in setting up the Mohammed VI Prize for Human Rights, which rewards deserving Moroccans for accomplishments in support of human rights.
Reconciliation with the past: The Justice and Reconciliation Commission
His Majesty has repeatedly stressed his firm determination to resolve, in a fair and equitable manner, past issues of disappearances, arbitrary detention and politically motivated exiles and to rehabilitate victims in the Moroccan society : “I have always sought to create conditions for a better future through redressing the damage done, rehabilitating the victims and establishing preventive and protective safeguards which will put an end to past practices. My call for an end to rancor and the emergence of a culture of tolerance based on equity will greatly help in shaping a bright future.”
King Mohammed VI established the Truth Committee, comprised of highly qualified experts committed to the principles of human rights. Through February 2003, this committee has reviewed 5,127 compensation claims, granting more than 4,000 victims or their rightful claimants compensation amounting to more than US$ 100 million. Its other responsibilities include :
Diwan Al Madalim
- Assessing the Government’s handling of past disappearances and arbitrary detentions through contacts and dialogue with families of the victims, the government and any other parties involved;
- Making public thousands of previously classified government documents for citizens’ perusal;
- Investigating unresolved cases of disappearances and arbitrary detention ;
- Examining the efforts of the independent Arbitration Commission, which is in charge of providing compensation for the suffering of victims of disappearance and arbitrary detention;
- Supervising rehabilitation and reintegration into society for victims of disappearances and arbitrary detention;
- Preparing a report on its various investigations, including: an analysis of past government abuses, recommendations for prevention of future government abuses ; and the effects of such abuse on victims;
- Organizing attempts to settle unresolved cases;
- Respecting and preserving the confidential nature of all sources and the content of the deliberations made by the Commission.
Diwan Al Madalim, which is a sort of Ombudsman, is an institution charged with mediating between the citizens and the administrations and public offices. Its main task is mainly to urge authorities at the national and local level to abide by the rules of fairness, equality and the respect of the rule of law. This institution aims at reaching the settlement outside the court system of any administrative dispute between the citizens and the administration ; its main mission is to examine the complaints filed by those who believe that they have suffered injustice by unfair or illegal administrative decisions or actions and to assist these individuals.