Human rights: Morocco welcomes UN rapporteur, Algeria avoids

Morocco is preparing to welcome the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and extreme poverty, Olivier De Schutter, in early December. It is expected to review the government’s efforts to eradicate poverty and is due to present its report the same month. In Algeria, the situation is different, the authorities refuse the entry of the UN rapporteur.

“My visit in December will be an opportunity to listen and learn more as well as make recommendations to the government on how it can protect the most vulnerable from these shocks,” said the Belgian expert who is to travel to Morocco from December 6 to 19.

Olivier De Schutter was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to this position in May 2020. He is responsible for leading the Council’s independent investigations and follow-up mechanisms that either address specific national situations or on thematic issues in all regions of the world.

“Morocco, like most countries, has had to suffer the double shock of Covid-19 and soaring inflation, with years of progress in the fight against poverty now in decline”, a- he added

The UN rapporteur must report on the issue of poverty in Morocco and make recommendations. His visit comes in an unprecedented context, after two years of pandemic which severely affected the country and especially the non-conventional sector, a global crisis whose effects are felt on the prices of consumer products, and the new development model of the Morocco as well as the royal site of social protection for all.

According to the High Commission for Planning, the combination of the pandemic and rising consumer prices has pushed an additional 3.2 million people into poverty or vulnerability in Morocco.

The United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and extreme poverty, will have to examine the situation for two weeks and should also look into the quality of the country’s health, housing and education systems, according to the ‘UN.

It will also have to meet the most fragile groups, the most affected by the effects of the pandemic and inflation, namely women, children, people with disabilities, the elderly and migrants.

The UN expert will travel to the region of Rabat-Salé-Kénitra, Grand Casablanca, the province of Ouarzazate and the region of Marrakech-Safi to meet with national and local government officials, individuals and communities affected by poverty, as well as international and national civil society organizations.

A different situation in Algeria

Unlike Morocco, Algeria refused access to its territory to the UN special rapporteur who was supposed to go there in September to make a visit and make his report.

In the case of Algeria, rapporteur Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, appointed special rapporteur on freedoms in 2018, was to meet with leaders of opposition parties and those of autonomous civil society to report on the situation of human rights. ‘Man after the events of Hirak and the rise to power of Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

This situation of deterioration of human rights has been accompanied by an unprecedented wave of repression in the country where nearly 300 people are imprisoned for various charges mainly related to their participation in anti-Hirak system demonstrations or suspicion belonging to the Rachad and MAK movements recently registered by the Algerian authorities as “terrorist organisations”.

The visit Clément Nyaletsossi Voule which was to take place from September 12 to 22 was canceled at the beginning of September at the request of the Algerian side, and the government has reportedly requested that this visit be postponed until 2023.

Since 2020, the Algerian authorities have repeatedly postponed this visit despite the urgency of the independent assessment of the situation. However, you have to go back to 2011 to find the date of the first refusal.

Algeria has been criticized on several occasions over the past 4 years by several countries, bodies and international institutions on the issue of human rights and public freedoms. On November 11, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany openly criticized Algeria during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva.

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