High Commissioner for Human Rights, Morocco: the National federal of Amazighs Associations in Morocco parallel report
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights web site, had published the report done by the National Federation of Amazighs Associations in Morocco (FNAA) which is parallel to the fourth periodic report of the Moroccan government in the framework of realization of the requirements of paragraph 2 of Article 1, Article 2, 4, 6 and Item 2 of Article 7 of the Convention international economic, social and cultural rights.
The full report :
Parallel report of the fourth periodic report of the Moroccan government in the framework of provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 1, Article 2, 4, 6 and Item 2 of Article 7 of the international Convention on Economic, social and cultural Rights
1 – Recall the recommendations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at its meeting held on Wednesday, May 10th, 2006, after the discussion of the third periodic report of the Moroccan Government relevant to the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 1, Article 2, 4 and 6 and Item 2 of Article 7 of the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Recommendation 36: take legislative measures and other necessary measures for all the provisions of the Covenant.
Recommendation 37: provide accurate and detailed information and specific examples for the legal remedies available to victims of violations of the rights provided for in the Covenant.
Recommendation 39: harmonize national legislation with the provisions of the Covenant, remove any reference to discrimination and ensure equal treatment to men and women in the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights.
Recommendation 46: insure equal social security distribution system between urban and rural areas and between regions.
Recommendation 55: detailed comparative data on the number of population living in poverty and the progress realized in the fight against poverty.
Recommendation 53: provide access to public services for families living in poverty in poor neighborhoods, and consider the public comments No. 3 (1990) on the nature of the obligations of States parties, No. 7 (1997) on the right to adequate housing and No. 15 (2002) on the right to water.
2 – (provisions of Article 16 and 17 of the Convention) our observations on the fourth periodic report of the Moroccan government in the light of the Committee’s recommendations at the discussion of the third periodic report on Wednesday, May 10th, 2006, relevant to the requirements of paragraph 2 of Article 1, Article 2, 4, 6 and Item 2 of Article 7 of the Convention.
- The Moroccan government, as usual, delayed in submitting its periodic report. The report was scheduled to be presented in an earlier date, within the year 2010.
- The government report, in a number of paragraphs, adopted only the value data and statements with no provision of numbers and facts.
3 – The report lacks data and numbers, in form of indicators, attesting:
- The number of male and female citizens living in poverty, as well as the absence of indicators for the decrease of the poverty rate.
- The proportion of the social security system coverage between urban and rural areas.
- Data on the right of the Amazigh and especially those who live in rural areas to have access to public services and decent housing.
- Data on the actions taken to provide accurate and detailed information and specific examples of the legal remedies available to victims of violations of the rights provided for in the Covenant. We recall, for example, cases of available judicial remedies for victims of land expropriation and forced relocation.
- Tracks of convened practices to harmonize national legislation with the provisions of the Covenant.
3 – (The provisions of Article 2 of the Convention) tracks of legislative practices and harmonization principle.
The issue of land rights in Morocco, as in the rest of the world, is considered as a main challenge, not only for indigenous people and farmers, but for all humanity.
In Morocco – at the time where government policies would have to be directed towards the respect of the right of indigenous to land tenure and utilization of its underground and surface resources, in spite of the role of family agriculture to ensure food security, the realization of the right to food, and the preservation of biodiversity and the fight against climate change,
The National Federation for Amazigh Associations has noticed that hundreds of indigenous people are still without access to the lands expropriated by the French and Spanish colonial authorities, and turned, by the national authorities subsequent to the end of protectorate era, to the public and private property of the state. The expropriation policy is still ongoing through the application of legislations developed between 1912 and 1923, in the colonial period, and sometimes through the application of abusive administrative decisions forcing many residents to migration and displacement. This constitutes a violation of the Covenant provisions and the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.
– To enact alternative legislation to prohibit and end the violations to the right to land:
In the framework of the International l Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Convention, the National Federation for Amazigh Associations in Morocco has already followed the situation of victims of expropriation and issued letters and statements denouncing them and alerted the government to the need to comply with and implement their international obligations in the field of human rights, and respect the provisions of Article 21 and 35 of the adopted Moroccan Constitution as published in the Official Gazette number 5964 bis, issued on July 30th, 2011 through the Dahir (Decree) number 1,11,91 issued on July 29th, 2011 for the implementation of the constitution.
The most important manifestations of discrimination in terms of violations of the right to land that we concluded through our ongoing monitoring operations in the area of legislation, can be summarized as follows:
- – The law on the unification of Moroccan Courts: Law No. 3.64 issued on January 26th, 1965, on the unification of the courts, which states, in its fifth Chapter, that: « Arabic is the unique language for deliberations, proceedings and sentences in Moroccan courts, »; the Decision of the Minister of Justice No. 414.65 issued on June 29th, 1965 which states in its first Chapter that: « Starting from July, 1965, all applications, petitions and briefs before the different courts shall be written in Arabic. » Accordingly, amendment to this law remains an obligation in line with the provision of the Constitution which adopted Tamazight as an official language of the state.
This law is one of the laws that hinder indigenous Amazigh from accessing the judiciary facilities to defend and protect themselves from the violations of their right to the property, as a large number of them, especially the residents of rural areas does not understand nor speak Arabic, and has no Arabic linguistic qualifications to understand the law and to join legal and judicial carriers.
By virtue of this, their property and enjoyment rights are waived. It should be noted as well that the hereinafter mentioned laws set short deadlines to appeal administrative decisions on expropriation from original owners. Furthermore, they imposed complex procedures unfit to the linguistic and cognitive situation of concerned populations.
The aforementioned law is, as well, among the Laws devoted to the distinction and discrimination against several human rights and values, including the principle of equality, principle of diversity, difference and pluralism, the right to a fair trial, the right to access to different justice facilities, and the right to information in the mother tongue of the population. It is considered, at the same time, as an obstacle to the right of the Amazighs to participate in institutions, either through the logic of the legal prohibition or by virtue of ambiguity and uncertainty sweeping all of the Moroccan legislation.
- The law issued on April27th, 1919, on collective and tribal properties:
Before the French and Spanish occupation of Morocco in 1912, the Amazigh ordinances used to organize the property issues. The land and what is beneath, of metal and water, and what is above of forests and plants was the collective property of one tribe or several tribes. There were, sometimes, properties for individual enjoyment within the common area.
Joining Islam in Morocco did not change these laws except recommending the authority of the State and « legalizing » the expropriation of the lands belonging to rebel tribes. This influence did not exceed the nearby areas of the capitals: Rabat, Fez, and Marrakesh, where some tribal lands were expropriated and granted to loyal tribes or to the armies of the Ouadayas, for example. For thousands of years there were legal rules and systems governing the tenure and transfer of land. This commonly organized system set rules for ownership of land, and its resources for the interests of the community, the tribe and the village. This system lasted until the eruption of the colonial era as the colonials deprived all Moroccan tribes from elements of their strength during their resistance movements. The legal law for property ownership was one of its main strength which regulated land tenure and geographical area for each tribe, along with other economic, social and cultural systems.
Accordingly, the colonial administration created and approved several laws, as the Act of April 27th, 1919, which nullified in full or in part the legal system of land and forests property and under which extracted the lands, forests and minerals of tribes and communes.
Although the land, forests and minerals were subject to the same legal system of ownership until the colonial era, the colonial administration issued a set of laws which can be divided into two types:
- Forests and minerals laws, under which full rights of tribes and communes on forest-covered lands and minerals under collective lands were annulled.
- Laws on the annulment of the authority of communes and tribes on their lands by entering the tutelage of the state. This falls within the public and collective land.
The main objective of the colonial administration was to have possession over the most vital geographical areas for the tribes, and the resisting groups. Accordingly, the administration aimed at depriving these tribes and groups of elements of strength that allowed for thousands of years to maintain its strength and retrieved it in a timely manner.
It was expected after the signing of the document ending the Protectorate in 1956 that the rights expropriated by the colonials returned to their rightful owners and that the independent state returns to tribes and communes what was taken by the colonial administration. However, nothing changed for those whose rights of ownership of land and forests were expropriated. These rights moved from the Colonial State to the Independent State. The same thing is expressed by peasants of South America, as the movement of the colonial exploitation from external to internal colonization. This took place at a time when Moroccans hoped that the Independent government returns the expropriated rights to tribes, communes and the population.
- Dahir (Decree) issued on 04/27/1919on the ordinary State supervision on the Communes and on the Administrative supervision on communes and adjustment of management and transfer of collective property affairs as changed or completed by:
- Dahir of 08/23/1919
- Dahir of 03/16/1926
- Dahir of 10/19/1937
- Dahir of 05/28/1938
- Dahir of 12/13/1941
- Dahir of 08/14/1945
- Dahir of 03/19/1951
- Dahir of 01/22/1952
- Dahir of 07/28/1956
- Dahir of 02/06/1963
- Dahir issued on February 18th, 1924,on the establishment of a special officer for the limitation of common lands between the tribes, as its provisions were completed, modified or temporarily postponed by:
– Dahir of 02/16/1933
– Dahir of 11/24/1937
– Dahir of 29-11-1939
– Dahir of 07/20/1946.
These laws were issued in the French and Spanish colonial period; thus adopted before International legitimacy of human rights. Consequently, in many of its provisions, these laws conflict with the decisions of the international human rights instruments including paragraph 2 of Article 1, Article 2, 4, 6 and Item 2 of Article 7 of the International Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Convention.
In view of the unfairness of this legislation, it is noted that the government authorities rather than working on the harmony, or at least give priority to the application of the Amazigh ordinances, or the Dahir of September 12th; 1914, relating to the adoption of special laws and customs of the Amazigh tribes, in which the first chapter of it provides that: « The affairs of the Berber tribes in our blessed country remains going at their proper laws and customs under the control of governors of the government ». They were, however, amended, in the last five years, through drawing new maps of the public estate base, and by expanding its surface and reducing the collective land owned by the tribes and communes. This can be seen in the hereinafter table which redefines the collective land of the tribes as follows:
A Data table for the initial redefinition of collective lands:
|Limitation Date||Subject||Surface||District||Province||Date||Official Gazette||N°|
|23/11/2010||Limitation of a collective land||19000||Tata||Tata||17/05/2010||5839||1|
|02/11/2010||Limitation of a collective land||22500||Tata||Imi Ougadir (Fem Lehssen)||17/05/2010||5839||2|
|19/10/2012||Limitation of a collective land||8600||Errachidia||Guelmima||02/08/2010||5861||3|
|05/10/2010||Limitation of a collective land||30000||Tata||Imi Ougadir (Fem Lehssen)||17/05/2010||5839||4|
|08/06/2010||Limitation of a collective land||14500||Errachidia||Guelmima||18/03/2010||5822||5|
|25/05/2010||Limitation of a collective land||1750||Errachidia||Guelmima||18/03/2010||5822||6|
|11/05/2010||Limitation of a collective land||6650||Errachidia||Guelmima||18/03/2010||5822||7|
|04/05/2010||Limitation of a collective land||6620||Taroudant||Igrem||18/03/2010||5822||8|
|27/04/2010||Limitation of a collective land||5450||Errachidia||Guelmima||04/03/2010||5818||9|
|20/04/2010||Limitation of a collective land||8000||Taroudant||Igrem||04/03/2010||5818||10|
|13/04/2010||Limitation of a collective land||4200||Errachidia||Guelmima||04/03/2010||5818||11|
|06/04/2010||Limitation of a collective land||7420||Taroudant||Igrem||04/03/2010||5818||12|
- Dahir1917, governing the forest property:
The forest property is a state property governed by Dahir of 1917. The first chapter of this Dahir considered that many properties fall within the limits of forests properties since they are covered by plants. This was considered as a presumption that it was a forest property, though it is a weak presumption which can be refuted through the document of real owners.
It is also a private property of the state annexed through acquisition, purchase, expropriation or donation or even confiscation and recovery. Many Dahirs were issued in this regard to recover property from colonials, such as the Dahirs of 1963 and 1970 on the properties of colonials and agricultural properties that were held by foreigners, either colonials or not. This kind of property is made, also, through international conventions, such as the convention between France and Morocco or with Spain.
According to observations, especially the numerous protests of indigenous people victims of this Dahir and its unrighteous applications, it has been decided, by a government circular and a scheme relevant to collective lands and forest properties, to register 52 million hectares of land as state land tenure within the year 2016. This scheme purports to further displace the indigenous peoples from their lands by expropriating them either by motif of forest property or public interest. This would increase the impoverishment of the population and destruction of its material and immaterial wealth, culture and language that they acquired and lived with for centuries.
4 – for this reason, the National Federation of Amazigh Associations, and on the basis of the abovementioned facts and the findings of meetings and seminars organized by the Amazigh associations in Morocco, reiterates its demands that:
- The State applies the provisions of Article 14 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and implements the recommendations made by the Committee against racial discrimination in its most recent session.
- The immediate cessation of land expropriation and forest property limitation; the cessation of judicial prosecutions and sentences issued against citizens defending their social and economic rights, and reparation for personal or collective injuries caused to those affected by administrative limitations .
- Re-examine the status of the administratively limited areas or those that have been registered as forest properties, and reconsider the administrative procedures and limitation and registration mechanisms.
- Establish an economic policy aiming at achieving social justice, economic security, employment for unemployed graduates, and repeal the privatization policies that affect all public institutions, repeal the pricing applicable in public hospitals, allow the original owners recover their land, repeal the policy of forced repatriation or compensate the victims in accordance with the laws in force which takes into account the moral and spiritual aspects related to land and immediate and future material aspects.
- Uphold the right to free and prior well-versed consent and steadfastness in the defense of collective rights in the land and forest resources with regard to acquisition, transfer or selling without respect for prior free and informed consent which make of these transactions null and non-valid and non-prescribed crimes.
- The need to struggle for tripartite partnership of land and forest resources between the commune (the commune, the village, racial group, tribe), the investor on the basis of respect for individual and collective human rights and the State as a guarantor of right and law.
- Require the government to ratify the Convention N° 169 of the International Labour Organization on the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples in National Independent Countries adopted at the General Conference in 1989 with the consent of all parties.
- Respect Amazigh laws concerning collective ownership of lands, forest and resources and right of disposition of lands and forests within the Argan area for tribes and communes owning them since history as referred to by Dahir of 1925 which excluded Argan forests from its previous provisions.
- Taking into account the deep link between individual and collective human rights with lands, forest and resources in the Argan area and respect the Amazigh legal systems such as Agdal Tiwizi systems a and collective ownership systems, as well as Amazigh cultural cognitions which are the basis of the Amazigh cultural identity in accordance with Article VIII of the International Convention on Biological Diversity.
- Preservation of Argan forests as a vital area to human life on the basis of biodiversity protection. Working with all concerned parties to implement cultural, social and economic rights provided for in the new constitution, within the geographical area, in the framework of Article VIII of the International Convention on biological Diversity ratified by the Moroccan government.
- Adopt the human rights approach on issues of Amazigh language, culture, identity, land and wealth, and consider them at the heart of territorial policy and management. Combine the Amazigh positive laws in the legislative arsenal to ensure the rights of male and female citizens in the framework of effective democratic and development project.
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