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Amnesty International: Morocco has made progress on women’s rights

The human rights NGO Amnesty International reported on progress and positive legislative and institutional developments in the field of women’s rights and combating violence against women in Morocco, in its report of the year 2018.

This document, which exposes the human rights situation in 19 states of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region during 2018, highlights the progress made in Morocco in the area of ​​women’s rights through the implementation of in place laws to combat violence against them.

Speaking on this occasion, the director general of Amnesty, Moroccan section, Salah Abdellaoui, who presented yesterday in Rabat this report, pointed out that a law to combat violence against women, which came into force in September, introduces new offenses and increases the existing penalties in cases of domestic or family violence.

This text, he continued, proposes new measures to protect victims of violence during the judicial process and establishes new bodies to coordinate and complement the efforts of judicial and governmental authorities to combat violence against women.

With regard to other countries in the region, the report notes that Saudi Arabia has lifted the driving ban imposed on women, saying that this measure has highlighted the courage of women’s rights activists who for decades have drawn the attention of the media to this ban.

The government also announced that women no longer need the permission of a male guardian to start their own business, notes the same source, who also cites Jordan and Qatar, who have also adopted measures to the children of their nationals married to a foreigner to obtain a permanent residence permit, without giving them the opportunity to acquire the nationality of their mother.

With regard to migrant workers and domestic workers, Mr. Abdellaoui pointed out that progress has been made in this area at the legislative level, particularly in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Oman, noting that this category was a victim of exploitation and human rights abuse, largely because of the sponsorship system that restricted their ability to escape poor working conditions.

“In Morocco, a new law on domestic workers has come into force. This text gave them the right to written contracts, a maximum number of hours worked, days off, paid leave and a minimum wage,” said the official, quoting the report.

With regard to armed conflict, Amnesty International has called on all States to suspend the sale and transfer of arms to all parties to the conflict in Yemen on the one hand, and to Israel on the other, as long as there will be a significant risk that this material will be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

It also called on all States to increase their support for international mechanisms for justice for victims, such as the United Nations investigations into killings in the Gaza Strip and violations in Yemen and Syria.

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