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Parliamentary questions
13 February 2013
Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

Despite some concerns the Commission considers that the human rights situation in Morocco is improving. Morocco has taken important steps in 2011-2012: ratification of the international convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disparition, the first protocol of the ICCPR(1), the optional protocol to the CEDAW(2) and the OPCAT(3). New bodies have been set up in Morocco to defend human rights and improve goverance. The strengthening of fundamental freedoms and democratic principles by the new Constitution and the establishment and consolidation of prerogatives of the National Council for Human Rights are positive developments.

The situation of human rights is discussed with the Moroccan authorities in the Sub-Committee on ‘Human rights, democracy and governance’ and the bilateral political dialogue, e.g. the preliminary conclusions drawn up by Juan Méndez were discussed during the meeting in October 2012, where the EU expressed concern about the situation in Moroccan prisons and urged the authorities to deposit the instrument of ratification of the OPCAT.

Eradication of torture is a priority of the EU Human Rights Strategy for Morocco.

The human rights situation is a key aspect of the new bilateral action plan being finalised by the EU and Morocco. The EU is promoting the respect of human rights and democratic principles by supporting several projects in the framework of EIDHR(4). The EU has financed a project implemented by APT(5) on the set up of National Preventive Mechanisms under the OPCAT and on the transposition of the UN Convention against Torture in national legislation.

Improvement of human rights and fundamental freedoms is a crucial component of the new approach to the European neighbourhood policy adopted in 2011.

(1)ICCPR = International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
(2)CEDAW = Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
(3)OPCAT = Optional Protocol to the International Convention Against Torture.
(4)EIDHR = European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.
(5)APT = Association contre la Torture.

OJ C 329 E, 13/11/2013
Last updated: 8 March 2013Legal notice