An NGO welcomes the entry into force of 2 protocols in Morocco

With the entry into force of two protocols linked to the “individual complaint” procedure in Morocco, human rights NGOs have expressed their satisfaction. These so-called “individual” complaints allow people to lodge a complaint against a State with the Human Rights Committee of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The two protocols in question are the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on the filing of complaints, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Morocco ratified these two international Protocols on April 22, 2022 and therefore enter into force on July 22, 2022, and this thus allows people who believe they are victims of a violation of the Covenant by a State Party (in accordance with the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) to complain to the Human Rights Committee and the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

This entry into force was welcomed by the human rights NGO, Mediator for Democracy and Human Rights (MDDH), which expressed “its pride in Morocco’s adherence to these two protocols , insofar as they constituted one of the main demands within the advocacy agenda of the MDDH and the human rights movement in Morocco”.

And to add that these protocols have been the subject of numerous recommendations made in Morocco by the treaty bodies but also by the universal periodic review mechanism.

Concerning the people claiming to be victims of a violation in the aforementioned context, they have the possibility either to lodge their complaint themselves or to choose a person to represent them. Associations working for the cause of human rights can also represent victims and lodge complaints on their behalf.

To file these complaints, the NGO recalls, it must not be anonymous, must be written and signed by the complaining party, and use the models recommended by the OHCHR on its dedicated site.

The complaint must come from within the jurisdiction of the State which has ratified the Protocol, and the complainant must have exhausted all available local remedies, however this rule does not apply if local remedies are ineffective or prolonged in time without reasonable justification.

The allegation or accusation must be supported by sufficient evidence to prove that the person is the victim of a violation by the State party of one of the rights guaranteed by the Convention (the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women).

The matter complained of must not be pending before another body of international investigation or settlement. The filing of a complaint may be considered an abuse of the use of this procedure, if the complaint is filed five years after the author has exhausted local remedies, or, where applicable, three years after the completion of another international investigation or settlement proceeding.

But complaints are accepted if there are justifications to explain the delay, taking into account all the circumstances of the complaint.

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