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Responding department: Consultant

Note: This response was originally submitted in French.  Unofficial English translation provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

This response was provided as a reflection from the Moroccan Government.

Has your government taken any initiatives to reduce companies’ negative impacts on human rights that you consider particularly successful?

  • The development of Labour Code Law 65-99, which brings together all the legislative and regulatory texts governing labour relations.

Broad consultation was undertaken with trade unions and employers.

  • Amendments to the draft law on Accidents at Work, 2014.
  • Domestic Workers Bill.
  • Circular limiting public procurement to temporary employment firms that fully comply with the laws in force.

NB: All the ILO conventions and recommendations have been taken into account.

What department or departments have significant responsibility for business and human rights within your government?

The Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Ministry of Mining and the Interministerial Delegation for Human Rights.

NB: It is currently the National Human Rights Council that is trying to encourage the government to coordinate these initiatives.

Has your government undertaken new business & human rights initiatives or strengthened existing ones since the endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles in June 2011?

Yes

What are the top 5 priority issues that your government has taken steps to address since June 2011?

Types of company impacts prioritised:

  • Health (including environmental health, workplace health and safety)
  • Sexual harassment
  • Other core labour rights (including freedom of association and trade union rights)
  • Operations in conflict zones
  • Impacts on children, including child labour

Actions on health

Example: Creation of the Institute for Occupational Health and Safety in Casablanca. Development of a framework law.

Actions on sexual harrassment

The penal code criminalises sexual harassment in the workplace.

Actions on core labour rights (including freedom of association)

Institutionalisation of dialogue between employers and trade unions.

For your priority issue of 'Operations in conflict zones' please give examples of steps your government has taken.

Consultation of civil society and elected representatives in southern Morocco prior to offshore prospection.

Actions on children

Example: Development, in collaboration with UNICEF, of a National Plan to eradicate child labour.

Has your government adopted a National Action Plan on business and human rights as encouraged by the UN Human Rights Council and UN Working Group on business & human rights, or will it do so in the future?

The government has yet to adopt the Action Plan, but the National Human Rights Council, as an independent institution, has led many initiatives to bring together firms, government departments and trade unions to discuss the issue.

A forum was held in 2013 on the topic of Business and Human Rights.

If your government has adopted a National Action Plan or is planning on adopting one, please highlight whether it makes reference to international human rights standards and whether it was developed in consultation with affected stakeholders.

The preparatory work, which is ongoing under the auspices of the National Human Rights Council, wholly refers to the international standards and is being undertaken in consultation with affected stakeholders.

Access to remedy: What steps have been taken to develop new judicial or administrative remedies or to reduce barriers to existing remedies for victims?

The Moroccan Labour Code stipulates that employees have the right to submit complaints to the Labour Inspectorate and, after the issue has been addressed with the employer, they have the right of appeal to the Provincial and National Commissions and, as a last resort, to the Courts of Justice.

Access to remedy: What steps have been taken to develop new non-judicial remedies, improve existing mechanisms, and reduce barriers for victims?

The social partners (management and labour) are calling for an evaluation of the role of Provincial and National Commissions.

Access to remedy: For companies headquartered in your country or their subsidiaries, has your government taken steps to enhance accountability for human rights impacts abroad?

The few Moroccan firms operating in Africa have been made aware of the issue but not of any specific measures.

Which factors impede your government’s ability to take action on business and human rights?

Most important factors:

  • Opposition by economic interest groups or business associations
  • Lack of understanding or awareness of business & human rights in government
  • Challenges of coordinating across government departments

Significant factor:

  • Lack of resources for enforcement, monitoring and prosecution

Minor factor:

  • Opposition or lack of consensus within government
  • Other opposition by influential people or groups outside government
  • Political limitations imposed by foreign governments or multilateral institutions
  • Concern about deterring foreign investment

What, if any, form of support would your government welcome the most to help advance its actions to improve companies’ impacts on human rights?

Capacity-building, providing training and technical assistance, sharing knowledge and fostering cooperative learning with countries in the same situation.