Press Release

On July 22, 2022, two very important protocols on individual complaints1
(communications)
procedure in Morocco enter into force, namely, the first Optional Protocol to the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights on the submission of complaints, and the Optional Protocol to the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) relating to
the submission of individual complaints and inquiries procedures. Morocco acceded to the mentioned
protocols on the 22nd of last April, and on 22nd of July 2022, they enter into force .
As such, the Mediator for Democracy and Human Rights wishes to express appreciation and
respect to mark Morocco’s accession to these two protocols, as they are two of the main demands within
the advocacy agenda of the Mediator and human rights movement in Morocco. These protocols have
been the main focus of many recommendations made to Morocco by the treaty bodies and the Universal
Periodic Review.
In this context, the Mediator for Democracy and Human Rights recalls that human rights
organizations, human rights defenders, and alleged victims are empowered, under these protocols, to
submit complaints to the Human Rights Committee and the Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women, in the event of an alleged violation of one of the rights contained in the
Covenant or CEDAW2
. It is worth noting that when submitting complaints, the following conditions
have to be met:
▪ A complaint must not be anonymous, be in writing and signed by the complaining individual.
It is advisable to use the form3 prepared by the treaty bodies;
▪ A complaint must be submitted by an individual or individuals under the jurisdiction of the State
party to the treaty, which has accepted the individual complaints procedure or ratified the
protocol relating to that procedure;
▪ The individual must have tried to exhaust all available domestic remedies in his/her country, i.e.
the case has completed the degrees of domestic litigation, or any administrative procedure that
1 This procedure is known as the « individual communications » or « individual complaints ». In this release, we use « individual
complaints » as it is the most commonly used term in Morocco .
2
It should be noted that Morocco recognizes the competence of most UN treaty bodies to receive individual complaints, with
the exception of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, according to the following: Article 22 of the
Convention against Torture CAT, Article 22 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
Article 31 of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance ICPPED, Article 77
of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, and the
protocols for individual complaints to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities, and the two protocols that are the subject of this release.
3The form is available at the following link :
https://www.ohchr.org/en/documents/tools-and-resources/form-and-guidance-submitting-individual-communication-treaty-bodies –

  • Link to the Rules of Procedure of the Human Rights Committee (Chapter 18)
    https://www.ohchr.org/fr/treaty-bodies/ccpr/rules-procedure-and-working-methods –
  • Link to the Rule of Procedure of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women Guidelines:
    https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/TBSearch.aspx?Lang=en&TreatyID=3&DocTypeID=65 –
    2
    could provide an effective remedy within a reasonable time. This rule does not apply if local
    remedies are ineffective or prolonged without reasonable justification;
    ▪ A complaint may be submitted by or on behalf of the individual. A complaint submitted on
    behalf of an alleged victim may be accepted, when it appears that the individual in question is
    unable to submit the complaint personally;
    ▪ A claim must be sufficiently substantiated, showing that the individual is a victim of a violation
    by the State party of any of the rights set forth in the Covenant (the International Covenant on
    Civil and Political Rights or the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
    against Women);
    ▪ The matter in question must not be examined under another procedure of international
    investigation or settlement;
    ▪ A complaint may constitute an abuse of the right of submission, when it is submitted five years
    after the exhaustion of domestic remedies, or, where applicable, three years from the conclusion
    of another procedure of international investigation or settlement, unless there are reasons
    justifying the delay, taking into account all the circumstances of the complaint.
    In this respect, we, in the Mediator for Democracy and Human Rights, are seizing the opportunity
    of the entry into force of these two protocols, to invite the relevant governmental and institutional
    stakeholders to consider the following recommendations :
    First: Ensure the promotion of the role of the judiciary in protecting rights and facilitating access
    to justice;
    Second: Work on activating and strengthening the protective competencies of the national redress
    mechanisms.
    Third: Ensure the preparation of human, organizational and institutional potential to effectively
    engage with international mechanisms of managing individual complaints related to the two
    protocols;
    Fourth: The Mediator for Democracy and Human Rights renews the call on public authorities to
    continue its efforts to be part of all the core international human rights instruments, through
    ratification and accession to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil
    and Political Rights on the abolition of the death penalty and the Optional Protocol to the
    International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on individual complaints, as well
    as the immediate lifting of reservations and interpretative declarations to some articles of the basic
    conventions to which Morocco is a state party.
    Youssef Ghouirgate
    Secretary-General
    The Mediator for Democracy and Human Rights

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