The culture of human rights in Morocco is not an empty word. It is a tangible reality, according to the findings of Juan Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. Juan Mendez acknowledged in a report on a visit he paid last September to the North African country that “a culture of human rights is emerging in Morocco.” In the report he presented on Monday to the Geneva-based UN Council of Human Rights, Mendez encouraged Moroccan authorities to strengthen a more efficient implementation of UN human rights mechanisms. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment welcomed the establishment of the National Human Rights Council in Morocco as “the most prominent institutional aspect of this emerging culture” which “can become an effective monitoring mechanism and mediator between the State and its citizens.” He also recommended the introduction of some amendments on the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure to adapt them to the UN human rights instruments and mechanisms.
On the other hand, Juan Mendez estimated that the provisions of the new Constitution, adopted in July 2011, constitute “an important step towards the strengthening of human rights.” The UN expert’s testimony on the improvement of human rights in Morocco is of particular importance, as it comes at a time Morocco is carrying on the institutional reforms it has initiated more than a decade ago in a bid to upgrade the democratization of the state and the modernization of society.